What Every Commercial Developer Should Know About Building in Nashville

The BNA Hilton under construction in Nashville, Tennessee

Crain Construction is a local commercial construction firm with 90 years of history. Because of that history, we’re not surprised that Nashville has become one of the most popular cities in the country for commercial development. Nashville is a great place to be, and this has resulted in tremendous growth. Our city’s diverse economy, low taxes, and business-friendly environment are attracting companies across various industries, including technology, hospitality, healthcare, manufacturing, and finance. Our strong real estate market has created a favorable environment for a record-breaking number of new commercial construction projects. 

But the new growth also presents some challenges when it comes to building in Nashville. The city’s rapid growth has created ripple effects across the commercial construction industry. That’s why every commercial developer should recognize the importance of starting early and understand the value of local experience. 


What Every Commercial Developer Should Know About Building in Nashville

Here are a few best practices we encourage project owners to consider when developing new properties in Nashville: 

1. Understand local regulations, codes, and permitting processes to avoid delays.

Commercial developers need to comply with Nashville’s zoning regulations that specify how the land can be used and what type of structures can be built in different areas of the city. It’s also important to be aware of any zoning changes that may occur during the permitting process. 

Because of the city’s rapid growth, the demand on the Department of Codes and Building Safety has increased dramatically. This is one of the biggest trends shaping commercial construction in Nashville. The requirements of the various departments can make the permitting process seem extraordinarily challenging at best. At worst, it can feel “anti-growth” to a developer with no experience in Nashville.  

2. Find a local construction firm with knowledge and experience. 

A local design team and contractor know all of the factors that impact a project—from potential environmental and seasonal challenges to how the current trade partner market might impact a project’s budget and timeline. Having a design team with local experience and engaging a local contractor during the earliest stages of development is extremely important. 

Over the years, our pre-construction team has played a critical role in building a solid foundation for projects. For example, during the Aerston project in Midtown, our team worked closely with out-of-state designers and owners to navigate a variety of urban development challenges before construction ever began.

3. Collaboration between owners, designers, and contractors is key to maximizing project success.  

Navigating new growth requires creativity, communication, and collaboration. This includes the owner, designers, and contractor working together and communicating effectively throughout the project. A commitment to collaboration can ease the permitting process and assure the most efficient path to building in Nashville. 

Collaboration is one of the timeless commercial construction principles for our team at Crain. Over the years, we’ve found that a shared commitment between owners, designers, and contractors reduces obstacles and helps identify ways to create more value during commercial development projects

4. Recognize how your project will impact the local community. 

Developers should be mindful of the impact their project will have on the local community. This includes things like noise, aesthetics, and potential changes to the character of the area. At the same time, it’s important to consider how your project will impact transportation in the area. This includes things like traffic flow, public transportation, and parking. 

For example, during our renovation of the Fairlane Hotel downtown, we were able to use relationships with Metro Public Works to design a traffic flow pattern that accommodated the heavy vehicular and foot traffic in the busy urban area. Without proactive planning, the project could have been delayed for weeks and impacted the developer’s reputation with local businesses in the area. 


Crain Construction Knows Nashville

These are just a few of the best practices that developers should know when planning a new commercial construction project in Nashville. As a Nashville-based commercial construction firm, we believe our reputation and the way we do business are the reasons we’re considered one of the best commercial contractors in Nashville

Tell us more about your project. Together, we can determine the next steps to help move your building from idea to reality.


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