Sean BuckCity Grill

Sean Buck
Vice President
JE Dunn Construction

Citing significant recent population growth fueled in part by job growth in the technology and automotive sectors, Sean Buck, vice president with JE Dunn Construction, says “the construction market in Nashville is red hot right now.” While the health care and entertainment industries have been reliable sources of contracting in the past, multifamily residential has generated considerable activity in recent years. Also, as a result of Nashville’s currently low office vacancy rate, that construction market is similarly robust right now, Buck adds. JE Dunn recently completed Gulch Crossing, a speculative office project located in Nashville’s Gulch district. That project was one of Nashville’s first speculative office developments in several years, Buck says.

Actually, he adds, “You’d be hard pressed to find a market sector that’s not busy here right now.” That includes hospitality construction. Currently, with Nashville’s tourism business showing strong growth, hotel construction is a “huge, huge market for us.” Buck adds, “We’re seeing a lot of boutique hotel growth and a lot of overall hotel growth.” Nashville’s Music City Center convention center is anticipating increased activity as well, having announced earlier this month a $20-million expansion.

There is one major downside to the boom, Buck admits. “The subcontractor base is stretched incredibly thin,” he says.

Firm in Focus

Hastings Architecture Associates
127 3rd Ave. South, Nashville
Founding Principal: Jim Hastings
Founded: 1985
What’s New: Hastings Architecture Associates of Nashville is serving as the architect for Monroe Investment Partners’ recently announced River North mixed-use development. The Chicago-based firm is reportedly planning to start construction of a 40-acre phase being called the Landings at River North. Monroe also plans to donate 50 acres of the site to the local government for use as a riverfront greenway system. According to Dodge Data & Analytics, the mixed-use development will eventually include office space, an estimated 2,000 residential units, a music industry campus as well as retail space and restaurants. Land acquisition is currently underway, according to Dodge. The Tennessean reported that Monroe plans to sell numerous parcels to other developers. Civil Site Design Group of Nashville is the project’s civil engineer.