November 29, 2016

Nashville Business Journal
by Adam Sichko

One of the few new office buildings in Cool Springs has landed its first tenants, including the international headquarters for a fast-growing company.

The two companies announced Tuesday that they’re locating in the commercial hub within the seat of affluent Williamson County, which is the fastest-growing county in Tennessee and adding jobs quicker than any county in the nation. Businesses are managing that growth despite having to scrounge for room to grow, with available office space stuck at an all-time low for the county. All but 1 percent of all office space is taken, according to stats compiled by various real estate brokerage firms.

Seeing such growth and so little free space, Charlotte-based developer Crescent Communities has spent more than $30 million creating a five-story, 155,000-square-foot office building that will open next month. The transportation engineering company Volkert Global and health IT company Holland Square Group are the first to sign leases. They’re taking a combined 9 percent of the building, which is located near another site where Crescent Communities is planning an even larger mixed-use development.

Mobile, Ala.-based Volkert Inc., which has doubled in size during the past five years, announced earlier this year that its new international division would be based in Middle Tennessee. The company already had 25 employees in Nashville at the time, and CEO Jerry Stump said he anticipated doubling that headcount within three to five years. Volkert Global had opened a temporary outpost elsewhere in Franklin.

“If we’re going to be a global company, when we travel abroad, [the question was], ‘Where can that headquarters be that people recognize?’ People internationally know Nashville,” Stump told the Nashville Business Journal in a May interview.

“We’re a vibrant and growing company. We wanted a location that matched that,” Stump said. He said the search included competing cities such as Austin, Atlanta, Orlando, Raleigh and New York City.

According to a news release, Holland Square Group has an existing office in Franklin and will occupy 5,700 square feet within Crescent’s new building, which is named Two Greenway Centre.

Crescent is seeking rent of about $30 or more per square foot, reflecting the higher cost of construction these days and also the high demand for Cool Springs office space. Crescent has retained Foundry Commercial to broker leases.