Who We Are

Karen J. Hutton started HUTTON in 1998. Her father David Hutton’s fearless work ethic and her mother Jean-Marie’s humility have influenced and shaped Karen’s values and fueled her determination. Her contagious energy and competitive spirit have been key to building her company, which was no easy task for a woman in what remains a male-dominated industry.

Karen earned a business degree from the University of Alabama where she also played on the women’s basketball team. After graduating, she held three positions that led her to launching her own real estate and development firm. She was a leasing trainee for a mall developer in Houston followed by a shopping center developer leasing centers in the southeast. The third position was at her father David Hutton’s shopping center development company in Pulaski, Tennessee. With these experiences, she decided to go out on her own.

In the beginning, her leasing connections helped her get a foot in the door with Dollar General to handle the company’s ground-up construction for its Texas roll out. During the first year of the relationship, Dollar General approved zero sites that she brought to them. Karen’s tenacity and drive to be the best kicked in. During the second year, Dollar General started approving sites and Hutton completed 36 stores, followed by 71 the next year, 71 the year after that and so on.

Karen’s contagious energy helps define the passionate culture at HUTTON, while her pace and competitive spirit drive the team. “Don’t get comfortable” is Karen’s constant reminder. “If we aren’t creating change and evolving, then we are going backwards.” Hutton’s continued growth is a direct result of the HUTTON Dream Team.
Karen has grown HUTTON into a full-service team encompassing in depth knowledge in development, joint venture, acquisitions, construction, leasing, property management, capital investments and asset management.
Karen has received numerous accolades for her business acumen as well as her community engagement including 2014 Corporate Philanthropist of the Year, 2015 Top Ten Influential Business Leaders to Impact Chattanooga, 2016 University of Tennessee Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, 2017 Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy’s Founders Leadership Award, 2019 Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year and 2020 Globe St. Net Lease Individual Influencer.

Karen J. Hutton started Hutton in 1998. Her father David Hutton’s fearless work ethic and her mother Jean-Marie’s humility have influenced and shaped Karen’s values and fueled her determination. Her contagious energy and competitive spirit have been key to building her company, which was no easy task for a woman in what remains a male-dominated industry.

Karen earned a business degree from the University of Alabama where she also played on the women’s basketball team. After graduating, she held three positions that led her to launching her own real estate and development firm. She was a leasing trainee for a mall developer in Houston followed by a shopping center developer leasing centers in the southeast. The third position was at her father David Hutton’s shopping center development company in Pulaski, Tennessee. With these experiences, she decided to go out on her own.

In the beginning, her leasing connections helped her get a foot in the door with Dollar General to handle the company’s ground-up construction for its Texas roll out. During the first year of the relationship, Dollar General approved zero sites that she brought to them. Karen’s tenacity and drive to be the best kicked in. During the second year, Dollar General started approving sites and Hutton completed 36 stores, followed by 71 the next year, 71 the year after that and so on.

Karen’s contagious energy helps define the passionate culture at Hutton, while her pace and competitive spirit drive the team. “Don’t get comfortable” is Karen’s constant reminder. “If we aren’t creating change and evolving, then we are going backwards.” Hutton’s continued growth is a direct result of the Hutton Dream Team.
Karen has grown Hutton into a full-service team encompassing in depth knowledge in development, joint venture, acquisitions, construction, leasing, property management, capital investments and asset management.
Karen has received numerous accolades for her business acumen as well as her community engagement including 2014 Corporate Philanthropist of the Year, 2015 Top Ten Influential Business Leaders to Impact Chattanooga, 2016 University of Tennessee Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, 2017 Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy’s Founders Leadership Award, 2019 Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year and 2020 Globe St. Net Lease Individual Influencer.

Today, HUTTON is a fully integrated commercial real estate, development and investment company with 85 employees and counting, and has completed 1,331 + projects for 100’s of clients across 40 states over 22 years.

We are primarily focused on developing, acquiring, managing and constructing single tenant, shopping center, multi-family, convenience store, car wash, QSR and self-storage properties across the US.

In addition to acquiring and developing properties, we have a stabilized portfolio of over 200 assets and provide capital investments and asset management services to our third-party clients.