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Building Nashville in 2024: An Interview with Andrew Eshelman, Founder & President of Eshelman Construction

Andrew Eshelman, President & Founder, Eshelman Construction

Andrew Eshelman, President & Founder, Eshelman Construction

Eshelman Construction

An interview with Andrew Eshelman, Founder & President of Eshelman Construction, discussing impressive growth, key projects, and plans for 2024 and beyond.

One of my primary focuses going forward— and one of the reasons that I started the company to begin with— is real estate development and leveraging the construction company for that.”
— Andrew Eshelman
NASHVILLE, TN, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, June 12, 2024 / -- Interviewer/Writer: Emma Tarp

From 2022 to 2023, Eshelman Construction saw a remarkable 100% increase in revenue year-over-year and is on track to achieve 50% growth in 2024. In line with its growth trajectory, Eshelman Construction has made some strategic additions to its team, including three high-level professionals: one executive and two management leads.

Eshelman Construction completed several impressive projects in 2023, demonstrating the company's versatility and expertise across various sectors, from hospitality and retail to residential construction. Its pipeline for Q2 2024 is equally impressive, reflecting a diverse portfolio that includes ground-up construction, hospitality, and adaptive reuse projects that meet the evolving needs of the Nashville community.

We recently sat down with Andrew Eshelman, the Founder and President of Eshelman Construction, to discuss the latest wins and what's next in 2024 and beyond.

Emma Tarp (ET): At Eshelman Construction, you have seen an insane level of growth from 2022 to 2023 with a 100% increase in revenue. I would love to hear about some wins from that past year and how you think you were able to achieve that level of growth.

Andrew Eshelman (AE): My main role in the company is managing business development. It's taken the past seven years to really get that ball rolling. When I first started, potential clients would ask, "Ok, what have you done?" and I would say, "Well, with this company I did this, this, and this…" and they'd respond, "No, no, no. What have you done on your own?" But I was just starting out.

Trust is always important, but having that resume and many referrals we can point to really helps legitimize us. It's not like we just had 100% revenue growth in one year. It's more like a four or five-year process. You reap what you sow, and we've been planting seeds for years. Now, all of a sudden, the seeds are sprouting, and everything's blooming at once.

ET: You’ve brought on three new team members in the past year. What value do you think these new additions to your team are offering your clients and your process?

AE: Since we've bootstrapped this business, I couldn't just hire 10 people and hit the ground running. We've had to hire people as we need them. We're fortunate to have hired three people in the last year and a half.

Brandon Schmidt, our executive vice president, has done a great job streamlining our operations and internal processes. Then we hired Cary Tisdale, our senior project manager, and Micah Estes, our superintendent. Micah and Cary combined have probably 40-plus years of construction experience. They know the Nashville market really well, the vendors, the subcontractors, and the building inspectors.

It's been great to learn from them and have collaborative discussions. It's amazing to provide our clients with the combined experience and network of all of us.

ET: There seem to be some common themes about your industry being very relationally based. Have you noticed any patterns in feedback from the people you work with about what it's like to work with you and what’s helped you reach this level of success?

AE: Reputation is very important to us. We're not perfect; nobody is. It's an imperfect business, dealing with many different vendors and subcontractors. Inevitably, something will go wrong, and it's about how we make it right.

We've done a good job of owning up when we legitimately screw up. Sometimes, we've eaten the additional cost because it's the right thing to do. Doing the right thing and treating people the way I want to be treated is crucial. These are partnerships, and how we treat each other matters.

ET: You’ve done some really exciting projects in the past year. Barrel Proof and n o t e Nashville are memorable examples. Could you tell me about one or two recent projects you’re particularly proud of?

AE: n o t e is a big one; it's a special project to me. It had many moving parts, and we managed the project from beginning to end. We put the deal together, managed the various partners, found the building, came up with the concept, drafted designs, got financing, and built it.

It was a logistically difficult project. Adaptive reuse is a niche we've gotten into. The building was built in 1901 and had structural issues, groundwater coming up from the basement, and constant leaks. Being downtown on a zero-lot-line meant we could only bring in materials as needed.

We were recently up for a second ULI Award for n o t e. Although we didn't win, the nomination itself was a big deal. Since turning it over to the property manager, we've received incredible feedback. People love it, with features like exposed brick and original historic windows.

ET: You’ve reached a point where you can start saying no to projects that aren't the right fit. Are there any exciting projects on deck for the rest of 2024 and beyond?

AE: One of my primary focuses going forward, and one of the reasons I started the company, is real estate development. We are still a construction company for hire, but real estate development is a passion of mine and a priority for the future of Eshelman Construction.

We've got a couple of projects in the pipeline that we're not ready to talk about yet. Generally, we're working with local groups in Nashville on boutique projects, a lot of adaptive reuse, and mixed-use, neighborhood-oriented projects. We're focusing on finding the right clients who are a good fit for the work we excel at and enjoy. Regardless of project type, the most important thing to us is building relationships and collaborating with people with whom we can have successful working partnerships.

If you are building in the greater Nashville area and looking for a reliable full-service construction partner, Eshelman Construction is here to help. Contact us at to share your vision and learn more about how we can bring it to life.

Audra Wait
Wait & Co.
+1 6155048812
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