'Seal of approval': CHS expansion bolsters Antioch developers
Nashville Business Journal
Pictured: Join the party: The crew from Oldacre McDonald LLC and members of Metro Council celebrate the May 14 announcement that CHS will move 2,000 jobs to Antioch. From Left: William Oldacre; Councilwoman Jacobia Dowell; Mark McDonald; Councilwoman Karen Johnson; Bill Oldacre; David Young (of Oldacre McDonald)
Bill Oldacre and Mark McDonald didn't need to be on stage Thursday in order to bask in the spotlight now shining brighter on the massive development they're pursuing in Antioch.
Oldacre and McDonald happily listened while Wayne Smith, CEO of Community Health Systems Inc. (NYSE: CYH), rattled off a half-dozen reasons why he decided to move 2,000 jobs (mostly new) to Antioch — after CHS had previously planned to locate those jobs in Cool Springs.
Oldacre and McDonald are the beneficiaries of the switch, as CHS will locate within a 300-acre development also intended to feature a range of retailers, office space, condos and apartments. By land mass, it's a project five times larger than Oldacre McDonald LLC's best-known local project: the Nashville West shopping center on Charlotte Pike.
"This is the spark that starts the bonfire," Oldacre told me. "We're starting with quality, and quantity. This is exactly what we had in mind, exactly the caliber of jobs that we were seeking."
Added McDonald: "It's like we've just been given the Good Housekeeping seal of approval. When a Fortune 200 company chooses to do this, it's an affirmation of what we've been saying."
Oldacre McDonald is teaming with Atlanta-based developer TPA Group on the Antioch project. They've received a zoning change that allows for millions and millions of square feet to be built.
Oldacre said it's hard to pin down a comprehensive price tag for the project. But here's a hint: Oldacre said it'll cost about $100 million for site work, including grading and the installation of utilities and roads.
Oldacre and McDonald are under contract to buy a combined 300 acres from two separate property owners: local automotive magnate Lee Beaman, and twin sisters who call their land Century Farms. The property sales are expected to close in late summer, for prices that Oldacre and McDonald declined to disclose.
The land is located at exit 60 of Interstate 24, on the other side of the highway from the former Hickory Hollow Mall (now Global Mall at The Crossings). Oldacre and McDonald are working with the Tennessee Department of Transportation to expand the I-24 interchange at that exit.
The duo plans to sell 35 of those acres to CHS, also for an undisclosed price. That gives CHS 60 percent more land to work with than the 22-acre parcel the company was under contract to buy from Duke Realty Corp. (NYSE: DRE), at the corner of Carothers Parkway and Liberty Pike, in Cool Springs.
CHS will start with a six-story, 240,000-square-foot office building and have plenty of room to add more buildings as any future growth dictates. That first building, a $66 million investment, is scheduled to open in 2017.
Three months ago, CHS reset its search for an office development site, scrapping plans to expand in Williamson County. That decision put the Oldacre McDonald site in play.
"This was driven by where the work force was," McDonald said. "This is in the bullseye."