The West Tennessee Home Builders Association has paid $4.4 million for an office building at 5400 Poplar Ave. in East Memphis that will house the organization’s new headquarters.
“We wanted to make a statement about our commitment to Memphis by purchasing an office within the city limits,” said Kim Grant Brown, president of the association. “The location is convenient for most of our members and we are looking forward to having a permanent space to call our own for years to come.”
The association closed on the property Friday, Aug. 29. Holice Jeffries of Sperry Van Ness represented the association in the deal, while Shane Soefker of Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors represented the seller.
Brown said the organization is looking to move into the new space around Sept. 18, and then it will begin construction on the building to transform it into a high-quality property that will be a central location for its members to meet and work.
“We want this to be a Class A property by the time we get done with our renovations,” Brown said. “We’re going to build out our space, make some repairs and renovate the lobby, so we think it’s going to be a very nice property by the time we get done with it.”
Brown said the association, which has been leasing a space at 7990 Trinity Road since it sold its old headquarters building at 776 Germantown Parkway four years ago, thought long and hard about where it should place its new flagship building.
“It was a long labor of love,” Brown said. “With the recession, we decided to wait and find the perfect property and I think we found that.”
The new location gives the association an asset along the most highly sought after corridor for office space in the Memphis area. Including the roughly 5,000-square-foot space for the organization’s new headquarters, the 42,000-square-foot building has only 4,000 square feet of available space. Tenants include Paragon Bank, Roebuck Auctions and Borland, Heflin, Alvarez, Minor & Matthews PLC.
“It’s going to be a nice income-producing asset for our association,” Brown said. “We think it will give us some stability for the future.”
The new headquarters comes as the association is celebrating its 70th anniversary.
The organization began as the Home Builder Association of Memphis and changed its name to Memphis Area Home Builders Association in 1997. In 2013, the Memphis Area Home Builders Association merged with the Jackson Area Home Builders Association and the Dyer County Home Builders Association to form the new West Tennessee Home Builders Association, which covers 21 counties in West Tennessee.
Brown said the organization considered locating farther east in one of Memphis’ suburbs but thought it was important to remain centrally located for Memphis-area members.
“We’ve gone back and forth on where to move to for the last four years,” Brown said. “We wanted to stay close to our members. The majority of our members in the Memphis area live near or along the Poplar corridor. The long-term plan is to have satellite offices in the different counties we serve.”
The association’s acquisition of the property is one of the largest office transactions of the year. In July, Green Mountain Consulting bought the 55,250-square-foot building at 5860 Ridgeway Loop Blvd. for $4 million.