Andrew J. Groveman   
Belz Enterprises
The Tower at Peabody Place
100 Peabody Place/Suite 1400
Memphis, TN 38103

(901) 767-4780

Melinda Medlin or Kent Landers
Thompson & Company
(901) 527-8000


‘What city?’ Memphis. ‘What listing?’ Growing call centers.

MEMPHIS, Tennessee (September 3, 1999) – Chuck Berry’s 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 call centers.

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 we’re 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 jobs."

"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 excellent employees."

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 park’s 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 park’s 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 facility.

"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 park."

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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