Nashville Yards

Our day started with visiting the Nashville Yards for an 8AM site visit. The Nashville Yards is a huge development project located in downtown Nashville. Clark Construction and Bell Construction are the joint venture general contractors, and they are working on about $1.6 billion of active work on this project alone. The development project will allow space for food and beverage, residential, office, hospitality, retail and development use. Each plot of land that is being built up is called a parcel, and currently two out of 9 parcels have been completed already, which are the two Amazon Center for Excellence Buildings. All parcels are expected to be turned over by the end of the first quarter in 2025. 

When arriving at the site, we were greeted by project executive Sean Reppard and engineer Peter Dziak from Clark Construction. It was very nice to see Peter, as though none of the current GLCM students recognized him, EJ Ignacio recognized him as he was a former student at UIUC in some of his classes! Peter graduated in 2020. We then proceeded to walk on to the site, where it became apparent that the site was very busy. Sean explained that between Bell and Clark there are 80 project management team members and about 1000 on-site workers. This was almost incomprehensible to me as the biggest project I have worked on had a project team of 10 and daily manpower of 180 people on site.

To get us a better view of the site, Clark decided it would be best to take us up the parcel 3 Tower. This is set to be one of the highest buildings in the Nashville skyline, coming at 35 stories plus a mechanical penthouse with 420,000 sqft. I was very excited for this as when I was coming into Nashville I told the people in my car that this building caught my eye and I never expected that I would be able to go up it!

We went up to floor 37 via the hoist and there we were able to not just see a bird’s eye view of the construction site, but of all of Nashville!

This was very cool to see, as for many of us this is the highest we have ever been on a construction site in the US. During this time we were able to go to the 36th/Penthouse floor and were able to ask a lot of questions to Sean and Peter about the project, their careers, and what led them to be on this site. Nashville is a smaller region compared to other regions for Clark, such as California and the Mid Atlantic region. This means much of the staff that works on the Nashville Yards has been moved to this project from another regional office, or started at Clark away from where they typically live. The opportunity to work somewhere different and be given more responsibility was a common reason cited between Sean and Peter, along with other people we asked the same question to on site.

On the 36th floor there was a lot of mechanical equipment put in, with there being a space exposed above a portion of the floor for the chillers. Here there were guardrails at the edge of the slab as opposed to concrete walls approximately 5ft tall, like on the 37th floor. This allowed for better ease of looking at the rest of the site and the completed Amazon buildings.

We finished off the tour by going to the lobby and seeing some finishes being put in. This is when we intercepted another alum of UIUC, Molly Day! She graduated in December 2022 and has been working on the project for a little over a year, working mainly on a residential building in the Nashville Yards.

I am very glad that Clark allowed us the opportunity to visit the Nashville Yards as it gave us a good look at the construction of buildings that will be a prominent part of the Nashville skyline very soon. I would be interested to come back in a year and a half to see this project fully completed!

Blog by Alejandro Fernandez