Tony Giarratana was the guest speaker at the inaugural Market Maker Spotlight Series. The invitation-only event brings together stakeholders and leaders in Nashville’s real estate and construction industry to expand relationships and learn from masters of their crafts. The series is co-sponsored by Chris Smith with AC Surety & Jeanne Harrison with Smith Currie & Handcock LLP. Stanley Black & Decker, Legends Bank, & Now CFO were also instrumental in hosting the event.
“Smith Currie is excited to co-sponsor more networking events like this dinner spotlighting Tony Giarratana’s developments for Nashville’s construction industry. Especially, as we are launching the opening of Smith Currie’s Nashville office next month. Nashville construction is booming. We are thrilled to be here and have much to offer in the areas of construction and government contracts law.” Jeanne Harrison, Smith Currie & Hancock LLP.
“A highlight during Tony’s presentation was learning about his passion for developing affordable housing and especially housing for veterans in partnership with Operation Stand Down Tennessee. ” Chris Smith, Senior Surety Broker, Anderson & Catania Surety Services.
In a cozy private dining room at Eddie V’s on Broadway, local real estate development professionals gathered in anticipation for the man of the hour. The event started with an initial networking session, dinner /presentation, and followed by Q& A.
After the initial networking session, attendees prepared for dinner and the presentation by Tony Giarratana. Mr. Giarratana kicked off the event saying that during the Q&A that nothing is off the table. During the presentation he talked about his start in Nashville and the challenges of being an outsider. However, he had an opportunity with a Mayor who wanted residential in the downtown core and he capitalized on the opportunity.
Through his stories, which started in the 70’s and led up to today, there was a recurring theme. Pushing the envelope and the “crazy ideas” are where the opportunities presented themselves. As Mr. Giarratana went into the presentation of his Trio of Towers, that theme was prevalent. This was important given that the early development phases occurred during the pandemic when others were slowing and stopping. He noted that those market conditions led to the exceptional design of the towers and that the land transaction costs were once in a lifetime.
The first tower to be completed will be the 34-story “Alcove” which will be followed by its sister tower the 38-Story “Prime”. The sites were not ideal for the scale of projects people were used to seeing in Nashville. However, through his vision he was able to usher in a new phase of tall buildings.
The third tower at 1010 Church Street is a development venture with the YMCA. In the end the YMCA will own and control the entire building. During the RFP process, Mr. Giarratana’s Team focused on the YMCA as a prototype for the future of its fitness centers. There was also an emphasis on isolating utilities between the 60-story tower and the new facility for future maintenance. Additionally, Mr. Giarratana worked for 7 years with the FAA to allow for a 750-foot building so that Nashville could have a proper skyscraper.
During the Q&A there were questions of the East Bank & the future of tall buildings. The response was positive for both, noting that the plans for the East bank are going to be exciting. There were also discussions on affordable housing and how developers have to find land owners who also want to do the right thing and exploring other government solutions. He pointed out his development on Pearl Street with affordable rents as well his work with Operation Stand Down. It was also noted that the amount of bureaucracy surrounding affordable housing legislation makes it unattractive to a lot of developers.
Here’s my takeaway from this event. As an outsider looking to do business here, you can’t allow anyone to sideline you. If you want an opportunity, it will be an exercise in patience. Nashville is a melting pot of political & religious beliefs and you are more than likely to network with someone who doesn’t share yours. That’s why it’s important to foster relationships with folks who share your values (not necessarily your beliefs), who are smarter than you, have a passion that aligns with yours, and that are mutually beneficial. If you have a service, brand, product, or simply an entrepreneurial spirit, Nashville is the place to be.
For information on future events Market Maker Events contact:
Chris Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeanne Harrison at email@example.com
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