July 2024

Portman Projects

Portman’s foray into high-rise residential construction has been nothing short of transformative, both for the company and the skylines of Atlanta and Charlotte. The completion of Sora, formerly known as 1000 Spring, in Atlanta, alongside the 2161 Hawkins project, known as Linea, in Charlotte, are key examples of how strategic partnerships and long-standing relationships drive success in the construction industry.

Atlanta-based Portman, with its newly established residential division, has embarked on its first residential projects with the help of JE Dunn Construction. Known for its expertise in office space, Portman has a storied history with JE Dunn, a partnership that seamlessly transitioned into these ambitious residential ventures.

JE Dunn’s involvement with Portman began in Atlanta, where the construction company was entrusted with Anthem Technology Center Phase II, a 21-story Class-A office tower comprised of 350,000 square feet of build-to-suit office space that serves as Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield’s IT Hub. This project was won due to multiple longstanding relationships between JE Dunn Atlanta leadership and Portman, and more importantly, because JE Dunn was able to solve the craning logistics of the project when no one else could.

“Anthem II was JE Dunn’s first collaboration with Portman,” said Senior Vice President Stuart Bruening. This initial collaboration laid the foundation for a strong relationship, built on mutual trust and a shared vision for excellence in construction. The success of this project led to JE Dunn taking on the development of a 4+ acre parcel in Midtown, which includes the now-complete Sora and the soon-to-be-finished 1020 Spring Street Office Tower.

1020 Spring Street is a 975,000-square-foot, 30-story Class-A office tower consisting of 10 levels of parking, 16 levels of office space, retail space, and an amenity level on the 8th floor. This project, set to be completed in the fall of 2024, exemplifies the high standards and innovative solutions that JE Dunn brings to its collaborations with Portman.

In Charlotte, JE Dunn’s work on the Portman Building, distinct with its glass exterior and a 23rd-floor pool, stands out in the South End neighborhood.

“The percentage of glass on the exterior skin is much higher than we have seen in the Charlotte residential market in the past,” said Project Director Brian Cishek. This modern, sleek design contrasts with the more common punched window designs, marking it as a landmark in Charlotte’s evolving architectural aesthetic.

The continuity of the relationship between Portman and JE Dunn can be attributed to the personal connections and professional rapport built over the years. The Atlanta office lead at JE Dunn had prior work relationships with Portman leadership, which laid the groundwork for JE Dunn to become the go-to construction partner for these projects.

“It wasn’t luck being the first call; it was based on a relationship that was built over time,” Cishek said.

Timing played a crucial role as well. The projects began during economic uncertainty, with rising interest rates and concerns over material costs. “When we first started this job, we were on the cusp of uncertainty with escalation and buying out the job,” Cishek said. However, JE Dunn’s strategic approach to locking in contracts early helped mitigate long-term issues, ensuring smooth progress despite the challenging economic backdrop.

As the Portman Building in Charlotte nears completion, set to turn over in early 2025, and the Atlanta projects wrap up, the collaboration between Portman and JE Dunn stands as a testament to what can be achieved through solid partnerships and innovative construction practices.

“They had plans to go and hit the ground running,” said Cishek, indicating the forward momentum that both companies aim to maintain despite market fluctuations.

Looking ahead, Portman’s ambitions extend beyond Atlanta and Charlotte, with plans for further projects in Nashville and Dallas. While current economic conditions have tempered the pace, the foundation laid by these initial high-rise projects ensures a bright future. JE Dunn’s role in these developments highlights the company’s capability to handle complex, high-stakes projects, reinforcing its reputation as a reliable partner in transforming urban landscapes.