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Q    How has the office market been in

            Memphis recently?


A            The East Memphis market vacancy rate has held steady during the

economic downturn at 9.5 percent. The average rental rate is $24 without

substantial demand. The newer buildings have leased fairly well in recent

years. We have identified opportunities within the market, but not with

new companies entering the market.


Q          What is a general outline of your new office project

             on Poplar?


A          We have planned 140,000 to 160,000 square feet in a single building with

a combination of surface as well as structured parking. The project is driven

by market forces and is a function of demand. We can also develop multiple

buildings as well as a single signature property.



Q         Why do you think now is a good time for this project?


A          The land purchase was an excellent opportunity, particularly in light of the current

economic cycle. Our site is the last vacant parcel on Poplar for class A office. We have

been in a depressed market for five years and it won’t be depressed forever. Many

medical users whose patients travel from out of town find it very convenient for their

clientele to find an office on Poplar.



Q         What types of tenants do you thing would be most attracted to

            this location?


A          We envision government and corporate offices, law firms, investment advisers, medical offices, accounting firms and transportation and financial companies.




Q               What do you think needs to happen locally to attract more office jobs?


A          As a community, we need to attract more service and data based companies to

             locate in Memphis. To do this, we must raise the bar by improving the quality of

life for these well-paid and well-educated employees. We must do all we can to

retain our young people and attract more bright, educated young people to


Too many of my children’s friends leave Memphis to pursue their career.

Both mayors are doing a great job of working together to attract companies

who will hire our work force. The chamber of commerce has training programs

to support industry looking at Memphis and they are pursuing companies

in bioscience, manufacturing and logistics, among others. The new Unified

Development Code is certainly a positive, long-term step in the right

direction. We have a lot going for us, and we are doing a better job now than we have in years identifying our weaknesses and addressing them.

We need to attract companies that will locate their headquarters and support

staff in Memphis. These companies bring educated, well paid executives to Memphis

who will appreciate our rich and storied Southern culture.

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