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Downtown Works Initiative

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Here is a piece from Memphis Daily News:

"2006 Banner Year For Downtown; More to Come in 2007

With $133 million in new development and more than $1.7 billion in projects under construction, 2006 appears to have been a good year for Downtown Memphis and 2007 looks to be just as strong.

The Center City Commission's 2006 year-end review gives a peek at what projects are still to come, including more than $1 billion in new medical and bioscience facilities, 556 condo units, 318 apartment units, 200 single-family homes and 429 hotel rooms. Fifty-eight percent of the investment in Downtown last year was pumped into residential projects, including the $12 million, 36-condo City House project; the $12 million, 42-condo and townhome unit City Commons Phase 1; and the $5.5 million conversion of the Shrine Building into 75 condo units.

Also on the way in 2007 is the Downtown Works initiative, a collaborative campaign with private and public partners to bring more office users to Downtown."

http://www.memphisdailynews.com/Editorial/...te=2%2f8%2f2007

I was curious about the last sentence. I have never heard of the Downtown Works initiative. Anyone have any information? Website?

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With the Suntrust move out of downtown, the article also again mentions a Downtown Works Initiative.

http://www.commercialappeal.com/mca/local/...5338980,00.html

Anyone have any more details on that and who the initiative is targeted at? What corporation if any could fill such a huge void as would be made by SUntrust moving completely out of downtown? I mean afterall, the building has their logo. I'm sure they had a vast amoutn of space in the building.

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From what little I could find, it appears "Downtown Works" was created by the CCC as a public/private campaign to increase office utilization downtown. Looks like a work in progress and finally a realization by the CCC that the "Live, Work, Play, Develop" motto was missing the 2nd piece.

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With the Suntrust move out of downtown, the article also again mentions a Downtown Works Initiative.

http://www.commercialappeal.com/mca/local/...5338980,00.html

Anyone have any more details on that and who the initiative is targeted at? What corporation if any could fill such a huge void as would be made by SUntrust moving completely out of downtown? I mean afterall, the building has their logo. I'm sure they had a vast amoutn of space in the building.

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Not sure if this is the Downtown Work Initiative talked about but I did see this on the CCC website:

"

Making A Difference Inside Downtown

It's YOUR downtown ... so how can you get involved?

Last year, the Center City Commission launched a new program to engage Downtown employees in the growth of Downtown. The program, called Inside Downtown, is a monthly networking event that incorporates a discussion of issues affecting downtown.

More than 350 people representing 200 companies in downtown are participating in this program. Members range from artists and small business owners to corporate executives who are encouraged to offer input and suggestions on how to make change for the better in downtown.

Inside Downtown is gearing up for its spring series focused on catalytic development that is reshaping our Downtown. The spring series will include hard hat tours, panel discussions about cutting edge industries, and meet and greets with development leaders. The first meeting will be held on March 1 at 4:30 pm.

Topics and venues will be announced when details are finalized. Meetings are held in various venues throughout downtown on the first Thursday of each month at 4:30 pm.

If you are interested in participating, click here to download a registration form, or contact Nicole Hernandez, CCC Director of Executive Programs, 901.575.0542.

"

For those of you on this forum, it'd be great if we could get some of the issues discussed here presented. It'd be great if others discovered this forum, contributed to it, and it made a difference. For example: Wnto to hear the latest on One Beale? St Mary tower? Aska bout it there. Light rail? Buildings that reshape she skyline? Development plans of SoFo? Sounds like a great opportunity to learn more and see what direction downtown Memphis might tke..

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It appears the economic development programs in place are lacking according to this CA article: http://www.commercialappeal.com/mca/busine...5452397,00.html

Not sure where I stand on this one. Ideally, a city/region should stand on its own merit without spending lots of money or extending numerous inventives to businesses seeking an easy handout. I think the focus would be better spent on making the city more livable by improving education at the secondary and college (UofM, UT-MEM) levels, reducing crime, and improving infrastructure. One could look at this issue as Memphis has received a lot of bang for its economic development buck lately with IP, ServiceMaster, Harrah's, Medtronic, Nucor, and others relocating or expanding operations here. Larry Jensen's quote in the article about being successful despite ourselves is probably the most accurate statement. Hopefully the Downtown Works Initiative will partner with this new econ. dev. program to keep the downtown business climate viable.

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Finally, some more informaton about the Downtown Works Initiative. The Memphis Daily News 04/23 edition will have an article discussing the initiative: http://www.memphisdailynews.com/Editorial/...x?&id=96809. In the article, there is a link to the project: http://www.downtownmemphisworks.com/

While checking out the latter link, specifically the available square footage and lease rates, there is a LOT of downtown office space (hundreds of thousands of square feet) that can be/needs to be absorbed before significant additional construction occurs. However, a lot of that is in Class B or lesser space. Class A properties seem to be doing better.

It's unclear when the DWI compares leasing rates between Downtown and East Memphis whether they are comparing the market as a whole or just certain classes. It seems East Memphis' rates would naturally be higher as a higher percentage of the east market is Class A compared with Downtown.

I also noticed there are significant vacancies in some of better downtown renovation projects such as the Toyota Center, Brinkley Plaza, and Peabody Place (except the office tower, which is almost full). P-Place (along Main) alone has almost 130,000 sq. ft. of vacant office space; were these renovations not up to Class A standards or has the market just not been there for the past 5-7 years to sustain absorption of this space?

I wish the DWI well as they certainly have their work cut out for them.

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Finally, some more informaton about the Downtown Works Initiative. The Memphis Daily News 04/23 edition will have an article discussing the initiative: http://www.memphisdailynews.com/Editorial/...x?&id=96809. In the article, there is a link to the project: http://www.downtownmemphisworks.com/

While checking out the latter link, specifically the available square footage and lease rates, there is a LOT of downtown office space (hundreds of thousands of square feet) that can be/needs to be absorbed before significant additional construction occurs. However, a lot of that is in Class B or lesser space. Class A properties seem to be doing better.

It's unclear when the DWI compares leasing rates between Downtown and East Memphis whether they are comparing the market as a whole or just certain classes. It seems East Memphis' rates would naturally be higher as a higher percentage of the east market is Class A compared with Downtown.

I also noticed there are significant vacancies in some of better downtown renovation projects such as the Toyota Center, Brinkley Plaza, and Peabody Place (except the office tower, which is almost full). P-Place (along Main) alone has almost 130,000 sq. ft. of vacant office space; were these renovations not up to Class A standards or has the market just not been there for the past 5-7 years to sustain absorption of this space?

I wish the DWI well as they certainly have their work cut out for them.

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I think once a more steady work force begins living downtown we'll see some reversal, but downtown is no longer the center of the city. If there was some growth in West Memphis, a Larger downtown, and a growth of the areas surrounding downtown with educated labourers we might start to see a nice downtown office community.

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I was wondering if anyone has any information about Nike offices in memphis. They are building a new distribution center in North Memphis that will make memphis the #2 Nike city in the country. Certainly this should require large office space. Should not the DWI pursue landing Nike Downtown or will thier offices be in the New distribution center? :mellow:

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I was wondering if anyone has any information about Nike offices in memphis. They are building a new distribution center in North Memphis that will make memphis the #2 Nike city in the country. Certainly this should require large office space. Should not the DWI pursue landing Nike Downtown or will thier offices be in the New distribution center? :mellow:

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Its supposed to be in the Frayser and Raleigh area. According to FOX 13 news, it is supposed to create about 1200 jobs for the Memphis area. I love the site because it can revive the area and possibly bring more businesses. So Memphis will be operating this new facility and the Shelby Drive facility. Both are ideally located near the railroad. I am very excited about this development!

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Its supposed to be in the Frayser and Raleigh area. According to FOX 13 news, it is supposed to create about 1200 jobs for the Memphis area. I love the site because it can revive the area and possibly bring more businesses. So Memphis will be operating this new facility and the Shelby Drive facility. Both are ideally located near the railroad. I am very excited about this development!

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I like the 1200 figure better too! LOL Hey, 244 is a great number in my book too though, plus there is always the possibility of further expansions in the city by Nike based on its current presence.

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Looks like Downtown missed out on Comcast's consolidation of its workforce in the Mid-South. Too bad they couldn't have used 2-3 floors of Commerce Square (334,000 square feet available) or most of Pembroke Square (70,000 square feet available) for this relocation instead of building all the way out at Southwind. 500 additional employees downtown would have been a decent boost to the downtown economy, especially at lunchtime.

http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2007/sep/13/e13comcast/

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Well in more positive news, The DeHart Group is moving from Collierville to Midtown. They purchased the Strings-n-Things building and will be relocating their corporate headquarters there.

MBJ article here>>

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