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Upside for 100 Oaks office project as high as the oak ceiling, developer says

daytime outside viewYou’ll recognize one of the latest urban redevelopment projects in Nashville by looking up.

A 33-foot-high arched oak ceiling is the distinctive feature of the warehouse at 2934 Sidco Dr. A Nashville-based group of investors and developers plan to convert it into about 40,000 square feet of office and retail space. The project provides just the latest sign of the growing number of real estate investors, developers and business owners perceiving upside in Berry Hill/100 Oaks.

The change going on in the area exemplifies the type of re-imagining of many places within Nashville, a reminder of the extent of the city’s ongoing real estate boom. The 100 Oaks area used to be dominated by industrial uses, but it’s seen a lot more office development in recent years, especially following Vanderbilt’s move to revitalize a former shopping mall into a massive medical complex. Growth from 12th Avenue South and Eighth Avenue South is spilling this direction. The area’s easy interstate access and location between downtown and Brentwood is taking on new relevance for companies wanting to be closer to the urban core but not keen on paying top-end rent to do it.

“This is the kind of vibe and look that everyone wants. New construction can’t replicate this,” said SVN Jr., during a walk-through of the building. Creed is a senior adviser with the real estate firm SVN, formerly known as SVN. Creed and fellow SVN senior adviser SVN are leading the investor group under contract to buy and redevelop the building.

The project, though it has no defined budget just yet, marks the latest notable investment in this area. One year ago, Nashville’s Priam Ventures paid $11.5 million for two nearby office buildings. Fast-growing C/3 Consulting, founded by Beth Chase, is expanding into an office building across the street. The restaurant Wholly Chow opened next door to 2934 Sidco Drive in 2014, and SVN was involved in the Black Abbey Brewing project next door to that. Oman-Gibson Associates this year bought a former bowling alley around the corner and plans to turn it into medical office space.

“A lot of it is about the location. I feel like it’s the center of the region,” Creed said.

Creed said he’s eyed this building for four years and has persuaded its owner, longtime Nashville real estate investor Steve Horrell, to finally sell it. Creed declined to disclose the contracted purchase price.

Creed said he expects the renovated building to open in the first quarter of next year. It’s 50,000 square feet, though Creed said he expects to take about 9,000 square feet so he can offer some indoor parking for tenants. That leaves about 40,000 square feet or so that he’ll offer for office and retail users.

Creed said he anticipates seeking office rent in the low- to mid-$20s per square foot. Currently, the building is home to Mayer Electric Supply, which will be relocating.

That curved oak-wood ceiling is prompting Creed and Snipes to dub their project the “Oak Barrel Building.” The investor group Creed and Snipes are leading has retained Nashville’s Pfeffer Torode Architecture for the project.

“This is the kind of stuff we really like doing,” Creed said.

In many ways (including the architect), this project is similar to the turnaround Creed, Snipes and fellow investors have achieved at 600 Ninth Ave. S. About 85 percent of the 15,000-square-foot building was empty when that investor group went under contract to buy it for $3 million. Today, Creed said 2,885 square feet is all that’s available, which means 80 percent of the building is leased.