Partner Profile: Cam Sorenson
Cam Sorenson, a principal at Southeast Venture who focuses primarily on the company’s development services, has more than 30 years of real estate development experience, as well as a prominent background in corporate finance and banking. Since joining the team in 1987, Cam has specialized in project management, project financing, leasing and venture structuring, budgeting and cost management. With his knowledge and years of experience, Cam has played a vital role in the development of many of Southeast Venture’s largest projects.
Here’s what Cam had to say about Southeast Venture, Nashville and the commercial real estate industry:
What changes have you seen in the commercial real estate industry over the years?
I’ve been with Southeast Venture since 1987, and what has occurred in the last 8-10 years makes it seem as though time stood still in the 25 years that preceded it. The introduction of multifamily in the urban core and areas adjacent to the core has helped create a more vibrant downtown Nashville. The other major change to the landscape has been the influx of investment capital and developers from other markets into the greater Nashville market. The scale and complexity of projects developed over the last 8-10 years bears little resemblance to the projects being developed only five years prior to the 2008/2009 recession.
What trends are you seeing in commercial real estate now?
The evolution of mixed use projects in Nashville has been fascinating. Twenty years ago, the concept of mixed-use was reflected in projects like Maryland Farms and Cool Springs. Today, when we think of mixed-use, we see projects that integrate living, work and play into denser environments, frequently into the same building. Examples include the Gulch, 5th and Broadway, the Nashville Yards and a number of HG Hill projects, among many others. These complex projects are garnering some of the highest rents in the market, as tenants and residents seek more interesting surroundings.
What has been your favorite thing about your time with Southeast Venture?
We pay attention to the type of culture we are fostering at Southeast Venture. Our tagline “Building value by valuing relationships” is not just a catchy phrase. We really try to live this philosophy out in the workplace every day, and it has been gratifying to have so many relationships with long-time customers, investors and clients of Southeast Venture.
What project/development are you most looking forward to in 2020?
The completion of some of these projects will certainly extend beyond 2020, but I’m eager to see Nashville Yards unfold with Amazon as the anchor tenant. I’m also looking forward to seeing 5th and Broadway open later this year, which AllianceBernstein will anchor. Last, I’m excited to see the development of the MLS stadium get underway in 2020. These are three transformative projects for Nashville and they should keep us on the radar of other major employers looking to establish a presence in the Southeast.
Where do you think Nashville’s commercial real estate is headed in the next five+ years?
Honestly, I’m not sure anyone predicted the magnitude of growth we’ve experienced in the last five years. As I reflect back on the growth of Nashville, it seems to me that there have been a few seminal moments that have been followed with periods of incredible, positive growth for our city. These include the construction of the Bridgestone Arena (before we had a hockey team), the relocation of the Titans to Nashville and the development of the Music City Center at a time when the economy was on its back. These projects required bold leadership, and, in my view, are largely responsible for the arc Nashville has experienced. We do need to get Nashville’s budget in shape, but our city has prospered the most with leadership that embraces attracting new businesses to Nashville.