Archer-malmo has inked an additional 3,000 square feet in the Cotton Exchange Building, bringing its total footprint in the historic 12-story Downtown tower to 41,277 square feet across six floors.
The agency added about 3,000 square feet last summer on the eighth floor, and this expansion allows it to occupy the entire 6,500-square-foot floor, said Russ Williams, archer-malmo CEO. Henry Turley Co. owns and CB Richard Ellis Memphis leases the Cotton Exchange Building.
“That gives a sense of ownership and helps with collaboration,” Williams said. “In fact, as we’re doing these expansions, we’re using every opportunity that we have to renovate the added space to have more open-air, collaborative, multi-purpose space. We’re going to have that opportunity on the eighth floor and we’re going to be doing some additional renovations to the fourth floor at the same time to create some of that.”
With the expansion in archer-malmo’s footprint comes an expansion in its creative staff. Twelve new employees have been added to the firm's account service, creative, digital and public relations departments, bringing its total staff roster to 135.
Those 12 positions are among 45 new hires that company has made since the beginning of 2012, increasing employment by more than 30 percent in just one year.
“One of the things I’m really proud of is what our company is doing for the Downtown economy,” Williams said. “Some of those are local hires, some of those are people coming from all over the country to be a part of the Memphis community and enhance the creative class here in the Memphis community.”
One of those new team members from outside of the area is Naomi Bata, a seasoned public relations and marketing communications strategist from Chicago and former vice president at Cohn&Wolfe. Bata is archer-malmo’s new chief PR officer, a position previously held for 15 years by Cynthia Ham, who left the company last year to head BRIDGES.
“This is a very amazing place to work – a lot of collaboration between departments,” Bata said. “I think that really puts us in a unique position to serve our clients by really giving them 360-degree service offerings.”
Bata said her immediate plans include building the PR team and developing client relationships. She’s also “taking a look at what opportunities there are for the department to work with other accounts and potentially new business down the road.”
Williams said the growth archer-malmo is experiencing continues to be fueled largely by the organic growth of existing clients, but the agency does have one significant new retail client that it is currently “ramping up on” – Pizza Ranch Inc. The Orange County, Iowa-based fast-casual restaurant chain has 170 stores, mostly in the Midwest.
“We were initially hired to help them with a lot of local market work, but we’re hopeful that there’s going to be quite a bit of expansion to our scope of responsibilities there pretty quickly,” Williams said. “They’re becoming a very significant new client, and that’s part of what’s driving the growth that we’re experiencing right at this moment.”
Winning Pizza Ranch as a client is a result of archer-malmo acquiring the retail firm TMB Marketing Group LLC in early 2011, a merger that has “gone fantastically, made us more competitive in the retail space,” Williams said.
The company joins archer-malmo’s client portfolio of AutoZone Corp., Evergreen Packaging, FedEx Corp., Juice Plus, Landau Uniforms, Medtronic Inc., Norfolk Southern Corp., Palm Beach Tan, Pfizer Animal Health, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Southland Park Gaming and Racing, Terminix and Valent USA Corp.
• In other commercial real estate news, LCP Munford LLC has purchased the Franklin Square Apartments in Munford, Tenn., from Franklin Square Investors LLC for $4.6 million.
The Class A community has 76 units made up of two- and three-bedroom apartments that range from $775 to $860 per month in rents. The square footage of the units were 1,050 and 1,260.
Steve Woodyard, president of Woodyard Realty Corp., handled the transaction. Woodyard said that the buyers were attracted to the property due to the age of the property, construction, floor plans and amenities, along with the area’s school systems and future growth of Tipton County.
“Built by a homebuilder, this apartment home community offers the best floor plans and extra touches that go beyond the ‘merchant’ built properties scattered across the country,” Woodyard said.