'This space was exactly what we had been looking for'

ForceX president discusses looming move to The Sheds on Charlotte

ForceX officials announced last week the Clarksville-based company plans to invest $1.8 million and create 175 jobs at a new headquarters location at The Sheds on Charlotte development that will soon open in Midtown.

Founded in 2004 and having grown from three employees to more than 120, ForceX specializes in military intelligence, mapping, surveillance and reconnaissance software development and geospatial application technology programs.

Of note, the state is finalizing incentives for the ForceX move and will announce them soon.

The ForceX announcement (read about here) comes after local health care technology company InVivoLink said in April it has leased space in The Sheds on Charlotte — becoming the mixed-use complex’s first tenant in the process (read here about InVivoLink and about the project in general here).

Post Managing Editor William Williams caught up with Tracy Guarino, president and CEO of ForceX, to gauge her take on the move.

Why The Sheds on Charlotte?

Jason Moore, a colleague and the CEO of Stratasan, was aware we were in the market for a large office space in Nashville.  He recommended that we look into The Sheds on Charlotte, a new project by Holladay Construction Group that also created Stratasan’s current space.

We toured other spaces developed by Holladay, including the Sawtooth Building, and were very impressed with their ability to transform historical industrial spaces into unique and collaborative working environments. The Sheds on Charlotte also met our challenge of finding a large enough area to house our current and expanding team under one roof (actually two sheds) while still being near downtown Nashville. We knew we would be working with a group that was aligned with our desire to create a distinct space, in a great location close to downtown Nashville, with a historic property as the foundation and inspiration.

How many other places did you consider or at least look at?

Two years ago we began looking in the greater Nashville area for a location to open an office and test the market for expansion. During this search, we looked at many spaces and became pretty familiar with the commercial real estate market. When The Sheds on Charlotte opportunity presented itself, it did not take long to realize this space was exactly what we had been looking for. So we quickly began the space-planning process to make sure it was a fit for our future expansion.

What are your long-term growth plans?

We plan to create approximately 175 new positions over the next three to five years with expansion into our current government markets and new commercial opportunities.

What is the future of your Clarksville office?

We are grateful to the city of Clarksville, the community, local vendors and our amazing Clarksville-based teammates who have supported and facilitated our growth over the last 10 years. We have not decided what role Clarksville will play in our overall strategy. Our leadership team is still evaluating options and carefully considering how the transition will work best for our employees and customers. 

Will many of your employees be moving to Nashville or do many already live in the area?

Approximately 40 percent to 50 percent of our team is already located in the greater Nashville area. The official announcement was made last week so it is difficult to determine how many will be moving at this time. But I suspect some folks will be relocating and others will be commuting.