New Nashville Project Caps Developer’s Banner Year

Tuesday, November 10th 2015

NASHVILLE, TN – One of the busiest developers in Nashville is starting construction on buildings that can hold hundreds of workers, just north of downtown.

Panattoni Development Co. have just paid $1.9 million for 44 acres located five miles north of downtown — mainly at 2011 Southerland Drive, perched just above Interstates 24 and 65. The equity is coming from the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), from funds managed by Principal Financial Group (NYSE: PFG).

The imminent start of the $33 million, three-building development caps a banner year for Panattoni.

The highlights:

The company completed Middle Tennessee’s single-largest industrial building, a 1.08 million-square-foot monster in Mt. Juliet for sports apparel company Under Armour.

As we’ve reported, Nissan North America is negotiating to have Panattoni build a $160 million supplier park in Smyrna.

Panattoni is completing its first office building in Nashville, on storied Music Row, and is under contract to acquire a nearby office site next month.

And by the way, the company started construction on the region’s first industrial building without tenants in hand since the recession, in La Vergne.

Panattoni’s prowess is usually overlooked because the company mainly develops industrial buildings. It has finished more than 50 such projects in Tennessee alone, totaling more than 36 million square feet. That makes Panattoni one of the region’s biggest industrial developers, work that largely lacks the pizzazz and profile of a downtown skyscraper. This latest project again calls attention to Panattoni’s ambition and financial backing, and its location is a reminder not to lose sight of what the company is up to.

Plans call for three buildings, offering a combined 600,000 square feet and 480 parking spaces. That’s an indication of how many people Panattoni’s future tenants may employ, in a piece of the county that hasn’t benefited all that much from Nashville’s epic development boom.

The company says this will be the first top-grade warehouse space in Davidson County in six years to be started without tenants in hand. That is a riskier speculative move that signals the confidence that a developer, and its equity investors, have in a market.