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VOL. 125 | NO. 112 | Thursday, June 10, 2010

Deal 'Huge' For Office Real Estate Market

By Eric Smith

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The lease that sent Glankler Brown PLLC from Downtown to East Memphis was one of the most significant commercial real estate deals inked all year, even in a city known for its abundance of large industrial transactions.

The law firm signed a 10-year lease for 32,528 square feet in Triad Centre I, 6000 Poplar Ave., near the bustling intersection of Poplar and Interstate 240. The lease begins in the fourth quarter, with Glankler Brown hoping to occupy its new space by Christmas.

Glankler Brown, whose main office is at One Commerce Square Downtown, has had a satellite office in Triad Centre I for more than 20 years, occupying 6,768 square feet on the first floor. Two years ago the law firm expanded that lease by about 2,000 square feet.

Now the firm will take over the entire fourth floor of Triad Centre I, serving as an anchor of sorts for the building – and giving property owner Highwoods Properties another stellar addition to a tenant roll that includes Regions Insurance and Wunderlich Securities.

“It’s a big deal,” said John Mercer, Highwoods director of leasing and the broker who represented Highwoods. “I’d say in our Highwoods portfolio in Memphis, our average tenant is about 5,000 square feet. To have a transaction seven times our average, it’s huge.”

Tracy Speake, managing partner at Paradigm Realty Advisors LLC who represented Glankler Brown in its move to Triad Centre I, said the firm’s new home will provide the perfect balance of cost, efficiency and location.

“We looked at all the major buildings Downtown, all the major buildings out east,” he said. “Two things made Triad stand out. One is, it’s a very large floor plate, almost 33,000 square feet. They don’t build buildings like that anymore.

“Two, when you look at the efficiencies that brings to Glankler, it was a no-brainer. At the end of the day, there are great synergies for the firm – they have all their partners on one floor and the space efficiency is tremendous in comparison to operating two offices.”

Triad Centre I is a 132,495-square-foot building formerly known by its address only until Highwoods began developing a third office tower – dubbed Triad Centre III – at the northwest corner of Poplar and Shady Grove. When that building came online Highwoods decided to rebrand all three office properties with the Triad moniker.

Triad Centre II is at 6060 Poplar, and Triad Centre III is at 6070 Poplar. The latter was recently completed and landed the law firm of Apperson Crump PLC, which has building signage rights.

Highwoods had some lease expirations and some other available space to accommodate Glankler Brown’s arrival at Triad Centre I, whose occupancy is a moving target, because it’s impossible to tell what new deals might happen between now and fourth quarter.

But Mercer said if occupancy with the Glankler deal were counted today the building would be at 92.5 percent.

Glankler Brown, which had been looking to consolidate its offices into one location for the past two years, aimed to find a space that offered both efficiency and economic benefits. Being close to its customer base, much of which is in East Memphis, made Triad Centre I a perfect fit.

“Being at Poplar and 240 – what we think is the business CBD (central business district) – is just another testimonial to that,” Mercer said. “Our goal is to own the best buildings and the best locations. We feel like an existing customer expanding and wanting to stay with Highwoods when they had other options, we’re excited and we feel like we’ve done a good job. We strive to keep our existing customer base happy and growing.”

PROPERTY SALES 51 223 1,152
MORTGAGES 55 189 861
BUILDING PERMITS 149 541 2,593