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VOL. 129 | NO. 96 | Friday, May 16, 2014

Amos Maki

SEND COMMERCIAL LEASE ANNOUNCEMENTS to Amos Maki, who can be reached at 603-4025 or amos@memphisdailynews.com.

Bourland Heflin to Expand, Renovate Poplar Home

By Amos Maki

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A Memphis law firm is expanding its East Memphis office and improving public areas for clients and visitors.

Bourland Heflin Alvarez Minor & Matthews PLC renewed and expanded its lease in the 5400 Poplar Ave. office building.

The law firm, which has been in that location for more than 20 years and experienced steady growth along the way, is moving its back-office functions to newly leased space in order to renovate and expand its conference and reception areas. The law firm’s total leased space at the building is now roughly 9,200 square feet.

“We wanted to have a nicer public area of our office for our clients and visitors,” said Scott Peatross, a partner at Bourland Heflin Alvarez Minor & Matthews. “I think our clients are really going to like it.”

Peatross said work on the revamped office is underway and should be complete by late June. The Crump Firm designed the space, and B&B Specialty Contractors Inc. is serving as the contractor.

Peatross said the law firm considered moving but ultimately decided to stay on the first floor at 5400 Poplar and expand.

“We looked around and decided to stay here,” said Peatross. “It’s in the East Memphis business corridor, it’s easy for clients to get to, and it’s central to where we live so it’s a good location for us. We’re glad to be where we are.”

The 5400 Poplar Ave. building is a staple of the East Memphis office scene. The 45,000-square-foot building built in 1984, located at Poplar and Valleybrook Drive, was the longtime home of Fogelman Properties LLC, which relocated to the Triad Centre II in 2013.

Kelly Truitt and Wendy Bell of the tenant advisory group at CB Richard Ellis Memphis represented Bourland Heflin Alvarez Minor & Matthews PLC. Phil Dagastino Jr. of Commercial Advisors/Cushman & Wakefield represented the landlord.

While Volvo Group’s announcement that it is building a new distribution center in Byhalia, Miss., was welcome news to the broader Memphis industrial real estate sector, it highlights the ongoing struggles the city of Memphis faces in luring large industrial tenants.

“It’s great for the region, but it would be great for Memphis to get more than its fair share of the projects. But that has not been happening,” said Kemp Conrad, principal with Commercial Advisors/Cushman & Wakefield.

With no new speculative industrial development inside the city of Memphis since 2008, tenants are continuing their flight to the big boxes rising out of the ground in the city’s suburbs, particularly Northwest Mississippi.

The Volvo facility is being built inside Panattoni Development Co.’s Gateway Global Logistics Center, a 1,500-acre industrial development that straddles the line between Fayette County, Tenn., and Marshall County, Miss.

The new 1 million-square-foot distribution center in Byhalia that will employ 250 people means Volvo will shutter its existing distribution center at 4903 Southridge in Southeast Memphis.

While the city of Memphis has faced competition for industrial development from DeSoto County for years, Gateway, which is located around a nexus of improved transportation infrastructure, including Norfolk Southern’s $100 million intermodal yard, presents a new challenge.

Conrad said that until Memphis improves its business incentive process, it will continue to lose more battles than it wins.

“We can continue to have all this red tape or we can get focused on winning, and if we want to start winning more deals than we’re losing, we’ll change,” said Conrad.

Jim Mercer, executive vice president at CB Richard Ellis Memphis, handled leasing for Panattoni. Patrick Burke and Bobby Daush of CBRE Memphis, and Sean Bleiler of CBRE in Allentown, Penn., represented Volvo.

In other leasing news, a Cordova retail center has seen a bump in renewal activity.

One Main Financial Inc. has renewed its 1,750-square-foot lease, and Jenny’s Nails renewed its 1,400-square-foot lease at The Shops of Cordova Station.

The 19,150-square-foot retail center is on Germantown Parkway near Macon Road in Cordova.

Andrew Phillips and Ed Thomas of Colliers International Memphis represented the landlord in the two renewals. Kyle Cormier with CB Richard Ellis Memphis represented One Main Financial Inc. and Taylor Weaver with Crye-Leike Commercial represented Jenny’s Nails.

PROPERTY SALES 21 82 6,474
MORTGAGES 7 53 4,088
BUILDING PERMITS 240 353 15,714
BANKRUPTCIES 38 58 3,328