New Class-A office proposed for Poplar Corridor by Michelle Corbet

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The Germantown Planning Commission will consider final plan approval for a new five-story Class-A office building on the crowded Poplar Corridor Tuesday night.

The new Class- A office building is part of a multi-phased planned development which includes hotels, restaurants, retail and a parking garage near the corner of Poplar Avenue and Kirby Parkway.

The new Class- A office building is part of TraVure, a multi-phased planned development which includes hotels, restaurants and retail near the corner of Poplar Avenue and Kirby Parkway.

The new Class- A office building is part of TraVure, a multi-phased planned development… more

Courtesy Gill Properties

Gill Properties, a Memphis-based commercial real estate firm, bought the 10-acre site for $2.57 million from local developer Walter Wills in 2012.

Ray Gill, founder and principal of Gill Properties, pegged the site for a mixed-use business park development he’s calling TraVure.

TraVure is French for a portable military bridge. Gill says the TraVure planned development is meant to span the two points between conventional Germantown and the newer, more modern Germantown.

The development is the first phase of Germantown’s Western Gateway Plan, a development strategy to enhance the suburb’s western entrance.

“Being landlocked, [Germantown] realized in order to increase tax revenue, [it] needed to create economic nodes,” Gill said.

The Western Gateway Plan consists of about 58 acres along Poplar Avenue and the Polar Pike railroad.

About two years ago, when Gill was developing a plan for the site, he had to think long and hard about the market, he said.

He concluded Class-A office would be in higher demand than retail. And his predictions came true. In the most recent quarter, as East Memphis office space nears capacity, rental rates have reached all time highs.

TraVure’s 150,000-square-foot office building lends itself to larger tenants who are looking to consolidate corporate offices or accommodate more employees on a single floor.

Each of the five stories has 30,000 square feet of rentable square feet. The office building also includes a five-level adjoining parking garage.

Gill says he’d like to pre-lease the majority of the building before construction begins.

Before re-committing to Downtown, law firm Bass, Berry & Sims was in negotiations with Gill to move its Memphis office from Peabody Office Tower to a single floor in TraVure.

Gills says he’s actively talking to potential tenants. He’s decided not to lease to medical users as he’s looking for business-oriented tenants such as law firms.

The goal of the planned development is to bring people in from out of town, Gill said.

“The ambition of this plan and what the Germantown Planning Commission gave us, was a place you could entertain, conduct business and on the weekends a place where families could come visit,” he said.

The office building will be paired with a bistro and grill for lunch, fine dining for evening, 35,000 square feet of retail with Class-A office on the second floor and a hospitality component with two Hilton-branded hotels, a Hilton Garden Inn and Home2 Suites.

Final plans for the first three phases of TraVure are going before the Germantown Planning Commission Tuesday, Nov. 2 at 6 p.m.

The first phase includes infrastructure improvements such as connecting Kirby Parkway to TraVure Avenue and installing a traffic signal. Phase two is the hotel component, and phase three the office building and parking garage.

The retail component is the fourth phase, which the planning commission is considering for preliminary approval.

Thoda & Associates is the architect on the project, Fisher Arnold is the engineering firm, Solomito Land Planning is the planning and project management firm and Barry Ward is the attorney.

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