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VOL. 129 | NO. 241 | Thursday, December 11, 2014

Target Bringing 400-Job Project to Memphis

By Amos Maki

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Memphis is poised to land hundreds of new jobs and retain several hundred more. Target will seek incentives from Memphis and Shelby County as early as next week for an online fulfillment center that will create over 400 new jobs.

“We want to welcome Target to Tennessee and thank the company for investing in our state and adding more than 400 jobs to our Memphis workforce,” said Gov. Bill Haslam in a statement. “It goes without saying that a company like Target can choose to do business anywhere in the country, so it means a great deal that they chose Memphis.”

(Daily News File)

The Minneapolis-based retail giant explored sites in DeSoto County and Memphis for the distribution center but will lease the 900,000-square-foot building at 5461 Davidson Road in Southeast Memphis. In addition to the new jobs, Target is expected to invest $50 million in the facility, which was formerly occupied by Hamilton Beach.

“Tennessee is a great market for Target stores, and we are excited to expand our presence in the state,” said Mike Robbins, Target’s senior vice president of distribution, in a statement. “We look forward to serving guests across the region from this new online fulfillment center in Memphis.”

The city-county Economic Development Growth Engine, which offers tax incentives to businesses to locate or expand in Shelby County, is holding a meeting Wednesday, Dec. 17, and Target is expected to be on the agenda.

"The fact that Target chose Shelby County to apply for local incentives shows that Shelby County continues to be competitive for some of the biggest distribution projects in the country," said Shelby County Mayor Mark H. Luttrell in a statement. "Through the EDGE board, we look forward to working with Target to bring these new jobs to Shelby County."

The Memphis facility will be managed by a third-party vendor, Innotrac, and will service the Southeastern United States. Target reported a more than 30 percent increase in online sales in the third quarter.

The retailer conducted a multistate search and selected Memphis based on competitive costs, availability of workforce, real estate, local and state support and accessibility.

"Memphis continues to show its strength in distribution and logistics, and we look forward to adding yet another nationally known brand name to our distribution network,” Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. said in a statement.

At 400 jobs, the Target project is one of the largest jobs-producing economic development efforts this year, trailing Conduit Global, which began operating a service center in Memphis that will eventually employ 1,000 people, and Williams-Sonoma Inc., which announced in September that it would be adding 900 jobs to its operations in DeSoto County.

Patrick Burke of CB Richard Ellis Memphis represented Target in its search.

In addition to Target, multiple sources said Cummins Inc. is poised to remain in Memphis and expand.

Cummins, which employs around 700 people locally, is exploring expanding its current distribution operations into a 400,000-square-foot building at 5800 Challenge Drive, which is located just across Challenge Drive from the existing Cummins distribution facility at 4155 Quest Way and currently occupied by Stein World. Several real estate sources said this week that an official representing Stein World has quietly begun looking for a new location to make way for Cummins.

A Cummins representative said the company, which has also looked at sites in Mississippi, is still engaged in discussions with Tennessee officials.

“We are in discussions with the state of Tennessee and continue to evaluate our options,” said Cummins spokesman Jon Mills.

PROPERTY SALES 105 193 8,028
MORTGAGES 120 239 9,024
BUILDING PERMITS 192 445 17,512
BANKRUPTCIES 27 69 5,228