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NASHVILLE-With the commercial sectors of the real estate industry experiencing positive conditions, new construction in the retail, industrial and office sectors was strong during the first quarter, according to CB Richard Ellis Q1 market reports.

Leading the way was construction in the retail sector. The Nashville MSA set a new record in building permits with nearly $2 billion worth of construction. Permits issued in 2006 totaled 10,937 sf, a 4% increase over 2005. Among notable projects are the continued construction of Meridian Cool Springs, which will consist of more than 800,000 sf of office and 78,000 sf of retail and restaurant space. The $75-million Nashville Commons at Skyline, a 629,000-sf shopping center anchored by a 184,000-sf Wal-Mart Super Center has been approved and is expected to begin construction in August, according to reports.

With 451,226 sf of positive absorption during the first quarter, developers are keeping pace. There is currently over three million sf of industrial space under construction. The total construction number is evenly spread out amongst three submarkets: Elm Hill Pike/Interstate 40, Interchange City and Northeast/Interstate 65 North Corridor. Among notable transactions includes Opus South’s acquisition of 164 acres at the corner of State Route 840 and Couchville Pike in Wilson County. The company is planning to build a distribution park that will eventually include three 700,000-sf facilities and one 140,000-sf facility, reports said.

In the office sector, there is almost 2.5 million sf of space under construction, over half of which is located in the Cool Springs/Brentwood submarket. Over the next 18 months, that submarket will likely add 1.5 million sf of office space to its inventory. The first quarter had three completions, adding 223,000 sf to the market. Aspen Grove Office Center II contributed 121,000 sf and Two Grassmere Place was completed in the Airport South submarket. Construction on the 338,000-sf SunTrust Plaza continues Downtown with an expected completion of fourth quarter, report said.

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