New Nashville high rise to change market

Nashville's office market is growing.

A new office tower at the old Nashville Convention Center site is in the works, and while it still has to pass some bureaucratic hurdles, commercial real estate experts told the Nashville Business Journal that they're optimistic about the project's future.

The 28-story high rise would have up to 1.2 million square feet of space, which would alter the city's commercial market. The site has been sought after from various developers whose plans have fallen through, but one expert told the Business Journal that an office tower downtown – near some of the city's most well-known attractions – would attract various businesses.

"More and more, we're finding that corporate America wants urban sites to help them attract the worker of the future," said real estate broker Crews Johnston.

The $230 million project is a collaboration between developer Pat Emery and local commercial real estate brokerage Cushman & Wakefield | Cornerstone Commercial Real Estate Services. That cost would include demolition of the former Nashville Convention Center and construction of the new tower, which would be comprised of office space, entertainment features and a parking garage.

Representatives from each company reportedly recently met with the House of Blues, which has expressed interest in relocating downtown, to potentially occupy the lower part of the building. That would be a boon to the city's already bustling entertainment industry, which is known for its music, stalwarts like the Ryman Auditorium, and old-timey country music tours.

Nashville's commercial market has been growing recently, boosted by projected job growth and an unemployment rate that is less than the national average, according to a Colliers International report. There are nearly 700,000 square feet of office space under construction in Music City, leading to a negative absorption rate of 42,325 square feet.

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