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NGKF Secures Deal for ServiceMaster HQ Relocation

By Allison Halliday | June 16, 2016

Newmark Grubb Knight Frank (NGKF), has secured the 315,450 ft.² lease relocation and adaptive reuse project for ServiceMaster, which plans to transform downtown Memphis, Tennessee with its 1200 person global corporate headquarters and Innovation Centre.

Vice Chairman Neal Golden and Senior Managing Director Aaron Sommer led the Fortune 1000 company through an exhaustive, two-year site selection process that has finished with plans to rejuvenate a former urban shopping centre 15 miles from its current base.

Currently, ServiceMaster is located in the suburban Poplar Avenue Corridor with operations spread across four buildings between Bridge Lake and Forest Hill Irene. Now it will remake Peabody Place into an iconic workspace and innovation centre. The new property will be used for talent recruitment and marketing and for product development. The property is to be rebranded to “ServiceMaster Center” as part of a naming and marketing opportunity.


Golden said “ServiceMasters vision to re-energize this southern city centre capitalizes on the urbanization trend we are seeing filter across the country from Silicon Valley. With progressive thinking and collaboration, were turning ‘dead malls’ like Peabody Place into vibrant, urban mixed-use destinations for a new generation of users.”
Commenting on the relocation, Sommer said “The main objective between ServiceMasters relocation were to promote innovation and talent acquisition, to consolidate facilities and to create a dynamic, collaborative work environment to support business objectives.”

The primary focus when searching for a new location was on southern hub cities with a substantial airport, infrastructure and labour pool. ServiceMaster was also keen to find a pro-business environment with opportunities to enhance recruiting and retention, tech talent and software engineering. The cities that were shortlisted were Atlanta, Dallas, Memphis, Austin, Orlando and Tampa, and NGKF evaluated competitive real estate costs, compelling state and local incentives and affordable housing. It then identified the opportunity to revitalise the downtown business district, repurposing an abandoned retail space and re-envisioning the company’s headquarters. The retail level Innovation Center is to be the first of its kind in Memphis and is modelled on similar concepts at Delta’s global headquarters in Atlanta and IBM in Dallas.

Sommer went on to say “The central location attracts an optimal labor pool and fosters a more business friendly environment within the city. Belz Enterprises, the state of Tennessee and its economic development Council, both city and county leaders, Downtown Memphis Commission (DMC), Economic Development Growth Engine (EDGE) for Memphis and Shelby County, Nashville Destination Management Company, Tennessee Valley Authority and the Memphis Chamber of Commerce have been the ideal partners.”

Rob Gillette, CEO of ServiceMaster said “We wanted to create a world-class work environment that would help us attract and retain great people and accelerate a winning growth culture. We are thrilled to be joining the downtown business community and being a part of the city’s ongoing downtown revitalization efforts.”

Allison Halliday is a Realty Biz News contributing writer. She handles International Real Estate and is a seasoned blogger.
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