Two well-known Memphis advertising agencies have inked a unique Downtown office deal.
Red Deluxe Brand Development has subleased 10,400 square feet of office space from Sullivan Branding in the old Smooth Moves building at 85 Union Ave.
The sublease fills the 12-year agreement that Thompson & Co. initiated in December 2010. Sullivan Branding assumed that lease when it bought Thompson last year but has been operating the majority of its workforce out of 16,000 square feet in Toyota Center since February.
Red Deluxe’s 18 employees will occupy the second and third floors of the building at the southwest corner of Main Street and Union by the end of the year. The agency will relocate from 120 S. Front St., where its seven-year lease ends in November.
Founded in 2003 by Stinson Liles and Martin Wilford, Red Deluxe started in office condos at Union and Front, near the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau. The firm grew from four to 10 people within three years.
Liles said it’s an “exciting time” for Red Deluxe, which is continuously adding more national work to its creative portfolio as it approaches a decade in business.
“With our 10-year anniversary coming up next year, this space is a better fit for what we think our firm over the next 10 years is going to look like,” Liles said. “It’s configured like we need it to be based on what our staff needs are going to be going forward, and will afford us the room to grow as much as we need to grow.”
Red Deluxe knew it wanted to remain in the Downtown core but was limited in options. That’s why the agency engaged Brian Sullivan, principal and CEO of Sullivan Branding, early in its search.
“We knew that Brian was likely looking to consolidate all of his people in one space and just put that out there and said, ‘What are your plans for that space?’“ Stinson said. “A lot of us have all worked together at different firms and it’s a real collegial relationship in a lot of ways between the firms.”
Sullivan Branding, the result of cs2 and Thompson & Co. merging, relocated two-thirds of its combined staff into the sixth floor of Toyota Center from 400 Union Ave. earlier this year. The remaining 20 employees that were working out of the 85 Union location moved into Toyota Center last week.
Sullivan said having all 50 Memphis employees under one roof is a milestone, following the past year of integrating the two businesses and “redefining who we are.”
“We’re really excited to have everyone in one place,” Sullivan said. “I can’t begin to tell you how big of a difference that will make for collaboration.”
Chris Brown with Grubb & Ellis Memphis represented Sullivan Branding in the sublease negotiations. Brown also represents Extra Space Storage, the business that Sullivan currently subleases from at Toyota Center.
Tom Marsh, vice president with Trezevant Realty Corp., represented the landlord of 85 Union, a group of investors known as Union Main Holdings.
Metro Construction Inc. is providing tenant improvements for the space, while LRK Inc. is overseeing the architectural design.