Newmark Grubb Knight Frank (NGKF) has secured the 315,450-square-foot lease relocation and adaptive reuse project for ServiceMaster, which plans to transform downtown Memphis, Tennessee, with its 1,200-person global corporate headquarters and Innovation Center. Vice Chairman Neal Golden and Senior Managing Director Aaron Sommer led the Fortune 1000 company through an exhaustive, two-year site selection process that ended in plans to rejuvenate a former urban shopping center 15 miles from its current base.
ServiceMaster will transition and consolidate from the suburban Poplar Avenue Corridor - where operations were spread across four buildings between Ridge Lake and Forest Hill Irene - to remake Peabody Place into an iconic workspace and innovation center that will be used for product development, talent recruitment and marketing. The property will be rebranded to “ServiceMaster Centre” as part of a naming and marketing opportunity including digital and static signage with an estimated reach of eight million people per year.
“ServiceMaster’s vision to re-energize this southern city center capitalizes on the urbanization trend we’re seeing filter across the country from Silicon Valley. With progressive thinking and collaboration, we’re turning ‘dead malls’ like Peabody Place into vibrant, urban mixed-use destinations for a new generation of users,” said Golden.
The company selected NGKF, which has led dozens of corporate relocations for ServiceMaster as well as 10 other transactions for the firm across seven states, to provide strategic planning, office tenant representation, corporate headquarters relocation and economic incentive negotiation.
“The main objectives behind ServiceMaster’s relocation were to promote innovation and talent acquisition, to consolidate facilities and to create a dynamic, collaborative work environment to support business objectives.” said Sommer.
The team focused the search on southern hub cities with a substantial airport, infrastructure and labor pool. ServiceMaster also sought a pro-business environment with opportunities to enhance recruiting and retention, software engineering and tech talent. After Atlanta, Dallas, Memphis, Austin, Orlando and Tampa were shortlisted, NGKF evaluated competitive real estate costs, affordable housing and compelling state and local incentives.
NGKF then identified and presented ServiceMaster with a rare opportunity to revitalize a downtown business district, repurpose abandoned retail space, re-envision the company’s headquarters - and remain in Memphis. The retail-level Innovation Center, patterned after similar concepts at Delta’s global headquarters in Atlanta and IBM in Dallas, will be the first of its kind in Memphis.
“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 ideal partners,” said Sommer.
Built in 2001 and owned by Belz, Peabody Place offers 330,000 square feet of enclosed space next to the historic Peabody Hotel and within walking distance of the Mississippi River, famed Beale Street, FedExForum, Orpheum Theatre, AutoZone Park, apartments and numerous restaurants.
“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’re thrilled to be joining the downtown business community and being a part of the city’s ongoing downtown revitalization efforts. We’re excited to start the process of creating a new headquarters that reflects our winning culture and will help us attract and retain great talent in Memphis,” said Rob Gillette, CEO of ServiceMaster.
Founded in 1929 and headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, ServiceMaster is a global Fortune 1000 company that specializes in residential and commercial services. With more than 7,000 company-owned and franchise locations worldwide, ServiceMaster is home to a wide variety of brands, including Terminix and MerryMaids. ServiceMaster’s core services include pest control, home warranties, disaster response and restoration, janitorial services, home cleaning, home inspections and furniture repair. For more information, visit https://www.servicemaster.com/.
About Newmark Grubb Knight Frank
Newmark Grubb Knight Frank is one of the world’s leading commercial real estate advisory firms. Together with London-based partner Knight Frank and independently-owned offices, NGKF’s 12,800 professionals operate from more than 370 offices in established and emerging property markets on six continents.
With roots dating back to 1929, NGKF’s strong foundation makes it one of the most trusted names in commercial real estate. NGKF’s full-service platform comprises BGC’s real estate services segment, offering commercial real estate tenants, landlords, investors and developers a wide range of services including leasing; capital markets services, including investment sales, debt placement, appraisal, and valuation services; commercial mortgage brokerage services; as well as corporate advisory services, consulting, project and development management, and property and corporate facilities management services. For further information, visit www.ngkf.com.
NGKF is a part of BGC Partners, Inc., a leading global brokerage company servicing the financial and real estate markets. BGC’s common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol (NASDAQ: BGCP). BGC also has an outstanding bond issuance of Senior Notes due June 15, 2042, which trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol (NYSE: BGCA). BGC Partners is led by Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Howard W. Lutnick. For more information, please visit www.bgcpartners.com.