MDHA, developer have deal for Roundabout office tower

Project 60 percent pre-leased; hotel/condo phase to follow

The Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency today approved a development agreement with The Lionstone Group for the building of a 250,000-square-foot office building on Demonbreun Street near the Music Row Roundabout.

The approved first phase of the project, which will be anchored by Earl Swensson Associates, includes a 750-space parking garage . Work is scheduled to be completed by December 2010. Houston-based Lionstone – which is working as LUI Nashville Roundabout LLC on this project – expects to break ground this spring and have the first tenants move in during the first quarter of 2010.

In addition to Swensson – which is now based in Vanderbilt Plaza – real estate firm Colliers Turley Martin Tucker also will move into what will be called 1515 Demonbreun. Managing Principal Doug Brandon told his company will move from about 13,000 square feet in Maryland Farms to between 15,000 and 20,000 square feet.

Lionstone Principal Doug McKinnon said those commitments – as well as a few others that have not yet been made public – bring 1515 Demonbreun's projected occupancy to 60 percent.

"We've been very positively surprised by the office demand," McKinnon said.

The proposed second phase of LUI's Roundabout project – a 125-room hotel and a 100-unit condominium tower – is not covered by today's development agreement. McKinnon said Lionstone still sees great potential for a smaller-scale hotel with a strong retail flavor. The extent of the project's residential component will depend on how the market copes with the current downturn.