Office Team Helps Colliers Expand Local Footprint

By Amos Maki

As a part of the Colliers International office in Memphis’ growth strategy, the brokerage office has been expanding its presence in the office sector over the past year by adding a new office team consisting of Frazier Baker and Will Barden.

Baker and Barden join Henry Stratton, who has been with Colliers since 2001 serving both the office and industrial sectors.

Since January, the duo has executed 15 transactions, totaling nearly 70,000 square feet, with their largest – the relocation of the National Bankers Trust headquarters – set to close by the end of year.

Baker served as director of leasing for In-Rel Properties in Memphis before joining Colliers in 2012, and Barden, former principal of Barden Commercial Realty, joined Colliers in January.

The addition of the new office market team is part of Colliers’ effort to expand its local footprint. Long known for its industrial leasing and brokerage services, Colliers has created a retail team, consisting of Andrew Phillips and Ed Thomas, and added this office team.

“Our flag has been firmly planted on the industrial side for several years and we’ve created the retail component and I think they really wanted to expand the office side,” Baker said.

In August, Colliers moved its headquarters from the Lynnfield Office Park to the Triad I building on Poplar Avenue.

Colliers went from leasing 7,500 square feet at Lynnfield to leasing 4,800 square feet of highly coveted Class A space on Poplar.

“Our firm sat down one day and looked at the efficiency of how we were using our space,” Baker said. “I think you can look at our move as a case study for tenants. We were able to move from Class B space to Class A space on Poplar with a smaller footprint and a nicer office experience for about the same outlay.”

Some of the deals inked by Barden and Frazier include Propane Media leasing 1,680 square feet at 50 Peabody Place, RedRover Sales & Marketing leasing 5,773 square feet at the Falls Building Downtown, Prologis leasing 2,748 square feet at 999 Shady Grove Road and the Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence leasing 3,644 square feet at 1919 Lynnfield Road.

The deal with National Bankers Trust is the largest one Baker and Barden have worked so far.

National Bankers Trust will move from its 13,750-square-foot location at 8245 Tournament Drive in Southwind to 813 Ridge Lake Blvd. National Bankers Trust plans to create 43 new jobs and invest $6 million in the new corporate headquarters in East Memphis.

In leasing news, a growing Memphis-based software company is expanding its East Memphis headquarters.

Vanick Digital is expanding its presence at 5350 Poplar Ave. to 6,800 square feet from 5,000 square feet.

Formed in 2001, Vanick Digital is a custom software development firm focused on writing business applications for medium- to large-size organizations, including website development and the creation of Internet and mobile applications.

The company moved to 5350 Poplar in December, and the firm’s rapid expansion is because of the explosion of Web and mobile applications.

“We’re just seeing really good demand, not only in Memphis but in the surrounding areas where we do business,” said Vanick co-founder Jim Van de Vuurst. “We have expanded and added additional services to our core services, and business is good.”

Van de Vuurst said the 5350 Poplar Ave. building, near the intersection of Poplar and Estate and known as the SunTrust Bank Building, allowed Vanick to keep its team together in one location while growing the number of clients the company serves.

“It just made sense to keep everything consolidated here,” Van de Vuurst said. “We’re very, very happy with this building. It works great for us, and we love the amenities.”

Michael Morgan of CBRE Memphis represented Vanick Digital, while Patrick Reilly of CBRE Memphis represented the landlord.

“It is fantastic to see Vanick grow and flourish,” Morgan said. “It has been a while since we have worked on expansions,” he said. “It is wonderful to get that back into our vocabulary. We are hearing about and witnessing more expansions than we have in years past, but we would like to see and hear about more of them.”