2021 In Charge – Development

Each year, our In Charge list brings together business, political and civic leaders from all corners of the Middle Tennessee landscape. This year's list is our 12th iteration and features roughly 500 people driving change across the region. We thank our friends and colleagues at the Scene and Nfocus for their help in creating it.


Lewis Agnew — President, Chas. Hawkins Co.: Named co-leader of long-time firm in October 2016, teaming with chairman Bill Hawkins. Received the 2016 NAIOP Developing Leader Award for Middle Tennessee.

Allen Arender — Director of Development, Holladay Properties: Has helped Indianapolis-based Holladay create Nashville market presence. Now focused on Donelson Plaza shopping center adaptive reuse project, to feature a public library and retail.

Shawn Bailes — President, FMBC Investments: Far-sighted developer who sold his 83 Freight apartment property — derived from shipping containers, no less — in Wedgewood-Houston for about $11.2 million in June. Has undertaken work in 12South and West End Park, among other areas.

Charles Robert Bone — President and CEO, Bone McAllester Norton: Past board chair for the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency who serves as general counsel for the Convention Center Authority. Provides legal counsel to San Diego-based Southwest Value Partners, which is undertaking Nashville Yards at former LifeWay campus in CBD and is led by Cary Mack.

Doug Brandon — Managing Principal, Cushman & Wakefield: CRE industry veteran who oversees daily operations of entity that merged with DTZ in 2015. Previously worked at Smith Barney. Joined Cushman in 2006.

Sean Buck — VP, Office Leader, JE Dunn: With local office of Kansas City-based builder since 2003. Now working with his sixth title in 16 years. Elevated from group manager role in late 2019.

Jim Caden — Developer and Investor: Straight-shooting industry veteran who helped lead the reinvention of M Street in The Gulch. Part of investor group that sold a key Guch parcel for $11.5 million in 2019.

Wood Caldwell — Principal, Southeast Venture: Arguably the most visible member of company with multiple heavy-hitters. Serves with Cam Sorenson in SEV’s development services division. Company progressing with Silo Bend project in The Nations but yet to announce plans for Gulch site at Eighth and Division.

Bo Campbell — Partner, Real Estate Industry Co-Chair, Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis: Has been involved in several first-time transactions or development deals in Tennessee, including the redevelopment of the former Nashville Convention Center site with the $400 million mixed-use Fifth + Broadway project.

Hunter Connelly — CEO, Village Real Estate Services: Named to role in January 2019 and teams with Principal Broker Zach Goodyear. University of the South grad previously worked as co-founder with Aaron White at Evergreen Real Estate. Firm merged with Parks in early 2020 and kept its brand.

David Creed — President, Creed Investment: Eyeing early 2021 start on 20-story mixed-use building Moore in Midtown, a project with which Atlanta-based Portman will participate. Works closely with Stan Snipes, founder of Snipes Properties and a former XMi official. Owns downtown’s The Pilcher Building.

Roy Dale — CEO, Dale & Associates: Offers 30-plus years of experience in planning, zoning, development and construction management. Teams with trusted deputy Michael Garrigan to lead company involved in multiple local projects.

Mark Deutschmann — Chairman Emeritus, Village Real Estate Services: Sold majority interest in Village, which he started in 1996, in January 2019. Oversees Core Development, known for Werthan Mills Lofts and its multiple projects in Wedgewood-Houston, with Andrew Beaird and Kent Campbell.

Sheila Dial-Barton — Principal, EOA Architects: Oversees design firm long led by Gary Everton. University of Tennessee grad has been with company since 1997.

Tim Downey — CEO, Southern Land: Leads company known for its mixed-use Vertis Green Hills, which won the NAIOP multi-family development of the year award in early 2020. SLC in 2014 sold its Elliston 23 for a then-record $287,000 per unit.

Ryan Doyle — GM, oneC1TY: Now in eighth year of leading development of mixed-use oneC1TY, which saw the $80.6 million sale of apartment building The Shay in 2019. This past February completed hotel building housing a Marriott Element.

John Eakin — Chairman, Eakin Partners: Oversees with Barry Smith company that has developed mixed-use mid-rises Roundabout Plaza, SunTrust Plaza, 1201 Demonbreun and the 2020-completed Peabody Plaza in Rolling Mill Hill.

John Eldridge III — President, E3 Construction: Continues focus on Clifton Avenue and surrounding streets of McKissack Park (which he calls City Heights). Known for his friendship and work with fellow real estate investor Max Khazanov.

Pat Emery — CEO, Hall Emery: Founder of Spectrum, Emery teamed with Fred Hall to create company in late 2017. Company paid about $11 million in 2019 for Music Row site on which it continues work on 17th & Grand office building. Nearby stands company’s 18th & Chet office building. One of the local industry’s elder statesmen.

Gina Emmanuel — Principal, Centric Architecture: Teams with Jim Thompson, Justin Lowe and David Plummer to guide forward-thinking design firm. Board member of Catholic Charities of Tennessee and the Metro Housing Trust Fund Commission.

Meg Epstein — Founder, CA South Development: Working on multiple projects, including those in Edgehill, Pie Town and North Capitol. Bought Madison site in late 2020 for $1.7 million. Now tackling some industrial development. Has 10 projects under development and manages private equity real estate fund.

Bill Freeman — Co-Founder, Freeman Webb Companies: Oversees 41-year-old company with about 450 employees and nearly 15,000 apartment units and 1 million square feet of commercial property under management in four states. Owns Post parent company FW Publishing.

Gary Gaston — Executive Director, Nashville Civic Design Center: Principal contributor to “The Plan of Nashville.” A TEDx Nashville Fellow who oversees nonprofit now 21 years in operation and playing a lead role in planned rebuild of bombed Second Avenue.

Tony Giarratana — Principal, Giarratana: Skyscraper advocate who has developed downtown sites on which rise five towers of 200 feet or taller, including the 550-foot-tall 505. Company prepping work on skyscrapers at 900 Church St. and 801 Church St. Considered by many the most well-known local developer given the high-profile nature of his company’s projects.

Jimmy Granbery — CEO, H.G. Hill Realty: Has overseen urban infill projects in 12South, Five Points, Green Hills, Hillsboro Village and Sylvan Heights. Focused on Publix-anchored project for East Nashville and re-building at Five Points site damaged by March 2020 tornado. Part of city’s old school development community who garners props for using progressive design and planning concepts.

John Gromos — Vice President and GM, Turner Construction: Ex-Vanderbilt quarterback has worked with local office of NYC-based Turner since 2004. Company has built, among others, Bridgestone Arena, Hill Center Brentwood, Tennessee State Museum and vertical addition to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.

Chad Grout — Founder and Principal Broker, Urban Grout Commercial Real Estate: Oversees Brentwood-based boutique company with right-hand-man John Toomey.  Company brokered numerous high-profile deals in 2020, including $22 million transaction of Germantown site near Cumberland River.

Whitfield Hamilton — Regional Partner, Panattoni Development: Teams with brother Hayne on development of Music Row-area sites, including office buildings on 16th Avenue (home to SESAC) and on Music Circle South. Company started work in 2020 on Row office building at ex-site of Bobby’s Idle Hour.

Kim Hartley Hawkins — Co-Founding Principal, Hawkins Partners: Teams with husband Gary Hawkins to lead influential land planning and landscape architecture firm. Company, which is contributing to massive Nashville Yards project, losts its Five Points office to March 2020 tornado.

William Hastings — Principal, Hastings Architecture Associates: Teams with David Bailey and David Powell to drive firm designing Asurion building in North Gulch for Highwoods and MCC Roundabout-area tower 805 Lea for New Orleans developer.

Michael Hayes — President and CEO, C.B. Ragland: Classy industry official seeing looming completion in SoBro on Hyatt Centric hotel for ex-Listening Room site. Completed with Hines the mixed-use 222 2nd in SoBro.

Jeff Haynes — Founder, Boyle Nashville: Oversees firm that worked with Northwestern Mutual and Northwood Ravin to develop Capitol View sites in North Gulch. Teams with Thomas McDaniel, Boyle’s director of office properties. Company captured NAIOP developer of the year award in early 2020.

Ray Hensler — Principal, Hensler Development Group: Known for $80 million, 23-story Gulch luxury condo tower Twelve Twelve. His mid-2000s-finished Adelicia in Midtown continues to draw praise as one of city’s most attractive residential buildings. Eyeing 2021 start on Rolling Mill Hill residential tower.

Bob Higgins — President and CEO, Barge Design Solutions: Has served in current roles since 2009. Joined Barge in 1996 as an intern following graduation from the Vanderbilt University School of Engineering.

Kelly Knight Hodges — Market Vice President, Corporate + Urban Design, Gresham Smith: During her roughly 20 years at Gresham Smith, has worked with Jackson National, the State of Tennessee, Ramsey Solutions and Schneider Electric.

Jason Holwerda — Partner, Brokerage Services, Foundry Commercial: Coordinated the 2018 purchase of brokerage business of OakPoint Real Estate’s Nashville office. With that deal, industry veteran Rick Helton joined Foundry, giving company a noteworthy combo.

Tom Hooper — Managing Director, JLL: Teams with Co-Managing Director Bo Tyler to oversee national power’s Nashville office. Oversaw in 2019 the Nashville office’s addition of property management and retail brokerage services. JLL’s capital markets unit also in 2019 added industry veteran Tarek El Gammal (from SEV) as senior vice president.

Bill Hostettler — Principal Broker, HND Realty; Chief Manager, Craighead Development: Quick-witted old-school industry veteran (about 40 years in the business) focused on developing reasonably priced condos and townhomes.

Michael Kenner — Owner, MiKeN Development: Focused on the city’s once mainly working class west side. Known for mixed-use The Phoenix and residential project Treaty Oaks, both in The Nations. Remains focused on work in Charlotte Park.

Stephen Kulinski — Managing Director, CBRE: Assumed current role in 2015 after 31-year career as an architect, most recently with Gresham Smith. Has served as president of local NAIOP chapter. Connected and respected.

Derek Lisle — Co-Partner, Cottingham Capital Partners: Partners with Michael Young at locally based company focused on Salemtown and Germantown projects.

Rob Lowe — Senior Managing Director, Cushman & Wakefield: With company for almost 24 years. Has participated in more than $810 million in investment sales and handled more than $975 million in leases while representing tenants and more than three million square feet of Class A office space for landlords. Works closely with Ronnie Wenzler, Cushman’s executive director.

Steve Massey — Executive Vice President, CBRE: Joined company in 1985 and quickly established expertise as multi-family properties specialist in investment field. Has been involved in deals with properties representing more than $6 billion in collective value.

Bert Mathews — President, The Mathews Company: Drives development, acquisitions, financing and institutional/investor relations for The Mathews Company. University of North Carolina grad is also a partner with Nashville office of Colliers International. Teaming with Seattle’s Eagle Rock Ventures on WeHo and SoBro micro-housing projects.

Mark McDonald — Senior Partner, M Cubed Developments: Teaming with Mark McGinley to undertake projects in 12South, Buena Vista, Five Points and Music Row. Veteran Nashville-based investor and developer is a partner with Oldacre McDonald, which is developing Century Farms in Antioch.

Bruce McNeilage — CEO and Co-Founder, Kinloch Partners and Harpeth Development: Has garnered attention the past few years for his work in South Inglewood (Solo East), Williamson County (Fairview Station) and in the Crooked Creek and the Derryberry Estates subdivisions on the Maury County side of Spring Hill.

Janet Miller — CEO and Market Leader, Colliers Nashville: Former Nashville Area Chamber ECD leader who moved to Colliers in July 2014. Firm, which is strongly involved with Nashville Yards, was sold to Colliers International Group Inc. for an undisclosed sum in late 2020 after having previously been called Colliers International Nashville.

Lee Mollette — Founder, Mollette Investment Services: Continues to seek start on seven-story condominium building Contralto at Midtown intersection of 15th Avenue North and Church Street.

Bob Nichols — President and CEO, Ragan-Smith Associates: One of city’s most esteemed manmade environment industry officials, having joined Ragan-Smith in 1979. Vanderbilt grad volunteers for YMCA of Middle Tennessee.

Dane Peachee — President, Compass Real Estate Advisors: Assumed greater role with CREA after the 2020 retirement of Tim Stowell, company founder and managing member. Has been with firm since 2003.

Al Pramuk — Chairman and CEO, Gresham Smith: Firm is architect-of-record for Fifth + Broadway and contributing strongly to Nashville Yards. Has been with company more than three decades and in early ‘21 said he plans to retire at year’s end.

Brian Reames — Senior VP and Regional Manager, Highwoods Properties: Oversees company that developed SoBro site on which sits 30-story Bridgestone Americas Tower. Company plans to finish this year redevelopment of North Gulch site with building to house Asurion.

Todd Robinson — President, ESa: Veteran health care building designer who joined the firm in 1981 and in 2018 was named to The College of Fellows of The American Institute of Architects. Works in tandem with Chairman Dick Miller, who has been with the firm since 1967.

Ben Rooke — Regional Vice President, Brasfield & Gorrie: Auburn grad started career at Brasfield & Gorrie in March 2000. In current role since July 2018.

Cary Rosenblum — CEO,  Elmington Capital Group: Teams with Ben Brewer (president) to lead company that is now focused on mixed-used Edgehill project. Company sold portion of that site to Raleigh-based SLI Capital in late 2020 for $9.1 million. ECG recently completed developments in Hillsboro Village and Edgehill.

Mary Roskilly — Principal, Tuck-Hinton Architects: Partners with Co-Principals Chuck Miller and Joshua Hughes to oversee one of city’s most established architecture companies. Has been with Wedgewood-Houston firm since 1994. Studied architecture at the University of Cincinnati.

Mike Shmerling — Chairman and CEO, Clearbrook Holdings: Opened Pearl Street Apartments with Tony Giarratana in 2017, with the two friends also having partnered to develop Midtown site with 1818 Church. Veteran real estate investor works closely with Henry Menge, managing director and principal broker with Clearbrook (formerly known as XMi Holdings) sister operation FifthGen.

Barry Smith — Co-Founder and President, Eakin Partners: Combines with John Eakin to form experienced duo. Former executive VP and principal of now-defunct Grubb & Ellis/Centennial Inc. Company developed Rolling Mill Hill site with Eakin Plaza, which opened in 2020.

Fleming Smith — Principal, Smith Gee Studio: Teams with fellow principals Hunter Gee, Dallas Caudle and Greg Tidwell at architecture firm focused on boutique projects throughout multiple urban districts in the city.

Warren Smith III — Principal and Managing Director, Avison Young: Ex-Cushman & Wakefield | Cornerstone CEO leads local office of Canadian-based heavyweight. Former partner and president of Mid-South Financial Corp. and ex-president and CEO of Q10 | Vista Mortgage Group.

Andrew Steffens — Managing Director, Wood Partners: Helped launch Nashville office of Atlanta-based company in January 2019. Wood has quickly become one of Nashville’s most active apartment developers, with four projects offering a collective 1,129 units having started since mid-2020.  Previously spent five years at Alliance Residential Company as development director, overseeing Broadstone Germantown, Broadstone 8South and Broadstone Gulch.

Lizabeth Theiss — Business Development Director, DPR Construction: Joined company in mid-2019 after having served in a similar role with Crain Construction, which she joined in 2004. Skilled at marketing, media relations and business development.

George Tomlin — President and CEO, GBT Realty: Drives Brentwood-based company developing sites in The Gulch and the West End corridor with mixed-use large-scale buildings. Company recently acquired property at West End Avenue and Elliston Place split and plans tower for site.

McClain Towery — President, Towery Development: Has experience with projects located in or near 12South, Edgehill Village, The Nations and East Nashville. Often works with Elliott Kyle and Jamie Pfeffer.

Tom Trent — Chair of Economic Development Group, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings: Offers almost 40 years of experience in real estate and economic development law. Vanderbilt grad. Represents manufacturing companies, corporate users of commercial real estate, institutional investors, developers and lenders.

Jay Turner — Managing Director, MarketStreet Enterprises: Teams with Joe Barker and Dirk Melton to lead company focused on The Gulch. MarketStreet finished office building Three Thirty Three in 2020.

James Weaver — Partner, Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis: Influential player in shepherding urban development projects through Metro Planning and fundraising for Democratic political candidates. Representing Chicago-based Monroe Investments related to River North development.

Tom White — Partner, Tune Entrekin & White: Veteran attorney who is considered pleasant and fair even by his strongest foes. Teams with colleague Shawn Henry for an effective combo related to land-use legal work. Co-founded firm in 1978.

D.J. Wootson — Principal, Titus Young Real Estate: Continues his focus on North Nashville work. His 1821 Jefferson mixed-use building offers 18 apartments and retail. Sold for $2.5 million — two-and-a-half times the price he paid in 2015 — a TSU-area apartment property in late 2020.

Manuel Zeitlin — Owner, Manuel Zeitlin Architects: Oversees boutique design firm whose 21st century aesthetic (seen at, for example, Chelsea and the TAR Building) typically is either strongly embraced or roundly disliked. Announced in late 2019 firm is employee-owned by 11 other partners, retaining 60 percent ownership.

Lee Zoller — Principal, Division Street Development: Commercial real estate industry veteran founded company in mid-2017. DSD is focused on boutique projects and is aligned with Gulch office of Toronto-based Avison Young. Hoping to undertake a West End Avenue residential project this year.


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