Highwoods Properties to Develop $232M Headquarters for Bridgestone Americas

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (BSAM) is relocating its corporate headquarters to a new $232 million, 514,000-square-foot build-to-suit high-rise in Nashville’s downtown core. The move comes as a result of BSAM having outgrown its current headquarters and the company’s desire to consolidate several operations into one central location. As a result, downtown [...]

Bridgestone America’s future Nashville CBD headquarters

Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (BSAM) is relocating its corporate headquarters to a new $232 million, 514,000-square-foot build-to-suit high-rise in Nashville’s downtown core. The move comes as a result of BSAM having outgrown its current headquarters and the company’s desire to consolidate several operations into one central location. As a result, downtown Nashville will gain 1,700 jobs—1,100 positions will be relocated from BSAM’s current headquarters near Nashville International Airport, while 600 positions will be transposed from three out-of-state BSAM facilities.

BSAM has selected Raleigh, NC-headquartered Highwoods Properties to develop the 30-story Class A office tower in Nashville’s SoBro district, one of the city’s BBDs. Bridgestone Americas will be the property’s sole office tenant, pre-leasing all 506,000 square feet of office space. The remaining 8,000 square feet represents speculative retail space. The trophy high-rise will also include 1,150 parking spaces, 36 percent of which will be underground. Bridgestone’s future HQ will be designed by Perkins+Will.

The signature tower will be built on a one acre site bounded by 4th Avenue, Demonbreun Street, Almond Street and Molloy Street. Highwoods assembled the project site recently, buying up land previously owned by Nashville developer Tony Giarratana through Giarratana Development and Premier Parking. Currently used as a surface parking lot, Giarratana had planned to develop an office tower dubbed Sheet Music on the site. According to the Nashville Business Journal, Highwoods spent $8.54 million in late October to purchase the site.

Development is expected to kick off in late 2014 with completion expected for the third quarter of 2017, just before BSAM’s current lease on Marriott Drive expires. 66,000 square feet will be abated until the second quarter of 2019. Bridgestone has not disclosed the financial detail of its lease, but it will be a long-term contract with annual escalators.

(left to right) Chamber of Commerce CEO Ralph Schulz, Mayor Karl Dean, Highwoods Properties CEO Ed Fritsch, Commissioner Bill Hagerty, Bridgestone Americas CEO Gary Garfield, Gov. Bill Haslam

The project still needs the approval of the Nashville Metropolitan Council, Industrial Development Board and the State of Tennessee. However it’s expected to be smooth sailing for Bridgestone and Highwoods, as the project enjoys backing from Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty and Nashville Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ralph Schulz. According to the Nashville Business Journal, the project will receive a $50 million incentives package from the city.

With the addition of BSAM’s headquarters, Highwoods’ development pipeline now clocks in at $549 million with a projected stabilized GAAp yield of circa 9 percent. Highwoods’ development pipeline comprises 1.8 million square feet, boasting a pre-leasing rate of 88.6 percent. Highwoods is Nashville’s largest landowner with a holdings portfolio of 3.4 million square feet and 96.4 occupancy rate.

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Images courtesy of Mayor Karl Dean via Facebook and Highwoods Properties