Pioneer Gateway developer breaks ground on third building

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The pioneer commercial developer in Murfreesboro's Gateway district, has broken ground on his third Class A office building there, one of nine built or under construction in the Waterstone Office Park Development off Medical Center Parkway.

Mark Pirtle, who built the first commercial building in the Gateway district, is building Waterstone II, a 29,400-square-foot building to house medical service providers, on Carl Adams Drive between Gateway Island and Gateway Boulevard.

The new four-story, 29,400-square-foot Waterstone II developed by Pirtle is the newest addition to the Waterstone Office Park development.

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He said the building will serve the expanding medical community, including Sleep Centers of Middle Tennessee, which will occupy the fourth floor, with a number of other doctors signed for space in the facility.

Waterstone II will the ninth building in the Waterstone area. Five existing buildings are on that site, representing more than $40 million in construction, including Pirtle's original Waterstone office building that houses a stock market brokerage firm, a title company, medical offices and a mortgage company.

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Waterstone II is one of four under construction in the 38 acres, at a value of more than $28 million.

Pirtle bought the acreage, east of Saint Thomas Rutherford on Gateway Boulevard, from the City of Murfreesboro in 2006.

He made the first purchase of commercial property in the Gateway in 2005, buying 21 acres on what is now known as Medical Center Parkway, and built the first commercial building there, the 93,000-square-foot Class A office building, Stonegate Corporate Center, even before St. Thomas Rutherford had decided to move from its downtown Murfreesboro location to Medical Center Parkway.

For Stonegate Corporate Center, Pirtle chose a professional business clientele. He has since built largely medical office space.

Pirtle has seen and understands that concentrating medical services in the same building enhances use for the professionals and their patients.

In the Stonegate complex, Pirtle is also developing two separate buildings for a nice, sit-down restaurant and one-story professional building.

Pirtle is in negotiations to sell his last 15-acre site in the Stonegate development for a major medical facility, including several services, at a cost of $40-50 million and producing 200-250 new jobs.

Known for quality of his buildings with elegance of interior and outside design, Pirtle's development has led to more than $150 million in commercial building investment in the Gateway initiative.

"When the city first announced plans for what is now Medical Center Parkway and the Gateway area, it seemed obvious this would be the new gateway to our community and offered huge potential benefits to enhance our quality of life," Pirtle said.

"I wanted to be involved because I knew it would bring badly needed services in medical facility and retail," he added.

Waterstone II is designed by Nashville architect Lowen+Associates, LLC. Architecturally it is a clean, contemporary structure with a unique traditional edge that fits well within the development.

The building exterior consists of ample glass with stacked glass corners, composite metal cornices, smooth limestone and brick veneer. The building is a simple footprint highlighting a curved front façade with an accent colored brick veneer.

The public interior spaces offer a handsome, current interior design with tiled flooring and LED cove lighting. Upper levels offer exterior balconies and a view to the Gateway Lake Park, the City's greenway system and Medical Center Parkway.

Before moving into commercial real estate development, Pirtle was highly successful in auto retailing, making Mark Pirtle Olds/Cadillac a household name in the area in the 1980s and 1990s. He eventually owned numerous auto dealerships across Tennessee and serves on the State of Tennessee Motor Vehicle Division oversight committee after appointment by Gov. Bill Haslam.

Pirtle entered commercial realty development with the former State Farm headquarters building on Broad Street where numerous restaurants, banks and retail businesses are now located.

In the past 30 years he has developed more than $200 million in commercial real estate

He has served on a number of community public service organizations, including serving as vice president of MTSU Foundation, president and Business Person of the Year for Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce and longtime board member for Boys and Girls Clubs of Rutherford County. He is the 2006 MTSU Jones Free Enterprise Champion.

He and wife Anita donated the land for the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce's first modern office building on Memorial Boulevard, now home to United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties, and most recently donated to the Adams Tennis Center where a court is named for Anita.

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