Case Study

Gresham, Smith & Partners

AEC (Architecture, Engineering & Construction)

Helping a Client Practice What it Preaches


Nashville-based design and consulting firm Gresham Smith faced an expiring lease and needed help moving its headquarters to a new location. Ready to practice the design principles it preaches, the firm tapped David McRae and team to represent it in lease negotiations, and to provide project management services for modernizing its new headquarters with more efficient design and workplace strategies. The timing of its lease expiration presented challenges related to holdover penalties.


McRae and his team worked closely with the firm’s steering committee to assess its headquarters needs and explore options. The firm reviewed multiple proposals for downtown-area properties, and settled on a new space at 222 Second Avenue South in Nashville, a building Gresham Smith had helped design. Then, McRae’s team provided consulting and project management support to help the firm create a space that would accomplish the principles the firm preaches to its clients: fostering collaboration, expressing the firm’s culture and values, while staying within budget.


McRae’s team leveraged an attractive renewal offer for Gresham Smith with an anchor tenant location in a new building on the riverfront. We were able to maximize the firm’s collaborative spaces and provide employees with more accessible amenities, while paying attention to shareholder value and managing the cost of real estate for the firm’s future partners/shareholders. The location is convenient and affordable, cost-effective, yet a showplace space, with parking nearby.


Founded in 1967, Gresham, Smith & Partners offers architecture, engineering, design, and consulting services. Based in Nashville, Tenn., it has offices in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, Shanghai and Dubai.