A quarterly newsletter for Southern Land Company employees

IN THIS ISSUE: Note from Tim Downey | HR Corner | New Hires | Project Updates | Development Timelines | Charitable Outreach | Going Social | Someone You Should Know

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Tim DowneyI’m pleased to welcome you to the inaugural edition of Southern Land Company’s quarterly newsletter, Connect! Recently we held the Town Hall meeting for local employees, and a subsequent web-call for out-of-state employees, to update you on the latest company news. Your feedback from the online survey indicated your appreciation for regular updates to better connect you with the company’s mission, happenings and project updates. So, today, we introduce our first issue of Connect!

As we enter the second half of 2016, I want to reiterate my appreciation for each of you. Our workplace is only as good as its employees, and you all serve a distinct role in making our company great. Most recently, we were awarded the Top Work Places 2016 – an award program sponsored by The Tennessean. This award, received for the second year in a row, is a direct result of our employees providing positive feedback and nominating our company for the award. I couldn’t be more proud. Thank you!

Again, I sincerely appreciate your dedication, hard work and ongoing contributions to our company. And, I’m always interested to hear your ideas on how we can continue to improve our company, workplace and our properties.

With gratitude,

Tim Downey signature 2


03a4b4fWith Compass – your life just got simpler!

Southern Land Company provides you and your family members with access to Compass, your patient advocate and healthcare concierge.  We understand that navigating healthcare these days seems more and more complicated and oftentimes frustrating.  That is – unless you have the health pros at Compass on your side!

Southern Land Company has partnered with Compass to serve as your personal healthcare adviser.  So rely on your Compass Health Pro consultant to make you an empowered healthcare consumer.  Compass is simple to use and available to you and your family at no cost!   From finding doctors, hospitals, dentists, pharmacies and eye care providers to getting cost estimates to solving billing problems, Compass is here to help you and your family members.

Your Compass Health Pro can assist you with understanding your insurance benefits, finding a great doctor, paying less for prescriptions, getting help with medical bills, saving money on healthcare (help you stretch your HSA/HRA dollars further) and much more.

Your Compass Health Pro is:  Seth Jones.  He can reached at 800-513-1667, extension #421 or  Be sure to watch for the monthly email reminders from Compass!

Please reach out to Becca Reilly or Josie Neal with any benefits or human resources questions… they’re happy to help!

NEW EMPLOYEES (January – June)

We’re growing! See who’s joined our company since January.




WESTHAVEN – Franklin, TN

Westhaven Realty sales are outpacing last year at this time with sales of 78 new homes compared with 69 this time last year.  Revenues are also up over last year with sales of $40 million compared to $34 million at the end of June, 2015.  There are currently 1,475 homes in Westhaven with 79 additional homes scheduled to close this year.

The new tennis courts are well under way near the Golf Club and should be ready for play by the beginning of September.  These courts will also be striped for Pickle Ball, a growing sport in the Active Adult community.

The Town Center is growing with many new businesses joining Front Street.  Scout’s Pub, part of the A. Marshall Restaurant Group, had its Grand Opening on June 24 and continues to have a great lunch and dinner crowd.  The Urban Juicer, Pure Barre, and Serenity South Gift Shop are currently being built out and hope to open in the fall.

150 Front Street broke ground and is planned to be 16 luxury condominiums and one retail offering.  Ford Custom Classic Builders has this building under way with completion expected late 2017.

The second annual Whiskey Warmer took place in March and contributed $2,000 to the Westhaven Foundation.   The Franklin Hot Air Balloon Festival took place in May, attracted over 5,000 people to Westhaven for a day of children’s activities, food trucks, live music and a hot air balloon glow.  This event contributed $5,000 to Mercy Community Health.  The 5th annual Porchfest was once again Westhaven’s signature event, attracting close to 10,000 attendees, 20 Food Trucks, 60 Makers, and close to 100 musicians.  Plans for the first Franklin Freestyle Water Show are under way for July, as well as the, both Westhaven Foundation events.

Next up this month… Franklin Freestyle Water Show on July 23 & 24, 11:30am – 3:30pm. Other future Westhaven Foundation events include the Front Street Craft Beer Celebration on August 13, and Franklin 4 the Cure on September 17. Join us!


Since the start of 2016, Tucker Hill has released 54 new lots in Phase 3 to our two master builder partners – David Weekley Homes and Darling Homes.  As of July, 13 contracts have been written several inventory homes are also under construction.  Darling chose to update their model home and Weekley has started construction on a brand new model located in Phase 3.  Phase 4 is now well under way, as erosion control has just been completed.  Projected release of the 120 lots in this Phase is set for mid-2017.

In late June, Tucker Hill also hosted the official groundbreaking ceremony for the first building planned for the Residents’ Club.  Construction has started and completion is expected for late 2016/early 2017.  In addition to this construction project, Crown Sterling has also started construction on the 35,000 square foot commercial space planned for the front of Tucker Hill.  Plans call for completion of this project in April 2017.

Adopting Westhaven’s successful annual Porchfest program, Tucker Hill hosted its most successful spring event to date – Tucker Hill Porchfest – which attracted approximately 800 people.  Besides porch bands, guests also enjoyed a main stage concert, Vintage market, free hamburgers, free professional photos and a free kid’s craft for Mother’s Day.  Plans are underway to host the 5th Annual Pumpkinville from October 17-31, which typically brings in over 5,000 guests to Tucker Hill over that two-week period.


3601 Market – Philadelphia, PA

Southern Land Company’s first high-rise project opened in August last year and construction was completed in January. Leasing activity has progressed nicely this year and we have leased approximately 60% of the apartments. We now have a full management and leasing staff on site: Jana Pecenkova (General Manager), Jesse Dayton (Leasing Manager), Angela Terrigno (Leasing Specialist), Ashley Kranick (Leasing Specialist), and Faith Kollie (Assistant Manager).  The team is working hard this summer to obtain new residents and make 3601 Market the place to live in Philadelphia! See a photo of our leasing team below.

To further enhance our marketing efforts and online presence, our own Southern Land Marketing team members Dane Mohrmann and Andy Ecton produced a video showcasing “Life at 3601 Market.” It’s gotten a lot of attention online and is now live on the 3601 Market website.

Thanks to our in-house commercial leasing SVP Paul Neuroth, 3601 Market residents are able to enjoy convenient on-site restaurant options including Herban Quality Eats, Jimmy Johns, Schmear It, and Dunkin Donuts; and we look forward to the opening of Danlu, an Asian inspired bar and restaurant.

At 3601 Market there are daily events, lifestyle classes and “freebies” for residents which include Yoga, Zumba and kickboxing classes, massages from a professional masseur, breakfast, beer, wine and cheese, and a pool party with live music every Saturday called 3601LIVE. In July area neighbors were be invited to join us at 3601LIVE to experience the incredible 3601 community. Below are a few photos from some of our events.


Lofts at Watters Creek opened its next development phase this spring with Building V, which added over 90 apartment homes to the community. The new building also includes a pool with cabanas, outdoor fire pit lounge area, and a fitness center. A huge Grand Opening event was planned and held in May that was very well attended by people from all over the North Dallas area. Leasing activity continues to be very strong – more than 90% leased for the entire community! Congrats to Shelley Homer and the entire Lofts at Watters Creek leasing team.


Construction continues to progress nicely with Southern Land Company’s first project in Denver. Recently we publicly announced the name of the community, Centric LoHi, and also opened our temporary leasing office two blocks away. Mathew Stewart was brought on as the General Manager and is setting the stage for a strong pre-leasing campaign.

Joining the Centric LoHi onsite will be two incredible restaurants, which will serve the residents and the community of LoHi well. The Bindery will be a wood-fired bakery, market and eatery that will provide artisanal food that is handcrafted and nurtured with great care. Marcella’s will be an Italian restaurant and bar that will feature a lively atmosphere with fine Italian cuisines and a selection of over 50 Italian wines.

Centric LoHi is scheduled to open early in 2017. You can get a taste of this community, see renderings and view floor plans by visiting the new website at



GreehHillsNEW_dark4000 Hillsboro, Nashville, TN:

– First units November 2017

– Restaurants open January 2018

– Apartments completed February 2018

– Commercial space complete February 2018

1911 Walnut daytime 11911 Walnut, Philadelphia:

– Groundbreaking Q1 2017

– First units available Q4 2018

– Completed Q2 2019

Reve Boulder_propertyReve Boulder, Boulder, CO:

– Groundbreaking November 2016

– First units August 2018

– Commercial complete March 2019

– Apartments complete March 2019

17_Pearl - Street LevelUptown, Denver, CO:

– Groundbreaking December 2016

– First units June 2018

– Commercial complete January 2019

– Apartments complete January 2019

14055 Oliver & Central cam002Knox, Dallas, TX:

– Groundbreaking Q4 2016

– First units Q1 2018

– Apartments complete 3Q 2018


Our Giving Mission
Southern Land Company’s giving mission is to assist disadvantaged people, helping them to change the course of their lives and become positive contributing members of society, by providing safe housing, healing, mentoring, recovery, and education.

At Southern Land Company, we believe in giving back to the community and to those less fortunate – both in terms of financial donations and volunteer time. For several years and through Tim’s generosity, Southern Land Company has given away approximately $2,000,000, averaging $300,000 per year.

The company has a dedicated charitable contribution committee that receives and evaluates requests for funds or volunteers. This year, the committee has given away approximately $239,000 to both charitable organizations and individuals. In addition to charitable organizations, we’ve also assisted more than 15 individuals in need – most of whom were recommended by our own employees. Examples of individuals we’ve helped include:

  • An employee’s friend needed open-heart surgery
  • A 15 year old fighting a rare form of cancer
  • A single mom who took medical leave to care for her son who was injured in a car accident
  • An employee’s friend on mission in Brazil in need of a car
  • A daughter who broke both wrists – the father works but has no insurance, and the mother cares for her terminally ill grandfather
  • A friend of an employee whose niece was diagnosed with a rare tumor
  • A former employee whose toddler grandson died unexpectedly
  • A 33 year old woman diagnosed with ALS, needing to make her home more accessible
  • An employee’s friend who broke his ankle and does not have insurance

We want to continue the spirit of giving throughout our organization and our employees. We welcome your suggestions as to who we can help by completing the contribution request form posted on the T Drive (link).

We also support and encourage our employees to dedicate time to helping not only our company’s charities, but also charities of their own choosing. As such, the company offers four paid days for each employee to volunteer their time to benefit others. Last year our employees contributed more than 1537 hours of volunteer work. Let’s all make a concerted effort to engage in volunteer opportunities this year and beat last year’s record!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact any member of the contributions committee:

Tim Downey, Denise Downey, Dustin Downey, Connor Downey, Amy Law, Kelly Schooley, Brian Sewell, Cliff Smith, Dan Gilbert, Danny Lane, Jena Armistead, Jeremy Cyr, Kathy Shelling, Larissa Caprio, Margarita Bogan, Mary Lee Bennett, Matt Magallanes, Michael McNally, Mike Raffio, Todd Marchesani and Becca Reilly.

GOING SOCIAL – Join the Conversation!

Do you know that Southern Land has an extensive social media presence? Check out our pages and join in the conversation…

Follow us on LinkedIn

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter:

Most recent blog post:   Southern Land Company Insights

We love to show people how our communities enrich lives and boost happiness so if you have any pictures, please post them or send them to Mary Lee Bennett so we can share them.

Our blog posts on the newly designed is called Insights, which positions Southern Land Company as a thought leader and industry expert.  Please share any ideas you have for future topics with Jena Armistead.

Come join the SLC social media conversations!


Mark Degner — Southern Land Company’s Chief Investment Officer

Mark Degner_2

This past Spring Mark Degner joined Southern Land Company as Chief Investment Officer – a new position at the company.  He was previously head of the Americas for an international private equity firm’s real estate fund and JV investing platform.

Degner, who is a father of two teenagers, explains why he decided to move his family across the country to live in Nashville, and how he sees the real estate market evolving.


What do you hope to accomplish as Southern Land Company’s first Chief Investment Officer?

My main goal is to build a sustainable growth platform that will allow us to keep building state-of-the-art projects while successfully navigating real estate cycles. I also aim to position Southern Land Company to take advantage of unique market opportunities and to build our investor base.

Which markets are Southern Land Company currently targeting?

We are building in some of the hottest markets in the nation including Denver, Philadelphia, Nashville, Dallas and Boulder.

A few of these belong to a group colloquially known as “NERDS:” (Nashville, East Bay, Raleigh, Denver and Salt Lake City) All of them have strong job growth, great quality of life, as well as a significant tech and entertainment focus. Millennials are flocking to these cities.

Why did you decide to take the job with Southern Land Company?

There are pros and cons to working at a global firm.  I must say it was a bit cool to routinely have meetings in places like Zurich, Tel Aviv, London and Lima, however, the drawback is that real estate investing truly functions as a local business.  It can be difficult to foster the necessary relationships with real estate investors and operating partners when working for a group based half way around the world and 9 hours different in time zone. Generally, those relationships are much easier to cultivate at places embedded in their communities, such as Southern Land Company.

As for moving to Nashville, I have lived in large cosmopolitan cities, small communities and everything in between. I’ve learned to appreciate them all and look forward to getting involved in the Middle Tennessee lifestyle.

Where else have you lived besides Nashville?

I was born in Chicago, but I grew up in Los Angeles. I attended USC for undergrad and graduate school at Wharton in Philadelphia.  My previous company was headquartered in Switzerland, but my office was in San Francisco. I’ve also lived in San Diego, Santa Fe, Honolulu, Denver, Dallas and Atlanta.

Given your deep knowledge of cities around the country – and around the globe – what do you find unique or interesting about Nashville?

I think of Nashville as an up-and-coming “lifestyle” city that is extremely attractive to a younger generation. In terms of culture and experience, Nashville is probably most similar to Austin. It’s Southern, has a music-oriented culture and a resurgent downtown. I love Austin, but the city is experiencing growing pains that Nashville can hopefully avoid. For example, Austin’s infrastructure is choking itself. Traffic is bad and efforts to alleviate it are woefully inadequate for the projected growth. Public transportation initiatives continue to be voted down.

Austin has an unofficial motto of “Keep Austin Weird.” Nashville, like Austin, needs to keep its uniqueness, but needs to be very careful about avoiding the inadequate infrastructure investment mistakes of Atlanta and Austin.

We are all experiencing how such rapid growth is impacting Nashville and its surrounding communities. Do you see a way for Nashville to learn from other cities and grow more gracefully to avoid infrastructure problems?

I hope Nashville will look hard at the way Denver managed its growth over the past couple decades. Its ability to put together a state-of-the art public transportation system while making significant roadway improvements and dedicating vast resources to parks, open space and recreation will likely pay off for decades to come.

If you have any comments or suggestions for Connect!, please contact Jena Armistead.