By Perri Ormont Blumberg
So much South, so little time.
While there are so many reasons to love the South right now, Memphis is certainly one of them. In fact, popular travel site TripSavvy just named Memphis the best overall destination for 2019 on their “Where to Go in 2019” travel list.
If you haven’t been to the Home of the Blues, there’s much to explore. Beale Street, the National Civil Rights Museum, and ordering more food than you can eat at Paulette’s Restaurant, to name a few. TripSavvy captures Bluff City’s appeal in its write-up for why it’s their top overall destination for 2019, stating:
Memphis is a hotbed of activity. Formerly abandoned lots and buildings are now fun spots for tourists and locals. At Crosstown Concourse (in an old Sears distribution warehouse) you can dine in a dozen just opened restaurants including one that taps refugees to do the cooking. An overgrown yard has turned into Railgarten, a 1.5 acre adult playground with a tiki bar, ping pong room, ice cream parlor, diner, sandbox, stage for live music, and much more. Old establishments are new again. Over the summer the Memphis Pink Palace Museum reopened its historic mansion after a shiny renovation. The zoo now has a spacious new exhibit on hippos. At the start of 2019 CMPLX, a collective that showcases the work of local black artists, cut the ribbon on a new studio where art exhibits will rotate every three weeks.
For best destination for outdoor enthusiasts, Rapid City, South Dakota secured the spot thanks to the Black Hills, Badlands National Park, Custer State Park, and other wide open spaces, rodeos, and activities for thrill seekers.
Meanwhile, back in our neck of the woods, San Antonio was crowned as the best destination for history buffs, and Atlanta, Miami, and Houston also made the list for best for beer snobs, best for café culture, and best for the food obsessed, respectively. These wonderful places were highlighted along with other destinations around the world and you can read the full list here.
The end of 2018 brings great excitement to In-Rel Properties with the purchase of Kaden Tower, a 115,530 Sq Ft landmark property in Louisville, Kentucky. The distinctive office building, built in 1965, is located at 6100 Dutchmans Lane, adjacent to the I-264/Breckinridge Lane interchange and the Dupont Medical District. An iconic, Frank Lloyd Wright inspired building on the Louisville suburban skyline for decades, Kaden Tower offers tenants stylish mid-century modern office space in one of the most highly visible and easily accessible office locations in Louisville. Designed by Taliesin Associated Architects (an affiliate of The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation), Kaden is a highly recognized building and the tallest in the suburban office market. The penthouse is home to Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Other notable tenants include Bio-Medical Applications, Pharmacord, Kiely Hines & Associates, Bowie Resource Holdings, Keller Williams, and the Alzheimer’s Association. On the ground floor sits a 4,000 Sq Ft Civic Center offering a perfect, upscale, unique location for unforgettable events. Planned upgrades to the building include a new air conditioning chiller, concrete façade renovations, lobby and gym makeovers, and the addition of exterior elevator details. This acquisition is the third for In-Rel in Kentucky, joining Meidinger Tower also in Louisville, and Chase Tower in Lexington.
Konica Minolta Business Solutions U.S.A., Inc. has taken occupancy of 17,500 square feet at Lynnfield Office Park, Building C, where they are operating a sales office and call center. They moved in on August 1. The premises were completely refurbished in an “open floor plan” design. The space plan includes an employee break area, conference rooms, and a product show room. See the photos below:
By Marty Finley Reporter, Louisville Business First
Computershare just reached 650 employees in downtown Louisville and wanted the sign to showcase its commitment to the city. Louisville’s Meidinger Tower soon might pick up a new nickname: the Computershare building. Computershare Inc. erected a large sign on the top of the building this week and will celebrate the new signage during a Monday morning ceremony.
Computershare is a global technology company that is based in Melbourne, Australia. Its services include transfer agency and share registration, employee equity plans, proxy solicitation and stakeholder communications. It has been growing rapidly in downtown Louisville, which is part of the reason for the sign.
Joe Williams, Computershare’s corporate communications manager, said the sign has gone up to mark the company hiring its 650th employee in the Louisville office.”The building has now hosted a major Computershare office for three years, and the new sign reflects our growing presence and commitment to the city,” Williams said in an email.
The Louisville office is an operational center for Computershare’s U.S. business. It takes up seven floors and about 100,000 square feet in the Meidinger Tower, at the corner of Fourth Street and Muhammad Ali Boulevard. Louisville-based NAI Fortis Group, the commercial real estate firm that manages Meidinger Tower, said the building’s name will not change with the sign’s placement.
Computershare officials told us in October of last year that the company aims to have 700 employees by the end of 2018 with aspirations to add as many as 1,100, based on hiring estimates previously provided to the state. The jobs are expected to pay an average hourly wage of $30, and Computershare’s total Louisville investment has been estimated at $32 million over a 10-year period, according to the company’s previous filings with the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority.
Signage rights for downtown office towers can bring a company enhanced marketing power and brand awareness, and I reported in October that a building’s nickname often has more staying power than its formal name.
A good example of this is the former Aegon Center, which rebranded in 2014 to 400 West Market after Aegon departed. Many people in the city refer to the tower as the Mercer building because Mercer — a global consulting company — stamped its name on the complex several years ago in a significant signage rights deal. Terms of Computershare’s signage rights deal for Meidinger Tower were not disclosed.
The 26-story Meidinger Tower is a Class A office tower of 331,000 square feet that is almost fully leased. The building has a mix of professional firms and technologically inclined companies, including Mountjoy Chilton Medley LLP, River Road Asset Management LLC, Cotiviti and Seiller Waterman LLC. Louisville Business First also is a tenant.
The building was purchased about a year ago by Florida-based In-Rel Properties for $32 million. It’s one of the tallest buildings in Louisville, as you can see in this slideshow.
Not Your Father’s Office Building
Clark Tower Upgrades Are More Than Cosmetic
By Patrick Lantrip
2017 was a big year for Clark Tower, with more than $9 million in physical improvements. But perhaps one of the biggest changes to the 34-story East Memphis office tower, located at 5100 Poplar Ave., is a change in perception.
“We’ve added a fresh perspective,” said Kirk Cypel, CEO of Lake Worth, Florida-based In-Rel Properties, which has owned Clark Tower since 2003. “We are starting a photographic art program and planning a series of educational and entertainment events to make greater use of our property.”
Since the needs and wants of today’s office users aren’t exactly the same as they were when the 668,505-square-foot East Memphis tower was built in 1973, Cypel and In-Rel knew that upgrades would need to be more than just skin deep.
“It seems like the only constant in our world is change,” he said. “With everything moving so quickly, the strongest (market) trends reflect basic human needs for stability, flexibility, convenience, comfort and value. We seek a stable environment but also the flexibility to modify that environment as needs evolve.”
The multimillion-dollar renovation of Clark Tower, which wrapped up last May, included upgrades to the front entry, lobby, common areas and restroom finishes; the addition of a 60-person conference room; a new marquee entry on the south side of the building; pedestrian walking paths connecting to nearby retail; and behind-the-scenes work, such as upgrades to the elevators as well as the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system.
A recently launched branding campaign, “Meet the New Clark,” touts the upgrades on a new website, meetthenewclark.com.
Colliers International, which was tapped in January 2017 to handle leasing for In-Rel’s 1.3 million-square-foot local portfolio – which also includes Lynnfield Office Park, the 2400 Poplar Building, and the 23-story i-bank Tower, located adjacent to Clark Tower at 5050 Poplar Ave. – has inked several leases since the renovations wrapped up.
Memphis-based First Alliance Bank signed a 10-year lease in early August to relocate its Poplar Avenue branch into a 4,000-square-foot space adjacent to the Clark Tower lobby.
And in late August, The Partners Group, a new company formed when the Memphis arm of MassMutual merged with Nashville-based Capital Financial Group, inked a lease for the entire 23rd floor – totaling some 17,000 square feet.
Cypel said he has noticed increased interest from smaller, more diversified prospective users, too.
“Over the past year, we’ve seen a number of tenants in the 1,000- to 5,000-square-foot range come to the property,” he said. “Historically, we’ve made a home to professional firms in the accounting, insurance, investment, finance and legal fields, but it seems that the Memphis business environment is evolving and we’re seeing interest from all kinds of entrepreneurial businesses that are looking for a high-profile office location at affordable lease rates.”
Cypel said that interest is driven in part by the fact that Clark Tower offers a portfolio of amenities that smaller tenants simply can’t get at smaller properties, which is why they have begun to keep a number of “move-in ready” suites for entrepreneurial companies who need quality office space right away.
A second paradigm shift Cypel has noticed affecting the tenant makeup in Clark Tower is the eastward movement of the city’s density.
“Like many cities, Memphis has experienced a shift in its center of gravity,” he said. “For example, the center of Dallas has shifted north towards Plano. Similarly, the center of Memphis has shifted to the east and Clark Tower, at Poplar Avenue and I-240, is pretty much the center of everything. While East Memphis is east of Downtown, East Memphis is the center of our city.”
Clark Tower marked In-Rel’s entry into the Memphis market in 2003. The company later purchased Lynnfield Office Park and the 2400 Poplar Building, and in late 2015, it acquired the 23-story i-bank Tower, located adjacent to Clark Tower at 5050 Poplar Ave.
Colliers International was tapped in January 2017 to handle leasing for In-Rel’s local portfolio, which totals 1.3 million square feet.
Ron Riley, senior vice president for Colliers International, said Clark Tower is a perfect fit for any business, large or small, that wants a central, convenient location.
“Every conceivable amenity is either located on-site or within a five-minute walk,” Riley said.
“The improvements have truly brought the building into the 21st century. No other building in the city is more recognizable and can stack up amenity to amenity. When you couple that with the overall great value, we believe it is the place to office.”
Louisville Business First selects the top developments and transactions that have left a major impression on Louisville. Dozens of projects are nominated by architects, contractors and brokers for the Commercial Real Estate Champions program. Now in its sixth year, a panel of real estate experts work with Louisville Business First to review projects and weigh them based on their innovation, importance, impact and other factors. After consultation and consideration, a team of Business First editors selected In-Rel’s acquisition of Meidinger Tower as a finalist. The program will conclude with an April 12 awards event.
Here’s the article:
ANNOUNCING: Our 2018 Commercial Real Estate Champions
Feb 1, 2018, 2:18pm EST
At last count, nearly 185 development projects — including hotels, office buildings, apartment complexes and industrial warehouses — are underway in Louisville and Southern Indiana. It’s proof of the region’s booming commercial real estate market.
You can check out Louisville Business First’s Project Watch to follow the progress of these projects. Some of them will be future contenders for our Commercial Real Estate Champions awards. Now in its sixth year, the program honors developments and deals that exemplify excellence in the industry.
Dozens of local projects were nominated by architects, contractors and brokers for our annual Commercial Real Estate Champions program. Projects completed in 2017 were eligible. We worked with a panel of Certified Commercial Investor Members, who reviewed the applications and weighed them based on their innovation, importance, impact and other factors. After much consultation and consideration, a team of Business First editors made the decisions on which projects to honor.
This year, Business First is awarding superlatives in 10 categories — in addition to our top Deal of the Year award — to developments and transactions that have left major impressions on our city. Some have completely transformed our landscape, while others have generated jobs or breathed new life into old buildings.
This year, we also give a nod to seven additional projects that are worthy of recognition.
We’ll reveal our superlative winners and other honorees at the 2018 Commercial Real Estate Champions awards. (Registration information is available here.) We’ll also tell you more about these projects in a special section in the April 13 weekly and digital editions of Louisville Business First.
But for now, you can get a peek at this year’s honorees by clicking on the slideshow above. Congratulations to them all!
Louisville Business First
By: Janet Patton
Dupree Catering, which is co-owned by Azur chef Jeremy Ashby, Tom Evans and their business partners, is opening an event space on the 15th floor of the Chase Bank building on Main Street.
The new venue will be called The Mane on Main and will host events including wine-pairing dinners and holiday parties, to be billed as “The Mane Events,” Evans said.
The venue, to open in mid-October, might be able to handle 300 to 500 people if the full space is used, Evans said. The first events already are booked, he said.
Dupree Catering’s catering kitchen will move in December from its building on Delaware Avenue, which is for sale.
The 12,500-square-foot space in the Chase Bank building once was the Lafayette Club, a private lunch and dinner club, and more recently had been a nightclub and a bar.
The new space will be configured into several separate rooms that can be used for a variety of functions, Evans said. One room will be set up as a conference room for as many as 60 people that will convert to a “bridal suite” for brides to use for changing clothes before or after a reception.
The U-shaped room has another area with a built-in bar, which could hold about 150 people, Evans said.
The north side of the room will be lounge area with furniture as a foyer but can be used for event space, too, he said.
The west side is probably the largest, Evans said, and it could handle probably 200 people.
The venue also will have attached covered parking in the garage next door, he said.