VOL. 113 | NO. 152 | Tuesday, August 10, 1999
Real Review 8-02-99
By LAURIE JOHNSON
The Daily News
Trammell Crow Co. broke ground Monday on the first phase of a new office development in southeast Shelby County at Forest Hill Heights.
The first phase of the project includes a 75,000-square-foot office building that will serve as headquarters for Cortelco Systems, a Memphis-based telecommunications company.
Cortelco has committed to initially lease 50,000 square feet in the building, which will be completed in the spring.
The Cortelco building will be a single-story office facility designed to accommodate high-density office users, Trammell Crow officials said.
It will have a parking ratio of more than five spaces per 1,000 square feet, a 100-foot building depth and 40-foot column spans that will allow for the design of large, open office configurations.
The building will serve as Cortelcos headquarters and also will house its engineering department.
While the building, as well as the entrance boulevard, will be named for its anchor tenant, the remaining 25,000 square feet will be available for lease to other users.
Trammell Crows Memphis office is developing the project for Forest Hill Development L.P., the owner of the project, and will manage and lease the project upon completion.
Trammell Crows office marketing team, headed by vice president John Keller, will be marketing the remaining space in the building during the next several months.
Naylor Construction Services is the general contractor for the project, and The Pickering Firm is providing architectural and engineering services.
The project recently received approval from the Industrial Revenue Board for a payment-in-lieu-of-taxes, which effectively freezes taxes on the project at pre-development levels, resulting in significant savings for the buildings tenants.
Because rental rates in the building will be less expensive than rates in other new office projects being built in the city, the Cortelco Building is not expected to compete directly with multi-story Class A office development under construction in the East Memphis market.
Curt Grantham, managing director for Trammell Crow, said the project will serve a segment of the market that currently has few options.
"We have designed this project to accommodate medium- to large- size tenants with spaces as small as 4,000 square feet available," he said.
"The rent structure will be very competitive and offer significant cost savings relative to new multi-story facilities and can accommodate high density parking ratios, 24-hour operation capability and tenant controlled access."
Cortelco officials said the site was chosen for its strategic location in the Nonconnah Parkway corridor; its proximity to other technology-oriented businesses; its access to Germantown, Collierville and North Mississippi neighborhoods; and its potential as a unique business environment.
"As a company in the technology business, we are very focused on creating a work environment that is conducive to creativity and productivity for our employees," said Michael ODell, Cortelco Systems president and chief executive officer.
"(This facility) allows our business to locate in a growing area of Memphis with excellent supporting amenities and good access for our employees in a building that reflects the cutting edge philosophy of our company."
Two additional buildings are planned for the office park, with a total of 120,000 square feet of office space. These additional phases will be built contingent upon tenant demand, Grantham said.
He said the company currently was working with a number of active prospects for the site, with the expectation that the second phase of the development would be started within the next six to 12 months.
Flournoy Properties LLC, a Georgia limited liability company, financed $6 million through LandAmerica Exchange Co., a Virginia corporation, securing the loan with 27 acres on Dexter Road, according to a trust deed filed Thursday in the Shelby County Registers Office.
GILX Corp., a Texas corporation, purchased property at 3086 Carrier Street from Contract Freighters Inc., a Missouri corporation, for $1.2 million, according to a special warranty deed filed Thursday.
The City of Memphis, Tennessee Board of Education, purchased 14 acres on Jackson Avenue from Schering-Plough HealthCare Products Inc., for $2.2 million, according to a special warranty deed filed Aug. 3.
Corporate Estates Inc., a California corporation, and Mitchell Investments LLC, a Tennessee limited liability company, financed $16 million through SouthTrust Bank, securing the loan with 52 acres at Holmes and Mineral Wells roads, according to a trust deed filed Aug. 2.
Klinke Brothers Ice Cream financed $3.5 million through First Tennessee Bank, securing the loan with Lot 4 in the Shobe Industrial Park subdivision, according to a trust deed filed Aug. 2.
Memphis architecture firm Looney Ricks Kiss received four Aurora Awards from a field of 275 entries in the Southeast Builders Conferences 1999 Aurora Awards competition.
LRK principal Frank Ricks, AIA, received two of these awards: "Best in State" and "Best Custom Home One-of-a-Kind" for the design of his personal residence.
Mark Jones, AIA, and J. Carson Looney, FAIA, received a "Best Custom Home One-of-a-Kind" award for the design of a home in Eads.
LRKs fourth award was for "Best Clubhouse Architecture" for its design of Echelon at the Reserve, a multifamily rental community in St. Petersburg, Fla. The project was designed by Paige Close, AIA, and Preston Bussard, AIA.
Looney Ricks Kiss is an architecture, interior design, planning and research firm with offices in Memphis, Nashville and Princeton, N.J.