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VOL. 127 | NO. 41 | Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sullivan Inks Lease For Toyota Ctr.

By Sarah Baker

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Sullivan Branding has finalized its lease in the Toyota Center, where it will move about two-thirds of its workforce by the end of the week.

About 40 of Sullivan Branding’s 65 Memphis employees will relocate from 400 Union Ave. to occupy approximately half of the sixth floor of the 175,000-square-foot, eight-story Downtown office building at 175 Toyota Center, near the intersection of Third and Union.

“We finished our lease, I think last week, and we’ve been waiting forever, packed up and ready to go,” said Brian Sullivan, owner and principal of Sullivan Branding. “When we finally got the word, we jetted it.”

The deal comes after LRK Inc.’s recent announcement that it had consolidated its Memphis office space on the Toyota Center’s fifth floor, occupying about 22,000 square feet. LRK had been headquartered in the building – including space on the sixth floor – since 2000 after completing a renovation of the entire building along with AutoZone Park.

Sullivan Branding is the result of cs2 advertising acquiring Thompson & Co. in September. The combined 80-person firm – specializing in marketing, advertising, public relations and Web development – also has 16 associates in its Nashville office in partnership with Evette White.

Sullivan Branding also has about 25 employees housed at 85 Union, in the old Smooth Moves building. That 10,400-square-foot, 12-year lease was signed by Thompson & Co. founder Michael Thompson in December 2010 after the agency was housed at 50 Peabody Place for 15 years prior.

Since Sullivan Branding is moving mainly boxes, Sullivan expects the relocation to be complete within the next few days.

“We had to move some people from 400 (Union) to 85 (Union), some people from 85 to Toyota and some people from 400 to Toyota, so it’s a process,” Sullivan said. “But we’re getting close to being finished. We don’t have too much left to move, we didn’t have to move a lot of furniture; it’s just mostly boxes. End of February we’ll be done.”

Cs2 has leased the 16,525-square-foot building at 400 Union from Judy Sossaman since 1995. It’s currently listed for sale with NAI Saig Co.’s Edward Saig.

The deal has been in the works for quite some time, Sullivan said, but there was a holdup due to the Toyota Center’s current owner, Orlando, Fla.-based Parkway Properties Inc., and soon-to-be owner, Santa Monica, Calif.-based Hertz Investment Group LLC.

“There were a lot of people that had to sign a sublease agreement,” Sullivan said. “Parkway, I think, technically still owns it, but they wanted to check with the prospective owners.”

Will Barden of Barden Commercial Realty represented Sullivan Branding in the new Toyota lease. Chris Brown with Grubb & Ellis Memphis represented the landlord.

Sullivan said the move is a better fit, both for Sullivan Branding’s client and employee perspective.

“It’s a place that we believe that our clients will like to visit and our employees like being within walking distance of all the assets Downtown, the restaurants and entertainment options,” Sullivan said. “The energy that comes from being Downtown is really something that our employees thrive on.”

PROPERTY SALES 49 123 2,388
MORTGAGES 77 171 2,778
BUILDING PERMITS 174 284 6,352
BANKRUPTCIES 32 72 1,859