Andrew J. Groveman
The Tower at Peabody Place
100 Peabody Place/Suite 1400
Memphis, TN 38103
Melinda Medlin or Kent Landers
Thompson & Company
Memphis. What listing? Growing call centers.
MEMPHIS, Tennessee (September 3, 1999)
Chuck Berrys lyrics, "Long distance
information, give me Memphis, Tennessee," are taking
on a new meaning as corporate call centers find a niche
in a city rapidly becoming known for its pro-business
attitude and commitment to new technology.
With a 46,000-mile fiber optic network, and fiber-optic
connections between every switching center and every
long-distance carrier, Memphis has one of the largest
switching capacities in the Southeastern United States.
The impact of this has become evident as office parks
throughout Memphis have become leaders in reservation
sales and customer service.
For example, Shelby Oaks Business Center, a 1.4 million
square-foot complex owned and managed by Belz
Enterprises, has a growing concentration of corporate
Home to MCI Worldcom, Advanced Services Inc. (ASI), EFS
Card Services and ServiceMaster, the number of call
centers in the park has continued to grow since ASI
established the first call center here in 1985.
"The growth were seeing at Shelby Oaks
reflects the changing demographics of Memphis," said
Andrew J. Groveman. "While Memphis once was
predominately an agriculture and industrial city, it is
rapidly becoming an incubator for technology and service
"Shelby Oaks is an attractive venue for call centers
because its central location positions businesses in
close proximity to their workforce," said Morris
Thomas, vice president of brokerage and leasing, Belz
Enterprises. "It is no secret that the key to a
successful call center is a staff of skilled, affordable
employees. While the labor market in Memphis is
competitive, there are more than 50,000 full- and
part-time college students here, and as many as 30,000
employees presently working in the telecommunications
sector. When a business is within minutes of this
employee base, it naturally is easier to recruit
With the capacity for additional build-to-suit
development, as well as a 130,000-square-foot facility
currently under construction, Groveman expects Shelby
Oaks to continue accommodating rapid business growth.
While most of the parks tenants started with small
leases, nearly all of them have taken over their own
complexes. One tenant, Tri-State Title, has expanded five
times in five years.
The business parks largest call center tenants are
MCI with 65,000 square feet, ASI with 66,500 square feet,
EFS Card Services with 47,500 square feet, and
ServiceMaster with 80,000 square feet.
The ServiceMaster center is Shelby Oaks most recent
addition. With a divisional headquarters at Shelby Oaks,
ServiceMaster found it convenient to locate a
corresponding call center on land adjacent to the office
"A strategic advantage of Shelby Oaks is the variety
of space we have available," Groveman said.
"If, for example, a company such as ServiceMaster is
looking to construct a call center, additional office
space, industrial space, or even office/showroom space,
we can accommodate any of these needs within the
With most of its speculative space fully leased, Belz
also specializes in build-to-suit services for new and
existing tenants at Shelby Oaks.
Groveman said current leasing opportunities at Shelby
Oaks include 36,000 square feet of new office/showroom
space, 171,250 square feet of distribution space, and
27,750 square feet of rentable office space.
Belz Enterprises is a leading innovator in real estate
development with interests throughout the South and much
of the country. Belz develops, owns and manages over 25
million square feet of industrial/warehouse/distribution
centers, shopping centers, office buildings, mixed-use
centers and corporate campuses. The company also owns a
group of premier hotels including the Peabody Hotels in
Memphis and Orlando.
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