Five Below, which sells clothing, beauty products and accessories to teens and pre-teens, is preparing to open the doors to its first three locations in Middle Tennessee. The new stores are located at the Nashville West Shopping Center on Charlotte Pike, the Cool Springs Pointe development just north of CoolSprings Galleria and the Towne Center in Murfreesboro. Two more stores are on the way, officials say.
Cool Springs-based financial services and investment firm HawsGoodwin Financial announced today it has added an employee benefits division and has tapped Tom Weatherman to oversee it.
A 35-year insurance industry professional with long-standing ties to Middle Tennessee insurance providers and agencies, Weatherman will oversee the implementation of the new division’s infrastructure and program offerings, which include group medical, life, and dental; disability and vision; flexible and health savings accounts; wellness programs; and individual medical and life insurance.
Prior to joining HawsGoodwin, Weatherman (pictured) served as employee benefits manager for international insurance brokerage Integro. Before that, he was vice president, sales manager and producer at Brentwood-based Gale Smith and Co. He also has held sales and management positions with Aetna, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and Cigna.
Weatherman received his B.S. degree from Lipscomb University.
“Tom is an extremely well-respected professional in Middle Tennessee, and his vast knowledge of the insurance industry will be beneficial to our firm and more importantly to our existing and future clients,” Art Haws, HawsGoodwin CEO, said in a release. “We view this as an important step in the firm’s growth and we are excited about the potential opportunities on the horizon.”
Two more food options are coming to Cool Springs in the shape of Indian eatery Bawarchi Biryani Point and Jamba Juice.
The Bawarchi location will be the first in Tennessee for a Texas-based company with national aspirations. The concept aims to bring fast-food Indian appetizers and rice pilafs and will have room for about 70 diners on Bakers Bridge Avenue just east of Interstate 65. Owners Kris Alapati, Kishore Tummala and Naga Pasumarthi say they want to have Bawarchi be a place “where buddies can hang out for a couple of quick beers, have some Indian appetizers, and still carry out food for the family.”
Less than three miles south, franchisee Fruitful Living will this spring open its second area store to go with its Elliston Place spot. Managing Owner Sam Whittier says heading to Franklin was "the next logical step" for his team, which has settled on space in the Spring Creek retail center adjacent to the Drury Plaza Hotel on McEwen Drive.
Kevin Walters reports that Franklin planning commissioners will vote this week on a proposal by Home2 Suites to build a six-story, 62,000-square-foot extended-stay hotel in Cool Springs. Home2 Suites' plans call for the project to include 105 rooms and a green roof and rise next to the Internal Revenue Service building on International Drive.
David Wells is vice president at Franklin-based commercial real estate company Spectrum | Emery.
Since joining Spectrum | Emery in 2005, Wells has negotiated more than 3 million square feet of new leases, expansions and renewals — with a total lease value of more than $450 million.
Wells’ current focus is Franklin Park, a major mixed-use development (retail, residential, structured parking and with an emphasis on office space) the company is undertaking in Cool Springs (read more here).
Post Managing Editor recently caught up with Wells for a brief chat.
WW: The under-construction One Franklin Park, which represents the first building in Spectrum | Emery’s mixed-use Franklin Park in Cool Springs, has been topped and you are working to get it fully leased. What can you say regarding the effort?
DW: A lot goes into the marketing and leasing of an office building like One Franklin Park. Our efforts have been underway for over a year and a half, well before we started construction. When you are marketing a building that doesn’t exist, you are promoting a vision and telling a story so your target audience can truly envision the project once completed. At the same time, you are selling your own track record of execution as a company so your audience can trust you to deliver that vision.
Sharing our vision and execution was the first phase of our marketing effort. Phase two began when we topped out the One Franklin Park building. Now prospects can see the project and start “kicking the tires” of a building that is a reality. We are now refining our target audience, focused on getting leases in place as we approach the November 2014 completion date. Everything is going according to plan, and we are positioned extremely well given the market environment.
WW: Do you have a timetable? For example, would you like to have, say, half the building leased by the time it opens?
DW: We are not as focused on a timetable as we are [instead] focused on finding the right tenants for the long-term success of One Franklin Park and the project as a whole. This approach rewards patience, which is needed for a massive forward-thinking development such as Franklin Park. We are very optimistic that the building will lease quickly and be stabilized soon after completion. We have a long list of interested companies that want to take their office space and work place experience to the next level.
WW: What type tenants from what industry sectors are you talking to?
DW: Our target tenants have always been Fortune 500 companies. Franklin Park is no different. Most of the companies we are in discussions with fall under that umbrella, with a large percentage in the financial services and health care industries. Interestingly, we also have a long list of restaurants that want to take space on the first floor to take advantage of the great location and localized pedestrian customer base that an office building of this size will generate.
WW: For leasing efforts, what is the pitch like? What are the challenges?
DW: We focus on needs-analysis selling. When we sit down with a prospective tenant, the first thing we do is listen to their key needs. We want to fully understand what is driving their decision. Once we understand the key needs of the client, we start our pitch and customize it to the specific needs of the individual company.
The biggest challenges we face are managing expectations. For example, a single-floor prospect may come into a meeting with us and tell us their most important need is building signage. Obviously we can’t offer building signage to a single-floor tenant in a 10-story building because they are only 1/10th of the building. As anyone in sales knows, the last thing you want to say to a prospect is the word “no.” Instead, we try to offer creative alternatives that they can get excited about and focus on the building’s competitive strengths that the prospect may not have considered.
WW: You helped Spectrum | Emery to reinvigorate the various buildings in Corporate Centres in Cool Springs, which are now about 98 percent leased. Thoughts?
DW: When I took over the leasing and marketing of Spectrum | Emery’s Cool Springs portfolio in 2010, the occupancy rate was just above 80 percent. And of that, 15 percent was slated to vacate or expire during the next 12 months. The portfolio was made up of eight buildings totaling 1.5 million square feet in Corporate Centre and the Carothers Building.
We came up with a strategic marketing and leasing plan with the goal of increasing occupancy to 90 percent within two years. The plan was centered on getting out in front of the 250,000 square feet of vacancy we had in the pipeline and backfilling that with no downtime. We strategically reduced effective rates to increase occupancy and rolled out our “Quarter a Quarter” campaign that effectively told the market that we would increase our rental rates by $0.25 per quarter going forward — which generated a ton of leasing activity. By creating a buzz in the market through significant leasing volume at attractive rental rates, we were able to generate momentum that carried us into the next cycle.
From third quarter 2010 to year-end 2012, we completed almost 1 million square feet of new leases, expansions and renewals — backfilling all 250,000 square feet of forthcoming vacancy with no downtime — increased our rental rates by over 20 percent in the same time period and ended 2012 with a record-high occupancy rate of 98 percent.
Spectrum | Emery officials announced today the completion of the exterior framing of the under-construction One Franklin Park in Cool Springs and that the office building will be finished by Sept. 1, 2014.
The Franklin-based development company said in a release it is targeting an Oct. 1, 2014, move-in date for tenants. In addition, Spectrum | Emery released updated renderings (see below).
“This is a great day for our project team, Franklin Park and Cool Springs,” David Wells, vice president of Spectrum | Emery, said in the release. “With One Franklin Park topped off, prospective tenants can now see why this will be the iconic building in our market with unparalleled access and visibility from I-65.”
One Franklin Park, ground for which was broken in August 2012, will represent Cool Springs’ first Class-A office building of 10 stories. The structure, to include 272,720 square feet, will be part of a 71-acre mixed-use corporate complex that will feature five Class A office towers, a 350-unit multi-family apartment community and more than 12 acres of green space.
Brentwood-based Bell and Associates is the general contractor of the project, with Duda Paine of Durham, N.C. serving as the architect.
Read more about the project here.
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