Nashville commercial real estate sector strong

Nashville is posting big gains in its commercial real estate sector.

The accolades keep piling up for Nashville's commercial real estate industry.

The city was named the eighth most business-friendly city by CNN Money, the second best place for startups by the Young Entrepreneur Council and the second best spot for jobs by Forbes.

"The city is a good place to live," Nate Greene, president and managing partner of Colliers International's Nashville office, told "People and businesses like being here."

Vacancy rates for office space are also down. At 4.7 percent, vacancies in the third quarter for first-class office space are at record lows, according to the most recent quarterly report from Cassidy Turley, a commercial real estate firm.

"The flight to quality is done in Nashville because we don't have any more space," Carrie Robinson, director of research at Cassidy Turley, told The Tennessean.

Cassidy Turley's report indicated Class A vacancies are down 1.2 percent from the start of the year. Class A vacancies reached as high as 12.5 percent early in the recession.

"At least in our office, we are on track to have our best year ever this year," Greene said. "Our best year so far was last year. We are lined up to do even better in 2013. This market is doing very well right now. This market is in very good shape."

Job growth not ready to slow
According to the, job growth in Nashville looks to remain robust, which strongly indicates the commercial real estate market will follow in tow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that only four major metropolitan areas in the nation are generating jobs at a faster rate than Nashville.

Cassidy Turley's third-quarter report suggested that Nashville's vacancy rates in the industrial district are fueled by the automotive sector. Industrial vacancies dropped to 7.8 percent in the third quarter of 2013.

The industrial sector has gobbled up more than 1.6 million square feet during the third quarter of 2013.

Still, despite the overall growth of the commercial real estate sector, Barry Smith, the president of commercial real estate firm Eakin Partners, remains hesitant to get too excited about the overall outlook.

"With the economy, people are still somewhat uncertain about what the future holds," Smith told The Tennessean. "There aren't a whole lot of people that want to do speculative buildings."

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