TraVure looks for more tenants as construction in Germantown continues by Abigail Warren

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Construction at TraVure could continue another 18 months, but one company is already in the building, and more tenants may soon emerge for the development on Poplar Avenue at Germantown's western gateway.

The multi-purpose development will eventually offer office, retail and a pair of Hilton-branded hotels. Mid-America Apartment Communities Inc., the only current tenant, moved there in mid-April. TraVure's website said other tenants could move into the $90 million project this year.

"The day I bought the land five years ago, I called Eric Bolton (MAA CEO)," Ray Gill, founder of Gill Properties, said. "We talked to them and explained what we were doing. I think one of the things that attracted them was the site plan attracted younger people they may want to hire. That was one of our goals — to develop places that attract young workers. It's going to be an intimate, exciting place to be."

MAA has relocated its headquarters to the development where it has 89,000 square feet and its name at the top of the building. Although the former 43,000-square-foot headquarters is located less than a mile west of the new space, the company is now in Germantown rather than Memphis.

TraVure  developer Ray Gill, sets out renderings of
TraVure developer Ray Gill, sets out renderings of his new mixed use property located on Poplar Ave., in Germantown. (Photo: Mark Weber/The Commercial Appeal)

Rob Delpiore, executive vice president and general counsel for MAA, said while they considered moving outside the Memphis area, they "hit the mark" by moving into TraVure.

Delpiore said TraVure's environment makes the new office space exciting.

"TraVure provides us with a unique opportunity to have a newly constructed campus-like setting with amenities such as covered parking, and soon restaurants, a hotel and a fitness center all within walking distance," he said.

MAA occupies floors three through five of the current building, and FirstBank will move into the first floor. The second floor is still open to potential tenants, Gill said.

Another building for the site between Poplar and Poplar Pike is in developmental stages. Gill said retail is destined for the first floor and offices on the second floor. In the retail spaces, he wants fine dining, cafes, personal services and "things you can't get on the internet."

The TraVure project at Kirby and Poplar in Germantown.The TraVure project at Kirby and Poplar in Germantown. (Photo: File)

The building was originally designed with three stories, but was redesigned due to cost. The new design needs Germantown approval. Gill plans to move his office to the building because he is so pleased with the site plan.

A co-branded Hilton Garden Inn and Home2 Suites are under construction on the site. Gill said the hotel space should have about 96 rooms.

A new traffic signal was added on Poplar at the entrance, and, along with a parking garage, the accessibility is "remarkable," Gill said.

The latest figures from Tennessee Department of Transportation show the traffic count in 2016 was 35,200 vehicles daily east of Kirby Parkway.

Germantown's Smart Growth Plan helped determine the development's location.

"Germantown wanted more urban walkable mixed-use development," Gill said. "We worked with Germantown on this site. The fact that they were advocating a cutting-edge urban design was attractive. Germantown is known for its residential amenities, but they'd like to see more corporate headquarters there."

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