NASHVILLE, TN-After selling their Atlanta firm to Cushman & Wakefield 25 years ago, Arthur W. McWilliams and three partners are working with the New York-based firm once again–this time as alliance partners.

Commercial Nashville Real Estate Services LLC is C&W’s newest partner and will cover Middle and East Tennessee with a staff of 15. McWilliams is part of the locally based Mission Property Co. that teamed with Fidelity Real Estate Group of Nashville to create Commercial Nashville.

Also having long-standing networking ties to C&W are former Mission professionals Terry W. Smith, Brent G. Basham, William R. Lyell and Brittany T. Lorenzi. They are joined by Fidelity’s Chris G. Smith, Richard Leach and Cate Brumley.

“Nashville’s economy and real estate market generally mirror the national economy,” McWilliams tells “The Nashville market is still soft but appears to have bottomed.” He says the residential market “continues to be robust,” as it is in several metro markets.

Nashville’s office market totals 21.5 million sf of class A and B space. McWilliams says net absorption year-to-date at the end of the third quarter was “virtually nil, but still positive at 13,000 sf.”

Vacancies were 14.8% compared to 13% a year earlier. Average rental rates are $17.71 per sf, full service, versus $17.87 per sf a year ago. Subleases total 914,000 sf, up from 772,000 sf. “Construction in the pipeline has stayed relatively constant at 522,000 sf with 121,000 sf pre-leased,” McWilliams says.

Commercial Nashville team members’ deals, closed through the C&W network, include some of Nashville’s trophy properties. Among them are the Dell Computer Campus, the 600,000-sf Harding Industrial complex, Willis Corroon’s 600,000-sf headquarters, One and Two American Center totaling 400,000 sf, AT&T/Bankers Trust’s 226,000 sf Grassmere Operations Center, the 130,000-sf Comdata Building in suburban Brentwood, TN, Cigna’s 100,000 sf Medicare office in Metrocenter, Cigna’s 95,000-sf office in Cool Springs, TN, the Quorum Buildings in Brentwood and 54 & 60 Music Square East.

After McWilliams and his partners sold their business to C&W in 1977, they opened other Southeastern Cushman & Wakefield offices in Nashville, Memphis, Raleigh, Charlotte, Louisville, Miami, Tampa and Jacksonville. But in the early 1990s’ recessionary period, C&W closed all Southeastern offices except Atlanta, Miami and Tampa, but maintained “informal but productive referral relationships” with the brokers in each city, including McWilliams, Smith, Lyell and Basham in Nashville, according to the company’s prepared statement.

C&W’s growing alliance roster includes Commercial Nashville, Commercial Tennessee in Memphis, Commercial Carolina, Commercial Jacksonville, Eason Graham & Sandner in Birmingham and Huntsville, AL, Kessinger Hunter in Kansas City, NorthStar Partners in Minneapolis, Summit Realty in Indianapolis, Cincinnati Commercial Realtors, Corporate Real Estate Advisors in San Diego and Thalhimer in Virginia.

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