August 04, 2015

Baptist Medical Consolidates Office Space

By:  Andy Ashby
Memphis Business Journal

Baptist Medical Group has signed a lease for 14,500 square feet at 965 Ridge Lake Blvd. in Boyle Investment Co.’s Ridgeway Center.
The new lease consolidates three Baptist Medical Group administrative offices in one location at Poplar Avenue and I-240. The average asking lease rate for office space in East Memphis is $19.03 per square foot, according to Xceligent.
The new space will be ready Nov. 12 to help handle Baptist Medical Group’s rapid growth, according to chief executive officer Jim Boswell, who is also vice president of physician services for Baptist Memorial Health Care Corp.
“This growth has brought about challenges as it relates to space planning and team building,” he says. “Consolidating our business office functions into one central location will enable our colleagues to operate more efficiently.”
The Ridge Lake office will house administration for another recent Baptist office consolidation.
Last month, the not-for-profit multispecialty physician group signed a 10-year lease to occupy an 18,000-square-foot building at 1717 Massey Road.
The space, which used to be home to UBS Financial Services Inc., consolidates Baptist executives from three other locations.
The staff at Ridge Lake will perform day-to-day tasks including insurance claims filing and follow-up, data entry and payment posting.
Boyle has a long history of working with Baptist, building Baptist Memorial Health Care’s corporate headquarters at Humphreys Center in 2002. Baptist has also been a tenant in a Boyle office building at 6305 Humphreys Blvd.
Kathy Pampuro, senior vice president at Boyle, handled the lease from the landlord perspective, working directly with Baptist.
965 Ridge Lake is a three-story, 100,000-square-foot office building in the middle of Boyle’s 204-acre Ridgeway Center development. It is adjacent to a Hilton hotel with a connecting walkway. Ridgeway Center has a 14 percent vacancy rate while the East Memphis submarket has a 17.3 percent vacancy rate, according to Xceligent.
Boyle is making improvements to restrooms, the elevator lobby and other common areas at the property.
“We are local owners and these are investment properties for us so we like to maintain them and keep them looking good, which in turn helps us lease them in a competitive market,” says Pampuro. “We have a high tenant retention rate and we attribute that to taking care of our tenants and maintaining our properties.”
The property has 33,000-square-foot floor plates.
“The floor plate at 965 Ridge Lake is very flexible and efficient,” Pampuro says. “889 Ridge Lake was the first Boyle property to use this floor plate, and then we duplicated it at 965 Ridge Lane Boulevard and expanded it at 860 Ridge Lake.”
Boyle manages more than 2 million square feet of office space in the East Memphis and Collierville submarkets, which means its brokers see a lot of tenants looking for space locally. Class A office space has been absorbed well and rents have remained steady, according to Pampuro.
“I think things have definitely picked up over the past four to six weeks,” she says. “We seem to be showing a lot more space and seeing a lot more activity.”