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A Roundup of Construction and CRE News (April 2019)

April 3, 2019 Chloe Coley

As a public relations professional, it’s important to stay on top of the local and national news every day – especially if that news relates to your clients’ industries.

This can be advantageous for several reasons:

  • You’re able to pitch your clients as expert commentators on popular news stories.
  • It tells you what’s already been talked about, so you don’t waste your time or the reporter’s time pitching a story that has already been covered.
  • It allows you to better understand your clients’ companies and industries.

Here at the Bradford Group, we value daily news monitoring to inspire story ideas and refine our knowledge. Here are a few of the recent stories we’ve found notable in the commercial real estate and construction industries:




Amazon announces HQ2

Okay, you knew I couldn’t write a blog about Nashville’s CRE scene without mentioning Amazon. The world’s third most valuable company will hire 5,000 people who will occupy the company’s headquarters at Nashville Yards when the project is finished in 2021 or 2022. To assist with the 16-acre, $1 billion development, Nashville has offered $15 million in incentives, and Tennessee has committed $86.7 million in cash and tax grants.

The effect: 5,000 new jobs and up to 5,000 newcomers looking for housing to buy/rent. What do you think – can Music City handle the influx?

Nashville real estate will remain strong through 2019

Even though Nashville is bordering on “overbuilt,” and the real estate and construction industries seemed to have begun their slow down, the announcement of Amazon re-spiked the industries’ optimism, according to Wood Caldwell, principal at Southeast Venture – a Bradford Group client. Turner Construction Co., another Bradford Group client, predicts a 6-8 percent price increase across eight types of subcontractors this year, and sees the construction industry remaining strong throughout the year.

The effect: Nashville’s fringe areas, like Donelson and Charlotte Park, will begin to see significant growth. Get the full story including 2019 predictions in the Nashville Business Journal.




The affordable housing crisis

“Affordable” means a household doesn’t spend more than 30 percent of its monthly income on housing, but since 1960, median earnings have gone up only 5 percent while rent has increased an astounding 61 percent, according to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. The studies reveal that homeowners earn 50 percent more now than they did in 1960, but home prices have spiked 112 percent.

The Tennessean reported on the crisis in Nashville, stating that Nashville’s average monthly rent went from $897 in 2011 to $1,397 in 2017, a 56 percent increase, while the average household income only rose 8 percent during the same time.

The effect: Construction labor and material costs are rising, and there are fewer plots for sale in major cities, causing the increase in home prices, but Americans aren’t able to purchase these homes, putting real estate, construction and consumers at a loss.

Remote working shifts office dynamic

In this Area Development piece, Wood Caldwell mentioned that 85 percent of American companies offer flexible working to employees, and 52 percent of employees work remotely at least once a week. This trend has led to a unique new industry: coworking office space.

In 2007 there were only 14 coworking spaces available nationwide, but now there are more than 4,500 places to choose from. Of these, the rapidly growing office space provider WeWork operates 562. The company added 200 locations in 2018 alone, is present in 99 cities and 26 countries and is the largest private occupier of office space in London, Manhattan and Washington, D.C.  

The effect: Less people are present in the office on a daily basis, which has shifted the typical office space from large individual offices to smaller workspaces, fewer parking spots and, most notably, short-term rentals of office and coworking spaces.

What do you think is the most interesting of these stories? Comment with your thoughts!

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