S P R I N G -- 1 9 9 9P A G E2
Development Activity Strong in 1998
The industrial division executed 53 leases for 1,603,385 square feet of distribution, warehouse and industrial space during 1998. This total is 650,000 square feet more than was leased during 1997, which was a banner year for the company. Thirty-six office leases were signed for 85,062 square feet during the same period, while the retail division had 57 leases for 391,641 square feet.
"1998 was an extraordinarily busy year in which not only newly constructed buildings became leased, but also a large portion of our existing space as well," said Morris Thomas, vice president of brokerage and leasing.
At Southridge Industrial Park, located at 4971 Southridge Blvd., Belz added 325,000 square feet to the Technicolor Distribution Company, bringing Technicolor's total space to 640,000 square feet. Technicolor, which makes and distributes videocassettes for Disney, is one of only three sites in the country that manufactures DVDs. Also at Southridge, Belz has constructed 150,000 square feet of speculative space that is leased to Faulding, Inc., a New Jersey-based pharmaceutical firm, and McKesson Corp., with some space still available.
"Projects such as these underscore the continuing growth of manufacturing and distribution in Memphis," said Andrew Groveman, senior vice president of marketing and administration. "Memphis is truly North America's Distribution Center."
"The demand for space has been vigorous, and we've been working over the last several months to absorb any vacancies," Thomas said. "Memphis' growing economy has created a strong demand for quality office space."
In downtown, Belz has continued its development of Peabody Place, an urban mixed-use project that when completed will contain almost two million square feet of space. In 1998, Belz reached 95 percent occupancy of its office space in the Tower at Peabody Place, and leased 35,000 square feet in Pembroke Square to Executive Suites, Inc.
During the third quarter, FedEx signed a multi-year lease for 25,000 square feet of office space in the PennMarc building, located at 6401 Poplar Ave. FedEx will be housed on the entire sixth floor, which was occupied by BellSouth. BellSouth moved to a building in the Belz development, Goodlett Farms. The FedEx lease makes PennMarc 95 percent occupied.
Belz has entered the Germantown market with the opening of The Enclave, a 6,500-square-foot upscale office building located on Walnut Grove Road, just east of Germantown Parkway. The unique office space is designed for professional firms such as attorneys, accountants or financial services. The Enclave site offers the potential to build two additional 6,000-square-foot office buildings.
Midtown office properties such as 2400 Poplar Avenue and 1451 Union Avenue are 95 percent leased. The 170,000-square-foot Memphis Professional Building at 1211 Union in the heart of the city's medical center is 95 percent leased.
The growth in the office arena has prompted the development by Belz of a new 25,000 square-foot building at Shelby Oaks that should be completed by summer.
"1998 proves that the retail market is going strong in Memphis; our tenants are doing extraordinarily well," Thomas said.
Photos: Top - Pennmarc Building, Bottom - Southridge signage