A young distributor of parts and accessories for utility task vehicles — think small Forest Ranger-type carts — has set up shop in Franklin to service buyers across the Southeast. Industry veteran Nick Zierden bought Innovative Off-Road, which was launched in 2011, early this year and sees a big opportunity.
“You can reach out to 80 percent of the retail population in the U.S. in one day by truck transport,” Zierden said. “Also, a significant proportion of UTVs retailed in the U.S. are in the Southeastern region. Add to this a large number of the highest volume ATV and UTV retailers are in the Southeast, and you have a tri-level rationale for establishing the business here. As I like to tell my dealers, ‘Why wouldn’t you?’”
The latest research from Cassidy Turley shows a first-quarter 2012 Nashville-area industrial properties vacancy rate of 9.7 percent, the first time that mark had dipped below 10 percent since 2009.
The number is one of many encouraging statistics Cassidy Turley's research reports reveal. For example, the area’s vacancy rate for office space for the quarter was 10.3 percent. This compares to a roughly 12 percent mark for the same quarter of 2011 and an approximately 14.5 percent figure for early 2010. The airport area, West End, Brentwood and the Central Business District all posted nice occupancy gains during the quarter.
In terms of specific projects reflecting rising optimism, Cassidy Turley pointed to online retail behemoth Amazon.com starting on-site work on both of its fulfillment centers in Rutherford and Wilson counties. The approximately 1 million-square-foot center in Lebanon represents an estimated $50 million investment and will provide 390 full-time jobs. A 1.3 million-square-foot Murfreesboro facility will employ more than 1,100 workers.
On the industrial space theme, the report predicts tenant concessions “will likely decline” as the market tightens.
Joey Garrison updates us on the potential redevelopment of the PSC Metals site on the east bank of the Cumberland River, which appears to be growing into a priority for Mayor Karl Dean's administration. But that doesn't mean things are moving forward at the prime property, which has long been an eyesore and a profit source for its owner.
Those involved in relocation talks over the years — The City Paper spoke to more than a dozen for this story — say a number of potential relocation sites have been identified in recent years. One of these is north of downtown, along the Cumberland at Cowan Street in East Nashville. Property owners there, however, have expressed interest in developing their land, not selling it to a metals processing plant.
Local builder Crain Construction has won a national Eagle Award from the Associated Builders & Contractors for its work on the $34 million expansion of nonwoven fabrics manufacturer Fiberweb's Old Hickory campus. The award was given by a panel of industry experts from trade associations and publications.
For this eight-month design-build project, Crain married pre-engineered and traditional structural steel buildings to create a 52,750-square-foot equipment platform and research and development center that includes manufacturing for small or short production runs. In addition to the construction of the new facility, Crain constructed process services including steam, compressed air, nitrogen, filtered water and chilled water to serve the facility.
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