Unico Snags nashville tower

The private equity real estate investor makes a commitment to Nashville with long-term plans to expand their portfolio
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (September 19, 2018) — Unico Properties LLC, a subsidiary of Unico Investment Group LLC, a real estate investment and operating company, announced that it has purchased One Nashville Place, a Class A high-rise in Nashville’s central business district (CBD). The acquisition, which encompasses the 418,824 square foot, 24-story One Nashville Place office building, and an adjoining 6-story parking garage, marks Unico’s first investment in the Music City.

Unico Properties, a private equity real estate investment firm, recently acquired the iconic One Nashville Place in Nashville, Tennessee. Photograph: One Nashville Place towering above Nashville’s central business district.
Unico, a private equity real estate investment firm, recently acquired the iconic One Nashville Place in Nashville, Tennessee. In the above photograph, One Nashville Place towering above Nashville’s central business district.
Prominently situated between Nashville’s traditional CBD and trendy SoBro neighborhood, the One Nashville Place building sits one block north of Broadway and its legendary strip, across the street from the renowned Ryman Auditorium, proximate to the exciting new hotel projects along 4th Avenue, and adjacent to Printer’s Alley, the historic center of Nashville’s nightlife.

“One Nashville Place is positioned at the nexus of everything we find exciting about this vibrant city,” said Unico Vice President and Regional Director Andrew Cox, noting the building’s location at the intersection of Nashville’s commercial corridor and the city’s cultural and entertainment district. “It’s the perfect place for Unico to anchor our presence in Nashville.”

Founded in 1953, Unico is a commercial real estate owner, operator and developer of a more than $3 billion portfolio comprising 16 million square feet of primarily office and multifamily properties in dynamic markets throughout the United States, including Seattle, Portland, Denver, Boulder, Austin and Salt Lake City. Unico employs more than 200 professionals between its Seattle-based headquarters and the cities the real estate firm is invested in, which is notable in context with the breadth of its in-house operating platform. The company levers integrated development, sustainability and solar energy services to create innovative, people-focused experiences, strategies and solutions for its own portfolio and select third-party clients. This range was demonstrated on Unico’s most recent project: The Circa Building, a mixed-use development in Denver’s historic Platte neighborhood, which featured construction management by Costigan Integrated, Unico’s development services brand; solar energy provided by Unico Solar Investors; and, through the efforts of Unico Sustainability, was certified LEED Platinum®. The project made headlines when cloud-based software company Xero announced it would relocate its San Francisco headquarters to the building upon its completion.

Unico specializes in strategically investing in emerging markets, and in Nashville, we recognize many of the same trends we’ve seen in other cities that have made the leap from tertiary to secondary markets.

“Nashville’s business-friendly environment and proactive approach to job creation have led to a multi-decade corporate relocation winning streak most recently punctuated by the AllianceBernstein relocation to Nashville from New York,” said Cox. “While the business-friendly environment appeals to the bottom line-focused companies, the culture, vibrancy and energy speak to the heart and soul of the workforce. This is a potent combination that will propel Nashville for years, if not decades, to come.”

“Unico specializes in strategically investing in promising markets, and in Nashville, we recognize many of the same trends we’ve seen in other cities that have outperformed across cycles,” said Unico Properties Chief Investment Officer Ned Carner, citing the real estate firm’s investment activity in Seattle, Portland, Denver and Austin over the last two decades. “Metrics like Nashville’s strong population and employment growth, its relatively low corporate tax rate, and the percentage of local college graduates who have stayed in the metro area are all indications of an urban environment that attracts workforce and companies alike. With these growth factors and the city’s one-of-a-kind cultural appeal, Nashville is in the early stages of becoming a target market for institutional real estate investment.”

Carner underscored Unico’s long-term intentions in Nashville, noting that the firm might consider a city’s potential for years before making an investment in it.

“We don’t invest in cities we wouldn’t want to work and live in,” said Carner. “Our model for ownership is to become deeply involved in our markets by building relationships and grouping assets to create a local platform, so we will be actively growing with this dynamic city in the years to come.”

While Unico intends to remain an active investor and operator in Nashville, the real estate investment firm has no current arrangements for additional acquisitions. The company does have plans for capital investments at One Nashville Place, however.

“Evolving markets come with evolving tenant demands,” said Cox. “We try to apply what we’ve learned from our successes in other growth markets and will bring first-rate amenity packages and tenant experiences to bare.”

Cushman & Wakefield brokered the acquisition, and will also be managing the property and leasing alongside Unico’s in-house team. Stewart Calhoun, Samir Idris, Crews Johnston, David Meline, and Andy Johns were the listing brokers. Michael Ryan and Brian Linnihan of Cushman & Wakefield represented Unico. Stewart Lyman, Robby Davis and Rob Lowe of Cushman & Wakefield are handling leasing for One Nashville Place.