Southeast Venture, LLC’s history echoes and mirrors Crain’s history in several ways. These similarities are also what make them excellent partners. Both companies are Nashville institutions. Southeast Venture started in 1981, while Crain established operations in 1933. When Southeast Venture launched, Crain Construction’s Charles Gill worked with J.E. Crain to fund, plan, and build several iconic projects in Nashville.
Southeast Venture is a full-service real estate firm in Middle Tennessee, handling brokerage, property management, and development services. The firm also has an architectural group within the company, giving them a unique perspective and skill set to build and design projects.
Principal Cam Sorenson of Southeast Venture says since the two companies have worked together for over 40 years, they’ve established a streamlined, efficient way of operating in tandem that has served them both well.
“Our history with Crain, as I’ve mentioned, goes back 40-plus years. I think back to Charles Gill, a fixture with J.E. Crain. If he got an architect’s drawings and saw a detail he didn’t think was proper, he would draw it out himself and send it back to the architect.”
Along with long histories in Nashville, both Crain and Southeast also share values that inform the way they work with each other and with their clients.
“We place a really high emphasis on our relationships with contractors, vendors, and investors, and our mantra is building value by building relationships. We put our client and partner interests first and foremost, and we believe we will be taken care of as a result. Crain thinks about their relationship and their approach to their clients and the projects they’re engaged with in a similar way. Like us, they’re a relationship-based company.”
With an integrated process and a similar approach to doing business, it’s no wonder the two have successfully worked together for so many years. Their collaboration has led to a number of projects, including Southeast Venture’s own headquarters in the Armory Oaks area. Sorenson was enthusiastic about that special build.
“It was a great project. Our architectural group designed it. I was the lead from the development side and oversaw the concept. There are a lot of beautiful buildings in Nashville, but this one is a great calling card for us. Everyone who comes here is taken with the architecture, the organization of the space, and the aesthetic attractiveness as a workplace. We went out of our way to create amenities like gathering areas, and an outdoor putting green. We wanted places for us to continue to build our culture through the physical building. The building embodies what we try to be as a company.”
On all of their projects with Southeast Venture, Crain brings expertise, vision, and intention to each build, and Sorenson thinks that approach was evident in their work on the headquarters together.
“They executed the project very very well. I think they understood what we were trying to create. This wasn’t just another job for Crain. They understood what our goals were and committed to seeing them executed well. There are companies that are more transactional, but it’s important to Crain that relationships are sustained over several decades, like the relationships they have with us.”