Since people first began exploring, they relied on constellations.
As tools for navigation, the stars lead us in new directions, expanding our sense of what’s possible and form new connections in new lands. As a way to share stories, the characters that appear in these celestial bodies reflect our values, our aspirations, our curiosities, and our dreams back to us.
Each star in the night sky is different. But if we look up and look close, we can see them resolve into shapes and patterns that become something magical and eternal.
We believe that constellations have a lot to teach us about how the built environment can be designed, developed, and managed. How can different properties work together to tell a bigger story about our community? What if that story is really about how people – not buildings – can thrive together? How can people from different disciplines, backgrounds and points of view bring that vision for a new kind of city-building to life?
We believe when plans are thoughtfully structured and executed with integrity, real estate development can be a launching pad for value creation and broad economic mobility. We believe strongly in the redemptive power of bringing new life to old properties and new visions to overlooked areas, and we believe we can do it in a way that includes, honors, and benefits numerous stakeholders at once.
We specifically follow a human ecology framework built by the Thriving Cities Group to help us envision a city. The human ecologies of a city contain and depend upon an array of different, but fundamental endowments. When we pursue development opportunities through a framework that honors a community’s need for prosperity, beauty, sustainability, and other critical values, we can all thrive together.
That’s the only way we work – not only because it’s the right thing for our communities, but because we’ve seen how this approach can generate returns that elevate our investors, partners, lessors, and tenants.
Above all, we believe that business is more about learning than knowing.
We are focused principally in our hometown of Memphis, Tennessee on opportunistic real estate deals through both renovation and development. We desire for all of our investments—whether mixed-use, multifamily or office—to reflect our unique approach and exemplify our core values:
- Preserving the future means protecting the past. We invest in opportunity projects which are rich in history and character.
- Successful communities require cultural and economic pillars around which supporting uses and activities can be cultivated.
- The vestigial and interstitial spaces—rights of way, alleys, and medians—are rich with opportunity for placemaking and connection-building.
- Grittiness should be civilized, but not sanitized.
- Lean with humility into the businesses, institutions, community leaders, and other anchors that people already love. Build on them; don’t crush them.
- Be intentional about curating a broad mix of residents and businesses across a range of income and rent levels.
- Stick to simple, intuitive, high-impact strategies and tactics.
Additionally, we are targeting assets that are located in Qualified Opportunity Zones. Investors in this program are given an opportunity to defer and potentially reduce tax on recognized capital gains.
Stuart Harris is the Founder of Constellation and a co-founder of Blackbay Global Advisory. He has nearly 20 years of commercial and residential real estate experience. Prior to founding Constellation, Mr. Harris held positions within SouthernSun Asset Management, Mercury Investment Management and CB Richard Ellis in research, financial analysis, leasing and investment sales.
Stuart serves as a trustee of Presbyterian Day School, Memphis.
Mike Harris is a principal with Constellation and Butler Snow Advisory Services (BSA) in its Memphis office. He has over 45 years of corporate leadership and real estate development experience and most recently served as the Chief Operating Officer of Highwoods Properties, Inc. (NYSE: HIW), a member of the S&P MidCap 400 Index.
Mike is a member of the Urban Land Institute, Lambda Alpha International Land Economic Society and a past member of the American and Arkansas Bar Associations. He has served as a Trustee of New Hope Christian Academy and on the advisory boards of Wachovia Bank and Allen & Hoshall, a design and engineering firm.
Michael Cook is the Founder, CEO, and Co-CIO of SouthernSun Asset Management. Michael serves on the Advisory Council of the Fogelman College of Business and Economics at the University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee, and the boards of Kinrise Real Estate, Ltd, Cave Pictures Publishing, Omeq Medical and Thriving Cities Group, He is also an Associate Fellow and member of the Principal’s Circle at Green Templeton College, University of Oxford and co-founder of Blackbay Global Advisory.
Scott brings a broad background in mechanical engineering, consumer products, and real estate, blended into sound methods for concept innovation, financial modeling, design/ value analysis, and team leadership.
Beginning in product development with Black & Decker and Hunter Fan, Scott pivoted to place-making with Henry Turley Co. Spanning mixed-use, multifamily, preservation, and community development, projects include Gibson Guitar Factory, Uptown Memphis, Orpheum Centre, Crosstown Concourse, Pressbox Lofts, The Pocket, Old Dominick Distillery, Central Station, The Commonwealth, and other places around Downtown.