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VOL. 118 | NO. 205 | Wednesday, November 10, 2004

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Winchester Road Office Growing

Winchester Grows as Office Corridor

Germantown leaders push for high-tech development


The Daily News

Southeast Shelby County has been growing by leaps and bounds in recent years, and not just in population. Commercial growth along Winchester Road, specifically from Collierville west to Riverdale Road in Memphis, has significantly changed the areas landscape.

The intersection of Hacks Cross and Winchester roads has seen the lions share of that growth, from retail and restaurants to a FedEx mega corporate campus. But FedEx isnt the areas only office development. Several businesses now have a presence along the stretch that also includes the FedEx World Technology Center in Collierville.

Forest Hill center. And more offices are on the way. Chamberlain, McCreery & Rice LLC is taking advantage of the corridors growth as an office market with a mixed-use office and retail development. Construction has been completed on the first two buildings in the Forest Hill Business Center, located at Forest Hill-Irene Road and Winchester.

The project includes five lots, two of which front Winchester and are designated for retail use. Three lots at the rear of the development are for general office use, and one already-built structure houses Christ the Rock Christian Academys kindergarten facility.

We went back and rezoned and got retail on the front, said Hank Rice, a partner in the project. In exchange, we agreed to limit office to one story.

One retail building has been constructed and is available for leasing. Tenants include a nail salon and Pizza Hut.

Each identical building will be 12,000 square feet in size.

Development of Forest Hill Business Center began last year, and construction started earlier this year. One lot in the rear has been sold to a developer who soon will begin construction on the centers second office building.

In Germantown. The Forest Hill/Winchester area has seen a large amount of office development in recent years, including several projects in the Germantown city limits. And that has been a plus for the municipality as it pushes to become a corporate community.

Were pleased with what has taken place down there, said Patrick Lawton, Germantown city administrator. The development of that area south of Winchester was the catalyst really for the city getting into the industrial development board business and looking at the issuance of (payment-in-lieu-of-taxes) because we saw the potential for corporate and regional office space development down there.

Already there are CTI, Orgill, First Tennessee Bank and the Better Business Bureau.

And now were thrilled to have FedEx in Germantown, Lawton said of the companys new presence in a former SCB building. Its starting to take off.

Spurring development. The growth has been encouraged by zoning.

We created a new zoning classification as a result of the potential of what could develop down in that area, Lawton said. What wed like to see is that area used as high-tech office-type development that would house perhaps regional or corporate office space.

Having that kind of corporate regional office space, Class A-type office space, it gives us something we dont have in many other parts of our community. The fact that theres a strong potential for it developing in this area means a lot to the city in terms of our tax base and diversification of the tax base.

While the city does not control the land, Lawton said the city has communicated its desire to be involved in the areas development.

Weve had discussions with ownership of the property down in that area and have wanted to be involved with them as theyre developing and marketing that space to try and attract that type of office development, he said.

In the area. Other projects in the area include Belz Enterprises Champion Hills Office Park, which is adjacent to Windyke Country Club. It ultimately will include four buildings to accompany the current 80,000-square-foot building.

According to the most recent office occupancy numbers released by commercial real estate services firm CB Richard Ellis, the 385 corridor had a 12.7 percent vacancy rate, below the 15.8 percent rate for the Memphis area. The total amount of rentable space is 3.1 million square feet, second only to the East submarkets 7.5 million square feet.

Commercial project. The partners of Chamberlain, McCreery & Rice are involved in another commercial project in the area, located on Hacks Cross Road south of Bill Morris Parkway. Owned by Hacks Cross Partners, the 25,000-square-foot retail center is nearing completion.

Were getting a lot of interest, Rice said. Weve got some leases in place. Were just starting tenant improvements, but the building is complete.

Tenants will include typical neighborhood center retailers, such as a barber shop, nail salon and dry cleaner. Part of the property is reserved for outparcels.

We have one parcel under contract with a national fast-food outfit, Rice said.

Its a busy period for Chamberlain, McCreery & Rice, as the group has 60,000 square feet of space in the works right now.

Chamberlain, McCreery & Rice a separate company from development firm Chamberlain & McCreery is primarily involved in commercial construction, as well as multifamily projects Downtown.


PROPERTY SALES 0 322 4,193
MORTGAGES 0 320 4,710
BANKRUPTCIES 0 211 3,096