See for yourself: We go inside the construction at the $450M Fifth + Broadway downtown project
October 8, 2018
See for yourself: We go inside the construction at the $450M Fifth + Broadway downtown project

Todd Powlas can rattle off a string of numbers that speak to the immense scale of the $450 million construction site he oversees in downtown Nashville. The smallest one says everything.

Powlas, a superintendent with Skanska USA construction, employs two people whose sole job is coordinating logistics at the Fifth + Broadway construction site. It's a down-to-the-minute, around-the-clock choreography of cement mixers, dump trucks, flatbeds and semis that oh, by the way, happens to occur at one of the busiest and highest-profile intersections in town, across from Ryman Auditorium and Bridgestone Arena.

Powlas gave the Nashville Business Journal a tour of construction in mid-September. You can see what we saw in the slideshow atop this story. If you think it looks busy now, wait until the spring and summer of 2019, when activity will peak and about 1,000 workers will be on-site every day. That's triple the current workforce building the development.

The scope of Fifth + Broadway is well-publicized (see the renderings below for a preview of what's to come). The project includes a 34-story apartment tower with 380 units; a 25-story office tower, the majority of which Wall Street money manager AllianceBernstein is negotiating to lease for its new global headquarters; the National Museum of African American Music; an H&M store; Shake Shack; and more announcements to come.

Here's some other key numbers and information Powlas shared that illustrates the scope of the project:

9,700 cement mixers will pour their loads on-site (a third of those already have done so).

7 million pounds of rebar are in place, which is less than half of the needed amount of those steel rods that reinforce concrete.

225,000 pounds of explosives were used to get below-ground, where several levels of parking garages will be located, as well as most of the music museum space.

The three stationary tower cranes on-site each cost $22,000 per month to rent.

Demand for cranes in Nashville is so steep that Powlas ordered his first crane eight months before he needed it.

It costs $25,000 to raise a crane higher — a process that happens once or twice per crane.

The tallest crane will reach 540 feet, slightly taller than the height of the nearby 505 apartment and condo tower on Church Street.

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Stacie Ellis
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