VOL. 129 | NO. 16 | Friday, January 24, 2014
Call Center ‘Gratifying’ for Local Office Sector
By Amos Maki
Conduit Global’s announcement this week that it is locating a call center in Shelby County that will employ 1,000 people was a breath of fresh air for local office real estate professionals.
New York-based Conduit Global will initially lease 25,000 square feet at the 125,000-square-foot office building at 7000 Goodlett Farms Parkway, a space that AT&T once used as a call center. The company has options to increase its presence at the office building, where First Data is also located, as its workforce expands.
“This win is especially gratifying for brokers like us who are in the office sector who are used to seeing these wins go to the industrial sector,” said Ron Kastner of CB Richard Ellis Memphis, who represented the landlord, HART-Cordova LLC, in the transaction. “Jobs coming in big chunks like this are a huge win for Memphis, which has been reeling from the loss or downsizing of companies such as Suntrust Banks Inc., Regions Bank, Pinnacle Airlines and Storage USA.”
Kastner said he was especially pleased by the coordinated recruitment effort put forth by the state, Greater Memphis Chamber, Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. and Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell Jr.
“The biggest takeaway that I see is a re-energized approach to winning new business for Memphis,” Kastner said. “Rarely have I seen such a well-executed effort to win new business for Memphis the way this one came together and I am optimistic that we can do this again for the next large employer that comes to look at moving to Memphis.”
A few weeks ago Kastner said he expects the return to the Memphis market of tenants looking for large chunks of space of 50,000 square feet or more and he believes that trend will continue.
“We are tracking a number of larger companies who have still not zeroed in on a particular city and we are still pursuing to relocate here,” he said. “This is why I alluded to my excitement to see the civic authorities working so well together to win this kind of pursuit. We could stand to see another two or three of these opportunities happen again in the next 24 months, I believe.”
Wright Medical Group Inc. has sold five properties to Shanghai-based MicroPort for around $5.4 million.
The property sales are related to the medical device company’s $290 million sale of its OrthoRecon knee- and hip-implant business to MicroPort.
A $1.37 million sale with an address listed as 0 Airline Road in Arlington involves an 18.8-acre tract of vacant land and a 5.58-acre tract of vacant land. A second sale with an address of 0 Memphis Arlington Road involves 2.8 acres of vacant land. A $2.46 million sale included a warehouse that sits on two acres at 11450 Gulf Stream Drive and two acres of vacant land at an address listed as 0 Gulf Stream Drive. A fourth transaction for $477,825 involves a 2.6-acre parking lot with an address listed as 0 Airline Drive. The fifth transaction involves the $478,000 sale of five acres of vacant land at another address listed as 0 Airline Road.
Wright Medical’s sale of the OrthoRecon business to MicroPort was finalized earlier this month.
Wright Medical is in the process of moving its headquarters from Arlington to the wooded office campus at Park Avenue and Cherry Road in East Memphis. Wright will lease a total of 89,834 square feet at the East Memphis campus – 63,834 square feet in one building and 26,000 square feet in a second building. Manufacturing will continue to take place in Arlington, which will serve as MicroPort’s U.S. headquarters.
In leasing news, a new homebrewing supply shop will be opening in Memphis soon.
Bernoulli Brew Works has signed a lease for 1,450 square feet at 2881 Poplar Ave. at the Chickasaw Crossing center.
Chris Heinz represented Loeb Properties in the deal.
In more leasing news, one of North America’s leading contract security guard companies has signed a new lease.
Dynamic Security Inc. has leased 1,655 square feet at Southwind Office Plaza. Don Drinkard at CB Richard Ellis Memphis represented the property owner, Cohen Southwind GP.
In other news, a national fitness chain is planning on opening a location in Lakeland.
LA Fitness, along with Phoenix-based Barclay Group, is in the process of seeking approval for a 41,000-square-foot location on U.S. 64 near Interstate 40 in Lakeland.
Lakeland’s Design and Review Commission recommended approval of the project to the town’s Planning Commission on Jan. 7 and the Planning Commission approved the project Jan. 16.
The project is expected to come before the Board of Mayor and Alderman in February or March.
LA Fitness is also looking for a location in Memphis.