Downtown Nashville Nissan

Nashville, Tennessee

Automotive Management Services, Inc.

Nashville Nissan’s flagship dealership in Metrocenter was construct­ed in 8 months and has a 5-car showroom, 36 service bays, and a cus­tomer lounge with all the comforts of home –that was the easy part. The new Nashville Nissan is also on a flat site with difficult drainage that had been used as a Metrocenter stockpiling area and had poorly marked diesel and gas lines running through it. Making the site via­ble and safe for construction – that was the hard part.

The success of the project earned Carden Company a national Associ­ated Builders and Contractors’ Silver Pyramid Award.

Carden Company received the contract to build Nashville Nissan’s large new facility, providing a spacious showroom and vehicle lot, administrative offices, (including their internet operation), and an extensive service department.

Construction began in April, with a pre-Christmas completion date planned. The owners had chosen the property with good interstate access and visibility, but the site presented several serious obstacles for the speedy construction they desired.

The property was located along the Cumberland River – there was even an isolated wetland in the middle of the site. The city’s existing stormwater lines were under­sized, the site was flat, the soils didn’t drain well, and a large new paved area could exacerbate the run-off problem. So a complex system for the drainage, storage and cleaning of storm water was required.

Car Dealership Construction Showroom

After approval for the movement of the wetland, the rest of the system included pervious concrete for the car lots, allowing rain water to seep into and filter through crushed stone into pipes leading to 3 retention ponds for further cleaning and storage.

In locating the various utility lines running through the property, project engineer Jim Lukens, of Lukens Engineering Consultants, LLC, said what they found were “underground utilities in unknown locations or that just appeared that weren’t on the survey.” Particularly troublesome was a diesel line which ran, not in its easement along the property line, but 60 feet inside it. Making sure the pipe – and all the other utility lines – lay deep enough was necessary before the construction above could be done safely.

Nissan’s construction manager, Matas Rutenis, also noted that the site had been serving as a staging area for a 40-foot high soil stockpile, which meant that despite having a site generally too flat for effective natural drainage, a large-scale removal of soil was still necessary to create the flat space for the dealership and its car lots.

To meet such a tight schedule – particularly tight with so much pre-construction work to be done – Carden Company utilized Butler Manufacturing’s pre-engineered building system. Designed to the owner’s specifications, the pre-engineered compo­nents saved both time and money, without skimping on quality – and with the look they desired.

Architect Wayne Oakley of Whitehead+Oakley+Dunlap+Bumpas, LLC, commented on the time savings, “It helped tremendously, because Roger (Nixon, Carden Com­pany’s project manager) was able to get the Butler people to come here – after they had their preliminary design done – and we were able to sit down, compare the struc­ture with the design intent and hammer everything out in a one-day session.”

Carden Company also employed weekly meetings with subcontractors, owners, designers and on-site supervisors to communicate plans, discuss problems or chang­es, and coordinate the various team efforts. “Most other contractors would not have been able to meet the schedule the way that they did,” said Architect Oakley.

As construction representative for Nissan, Matas Rutenis also commended the Carden team. Himself based in West Palm Beach, FL, Rutenis said Carden served as “our eyes and ears as well as being the contractor for the project. I liked that I didn’t have to attend as many meetings as I normally do with other companies. They knew what we wanted, and they bent over backward to get the project done.”

Carden Company received awards for Excellence in Construction from the regional and then the national Associated Builders and Contractors organization in recognition of the quality of their work on the Nashville Nissan dealership.

Download PDF of  Downtown Nashville Nissan