August 03, 2015

Conservative Management Practices Afford Wise Speculative Investments

A Strong Foothold:
DDC Journal
By Evan Chaddick
Looking to set the pace for the rest of the market, Boyle Investment Company recently broke ground on 5000 Meridian, the first speculative office building of its kind outside of Nashville, Tennessee since the recession began.
“Very few speculative office projects are being constructed around the country right now, and we looked at the analytical metrics of the market and determined that it was in Northwestern Mutual’s, who is our partner, and our best interest to go ahead and start this project,” says Jeff Haynes, Managing Partner for Boyle Investment Company.
While many developers have been hesitant to break ground on new construction without a commitment from an anchor tenant, Boyle has decided to build speculatively. In doing so, the company has earned the upper hand in a market that is not currently flooded with vacant space.
“We think Nashville is on the road to a fairly rapid recovery,” Haynes says. “To us, it really made sense to start building. If we would have waited a year, we may have dealt with incurred material price increases, interest rate increases and a number of other factors.”
This market foresight can be attributed to Boyle’s reputation as a master of developing stimulating environments that endure the test of time. Founded in 1933 in Memphis, Tennessee, the firm has found a great deal of success by providing extensive land development capabilities such as the development of office, retail, and residential properties.
“What really sets us apart is the financial conservatism with which the Boyle family has run the business for almost 80 years,” Haynes says. “We try to create quality, unique developments that we will own for the long term, and it is our goal to do that each and every day.”
Meridian Cool Springs is one of those developments. Situated on 60 acres, the mixed-use property is designed to deliver the conveniences of an urban mixed-use atmosphere to a traditionally suburban area. The development is comprised of 900,000 square feet of office space, 70,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space and two onsite hotels.
“We like creating a sense of place, and communities where people can gather,” Haynes says. “We feel that the Cool Springs development is exactly that kind of space, and it is a development that will attract a lot of attention for many years to come.”
With the groundwork already established by the Meridian Cool Springs development, Boyle has turned its attention to building 5000 Meridian, a $35 million property. It has been important for the company to achieve LEED certification on this particular building, as well.
“It was both Northwestern Mutual’s and Boyle’s goal for this project to be LEED Certified, and it has been that way since day one,” Haynes says. “Currently we are comfortably in the LEED Silver points range and are very focused on making sure that it meets that certification once completed.”
Marking the next phase of office development at Cool Springs, building 5000 Meridian as a spec building has helped attract jobs to the area, giving Williamson County the edge over Nashville’s Davidson County in the fight for jobs. When the building is complete, it is expected to command rates that are much higher than anything the Cool Springs submarket has seen.
To help move forward with the project’s construction, Boyle brought Mid-American Construction Company onboard.
“Mid American is a wholly owned subsidiary investment company that has constructed all of our office projects for many, many years, both in Memphis and here in Nashville,” Haynes says. “We have a great deal of confidence in the work that they do, and they were the obvious candidate for the project at Cool Springs.”
While challenges have been at a minimum, Haynes says that the biggest hurdle has been working with a very tight construction site.
“Meridian has seven other buildings surrounding the one that is currently under construction,” he says. “Construction, discipline, and specific practices for delivery were of the utmost importance from day one so that we interrupted the project’s schedule, and daily life at Meridian, as little as possible.”
Boyle has been and continues to be a major player in the southeastern real estate market due to its wise planning and conservative management philosophy. This approach has provided the company the ability to create opportunities like Cool Springs, regardless of market conditions.
“We are only in two markets, Memphis and Nashville, and are very focused on creating a sense of family work environment,” Haynes says. “We are made up of people who have worked here for 35-40 years, often times their entire careers, so it is a different kind of work environment. It’s one that we are very proud of and one that we attribute a great deal of our success to.”
Boyle Investment Company’s conservative approach has given it a strong foothold in its marketplace, allowing its team to handle and provide premier locations, innovative design and long-range planning ahead of the competition.