9 of Our Most Memorable Projects from the Past 90 Years

An aerial view of the Aertson and surrounding buildings on the west side of downtown Nashville.

2023 marks our 90th year as a construction company in Nashville. To honor the occasion, and the hundreds of men and women who played a role in helping our company achieve such a milestone, we wanted to highlight a few of our most memorable projects. 

As we look back —and recall the thousands of projects we’ve completed—it was hard to narrow down our list. We selected a few projects that immediately came to mind when we asked our team to highlight their favorite memories and noteworthy achievements. Here are the top nine Crain Construction projects in Nashville that we’ve completed over the years:

1. The Aertson

In many ways, The Aerston project represents everything we love about construction: setting a project up for success through pre-construction, building strong relationships with stakeholders, identifying creative solutions to urban development challenges, partnering with city officials to mitigate the impact of construction, and completing a landmark in a neighborhood we love. Our local knowledge and experience were important benefits for the project owner and designer – both of which were based out of state. 

From the start of the project, our team continually implemented a variety of creative solutions to minimize construction inconvenience to neighbors and keep the project progressing. We had teams quietly working through the night to pour nearly 30,000 cubic yards of concrete for the building’s highly complicated structural components. After months of labor, we completed the 800,000 sq ft. project and were recognized with an Excellence in Construction Award from ABC Tennessee. 

2. The Mall at Green Hills Renovation

Originally constructed in 1955, The Mall at Green Hills was built as two strip-center buildings with a street down the center. We had the opportunity to come alongside a redeveloper in the 1980s to construct the building you see today. After several design iterations, the alley running between the two buildings became the public area of the mall. Our team worked closely with the architect to overcome several unique obstacles in order to make the vision of Nashville’s premier shopping facility a reality. 

3. The Gateway at Armory Oaks  

While we always enjoy building something from the ground up, we’ve had the opportunity to lead a variety of renovation and adaptive reuse projects over the years. The Gateway at Armory Oaks is one we’re proud to highlight as our first mixed-use project. In 2005, we had the opportunity to partner with H.G. Hill Realty to renovate a retail warehouse building we originally built on Armory Drive. Partnering with Southeast Venture, we converted more than 85,000 square feet of mixed-use space into a multi-unit development featuring a 7,500-square-foot central courtyard. As one of our first mixed-use projects in Nashville, we proudly say it is still home to the original tenants: Nashville School of Law and CenWood Appliances.

4. Old Dominion Service Center in Morristown

Old Dominion Freight Line’s service center in Morristown is a hub for the company’s midsouth network and one of the largest service centers in the region. More than anything, what made this project memorable was its sheer size. It’s not very often you get to work on a 350,000+ square-foot facility with nearly 250 dock doors. It was an honor to work with leaders at Old Dominion for this strategic project in East Tennessee. 

5. Christian Manor Senior Living Facility in Hendersonville 

Much like our current senior living project, The Crestmoor in Green Hills, building a structurally sound and hospitable space for older generations is especially meaningful. The Christian Manor in Hendersonville was our first experience constructing a senior living facility. 

6. Hampton Inn on 4th Avenue 

Downtown Nashville has experienced tremendous growth in the last decade. As a local company, we’ve had the honor of leading several downtown projects—including The Hampton Inn on 4th Avenue. It’s hard to believe it now, but the project was one of SoBro’s first buildings of significant size as the district was emerging in the early 2000s. We were honored to work with MR Hotels LLC on the project. It became the first of several downtown hotel projects our team has completed over the years. 

7. Verizon Wireless Switch Facility in Birmingham, AL

The Verizon Wireless switch facility in Birmingham, AL makes the list of our most memorable projects. A switch center is the control center for all local cell towers, and it’s a facility where each call, text, and piece of data is processed. Not only is it the first ground-up facility we’ve constructed for Verizon, but it also required installing and supporting hundreds of telecommunication systems, generators, and wiring, and it offered an incredible learning experience for our team.

8. Feintool Addition and repeat projects

While not as visible as hospitality buildings or adaptive reuse developments, industrial projects offer a specific set of challenges and experiences that our team enjoys. In 2007, we had the opportunity to partner with Feintool, an international forming and fine blanking company, for a 35,000-square-foot addition to their facility in Antioch, TN. While we worked on the addition, the plant needed to maintain a 24/7 operation. We designed our approach so construction work wouldn’t disrupt the internal or external flow of the business. 

The project was the first of several we’ve completed for this long-term, repeat client. On each project, we work carefully with the Feintool team to phase our construction plan and minimize disruption to their workflow. 

9. Fairlane Hotel

It’s not every day that you get to convert a former bank into an 81-room boutique hotel. That’s one big reason that the Fairlane Hotel was an adaptive reuse project that we’re proud of. 

Extensive pre-planning and engineering were required to develop a safe and executable demolition plan. Our team worked closely with Metro Public Works to accommodate this busy urban area’s heavy vehicular and foot traffic. We also worked to remove all the old mechanical equipment by cutting everything into pieces that could be carried by hand. With the demo out of the way, our team did an incredible job transforming the hotel into a retro-modern destination by preserving and enhancing the original terrazzo flooring, brass details, and wood paneling that gave the building its charm. 


Experience, Innovation, and a Commitment to Doing the Right Thing

We’ve enjoyed remembering our history and highlights of the past few months on social media and company celebrations. We’re also incredibly excited about what the next decade has in store. 

If you’re interested in learning more about our approach or how we can help with your next project, we’d love to talk.

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