MAA move generates interest in Germantown office tower by Michelle Corbet

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Interest has spiked for Gill Properties Inc.’s $90 million TraVure development in Germantown after news broke Oct. 24 that Memphis-based apartment real estate giant MAA (NYSE: MAA) will be the first to move in.

“We’ve had a 10,000-square-foot user and a 4,000-square-foot user contact us,” said Ray Gill, founder and principal of Gill Properties Inc. “And, we knew of others who have showed renewed interest. We’re hoping to finish [leasing] out soon.”

Ray Gill, founder and principal of Gill Properties Inc., said the ability for apartment… more

On Oct. 24, MAA was awarded a 15-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOT)incentive from the Germantown Board of Mayor and Aldermen to relocate its corporate headquarters to TraVure. MAA is currently located at 6584 Poplar Ave.

The move comes on the heels of MAA’s recently announced $4 billion merger with Atlanta-based Post Properties (NYSE: PPS). The merger will bring 225 employees — up from MAA’s current 167 – to the new mixed-use development currently under construction near the intersection of Poplar Avenue and Kirby Parkway.

MAA plans to lease 83,000 square feet of the mixed-use development’s five-story office tower.

With about 144,000 leasable square feet available, MAA will occupy about 57 percent, including most of the third floor and all of the fourth and fifth floors.

The real estate investment trust will also take 225 parking spots in the development’s on-site, covered parking garage, which has a total of 468 parking spaces.

“Being able to be affiliated and lease to a tenant of the quality of MAA is such an honor,” Gill said. “They under-promise and over-perform.”

MAA CEO Eric Bolton was one of the first executives Gill called when he bought the 10-acre, Poplar Avenue-facing site in 2012. Negotiations intensified about a year ago, when MAA began working with Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors to find a new headquarters. Over the past six months, an agreement was reached.

Gill attributes MAA’s relocation decision to four factors — TraVure’s walkability and convenience, the traffic signal at the development’s entrance, the covered parking garage and the ability for MAA to maintain its Poplar Avenue identity.

With office space, two Hilton-branded hotels, a covered parking garage and retail and restaurants on-site, TraVure creates an environment where MAA’s many investors can stay on-site, walk to the office and find a place to eat, Gill said.

“I think we all feel fortunate to have MAA at TraVure and have them stay in the Memphis area with their move to Germantown,” Gill said.

Gill Properties Inc. plans to break ground on the office tower by the end of this year. MAA is expected to relocate by the end of 2017.

In the lease agreement, the landlord was represented by Patty Bullock of Gill Properties Inc. and MAA was represented by Larry Jensen, Matt Weathersby and Landon Williams of Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors.

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