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‘Enough Work For Everybody’: Commercial Industrial Construction’s Jon English At Bisnow’s Sept. 19 Event


With more than 130,000 people moving to Nashville, Tennessee, in the past five years, the Music City is experiencing tremendous growth. More local and out-of-town businesses have set up shop in the area, increasing the demand for construction

With big businesses like Amazon either relocating or expanding to Nashville, the region is becoming an economic hub for locals and out-of-towners alike.

“There’s a lot going on in Nashville, from new developments to relocated businesses helping to continue the growth of our commercial real estate scene,” said Jon English, CEO of Commercial Industrial Construction, a firm specializing in interior finishes and construction projects in Nashville. “I welcome them to the city because there’s enough work here for everybody.”

English will be speaking at Bisnow’s Nashville Construction and Development Summit on Sept. 19 at The Westin Nashville, where he will be joined by other panelists discussing the city’s construction opportunities and challenges. Register here

Bisnow spoke with English about some of the economic and supply chain challenges in local CRE, what CIC is doing to help create more construction opportunities in Nashville and how its family culture is leading the way for the next generation of the company. 

Bisnow: What trends do you see in Nashville’s construction and development sector?

English: When it comes to Nashville, I think we’re in a unique situation where we’re a bit more insulated from some of the economic trends that affect other regions. We’re seeing more growth due to our vibrant community and businesses relocating to the city. 

While we’re trying to alleviate the housing crisis, we’re still seeing a lot of cranes in the air with the city building new multifamily. Office occupancy rates are affecting landlords due to the work-from-home trend, which is causing a lot of empty space in Class-A, B and C office spaces. 

Bisnow: What inspired you to attend Bisnow’s Nashville Construction and Development Summit?

English: Although I’ve been working in the construction business in Nashville since 1989 and I started Commercial Industrial Construction over 20 years ago, I still like to stay ahead of the curve. I enjoy attending Bisnow events because I can get a broader picture of the Nashville market. Even though CIC is more of a niche company, it’s great to get a more well-rounded perspective on the CRE industry.

Bisnow: Can you describe your role at CIC and some projects you’re working on to help create more opportunities in Nashville?

English: My role as CEO of CIC is reassuring clients we have the expertise needed to get the job done and help them work with any project manager or field staff on my team. Through my decades of experience and that of the superintendents, I continue to support every employee in their work and growth. CIC’s way of doing things creates a web of support that allows clients who are just getting to know us to feel comfortable even if they’re not working with me directly. I support all the staff in their work, meaning each staff member can cultivate those long-term relationships themselves, and their ongoing internal training makes them stronger, quicker and more creative with problem-solving and better resources for help in a pinch.

Once we’re able to work with people on one job, their satisfaction generally leads to more work, including years-long relationships with people at companies like Prologis, First Industrial, CBRE, Commonwealth, Fidelity and Cushman & Wakefield. Then, as property managers change companies, they often bring us with them, like the team at Phillips Plaza, which is in the heart of Nashville’s business district.

Also, we were involved in a massive $2M building overhaul for Mental Health Cooperative, a clinic providing behavioral healthcare services in Nashville, when they hired one of our clients from another company. We continue to cultivate great relationships with people, so wherever they go, I ensure we take care of the people, as well as the construction. So more construction opportunities generally follow.

Bisnow: With Nashville’s population growing, how is CIC meeting construction demand in the city? 

English: We are fortunate to have a really good crew of 25 full-time employees, which we can use to make a quick turnaround on projects where other companies may not have that speed. We welcome the high demand for construction and push forward with each project we come across.

Bisnow: What are some of CIC’s strategies to navigate economic challenges?

English: As a company, we’re fortunate to not have to worry about debt service or rising interest rates that would cost us money, which puts our team in a better position to manage different construction jobs. 

In a time when material costs and interest rates are going up, it may slow down the job or people have to think twice about getting construction work completed. We have to be more creative these days to help our clients with costs and come up with strategies to help make their deals work. 

Bisnow: How does CIC’s family culture remain an asset for its clients in Nashville? 

English: CIC’s family culture is a great asset to CIC as a whole, and then, in turn, it allows continuity for our employees to do a better job for our clients. 

CIC promotes the vision that we all work hard for the common good of the client, the company and also the individuals that work here. Big corporations have a one-size-fits-all plan for their people. CIC tailors our company to fit the needs of our individual people. CIC’s family atmosphere promotes a much better work environment. Ultimately, I want the younger generation of our company to take over and continue to evolve what we’ve done for the next 20 years. 

Register here for Bisnow’s Nashville Construction and Development Summit on Sept. 19.

This article was produced in collaboration between Studio B and Commercial Industrial Construction. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.

Studio B is Bisnow’s in-house content and design studio. To learn more about how Studio B can help your team, reach out to