VOL. 132 | NO. 70 | Friday, April 7, 2017
Marketing Firm to Rehab Vacant Downtown Building for New HQ
By Patrick Lantrip
Artist's rendering of planned Oden & Associates headquarters.
Courtesy: Downtown Memphis Commission
Plans to breathe new life into a vacant 77-year-old warehouse two blocks from the FedExForum have been submitted by Oden & Associates Inc., a locally owned marketing firm looking to relocate its headquarters.
William F. Carkeet and Bret A. Terwilleger, the co-owners of Oden, are seeking an eight-year PILOT (payment-in-lieu-of-taxes) with the Center City Revenue Finance Corp. to help offset costs associated with reactivating the blighted property.
Located at 158 Vance Ave., the historic Capital Pictures building will be preserved and adapted as an office for the 30-plus-employee marketing communications firm. According to application, the redevelopment will activate a 50,000-square-foot site at a prominent intersection on the border of the South Main Historic Arts District and South City neighborhood.
Since the site is comprised of two adjacent parcels, the adjoining warehouse at Vance Avenue and B.B. King Boulevard will be adapted into an employee parking garage with 32 parking spaces.
There will be 17,250 leasable square feet of space in the main one-story building. A front-facing loading dock will be remade into a landscaped courtyard facing Vance.
The total development cost of the project is roughly $3.1 million, according to the application.
This particular project was especially attractive to CCRFC officials because of its location within the emerging South City neighborhood, which has been a priority of the Downtown Memphis Commission and its affiliate boards.
“Putting this vacant historic building back into productive use will be a noticeable improvement to a property located only two blocks south of FedExForum,” the DMC staff report read, in part. “Additionally, the building is prominently seen from B.B. King Boulevard, a major gateway into Downtown from the south. Second, the project is situated between the South Main and South City neighborhoods. Adding new businesses, employees and points of interest in this section of Downtown will benefit both neighborhoods and further strengthen the growing momentum of South City as commercial activity and investment begins to move east.”
Additionally, Carkeet and Terwilleger have been tentatively approved for a $2.9 million loan from First Tennessee Bank to purchase and renovate property, pending the results of the CCRFC’s decision.
The applicants claim that, even assuming modest construction costs and operating expenses and a reasonably high rent, development is not financially justifiable without a PILOT.
First Tennessee Bank vice president Zac Herring said in a letter to the CCRFC that based on the pro forma, the project would not work without the PILOT and approval for the loan is contingent on approval of the PILOT.
Currently located at 119 S. Main St., Oden & Associates is a business-to-business marketing firm founded by Dale Oden more than 40 years ago that has been headquartered Downtown for the last 20. When Oden retired in 1996, Carkeet and Terwilleger took over as CEO and COO, respectively – positions they still hold today.