July 22, 2015

Building Starts on First Offices in Schilling Farms

By Laure Johnson
– The Daily News –

Construction is set to begin this week on the first office building planned for Collierville’s Schilling Farms development.

Collierville Business Center, designed as a one-story, flexible-use facility, will contain 62,000 square feet of office and light industrial space, said Cary Whitehead, senior vice president of Boyle Investment Co., the project’s developer.

For construction of the project, Schilling Business Center LLC financed $4.9 million through First American National Bank, securing the loan with 6.5 acres of Schilling Boulevard East, according to a trust deed filed May 26 in the Shelby County Register’s Office.

The building is scheduled for completion in early 2000, Whitehead said, and will be expandable to 84,000 square feet.

Increased demand in the area for this type of project prompted its construction, Whitehead said.

“We think that, with the FedEx technology campus and the substantial growth that Collierville has experienced in the last 10 years, there is demand for high-finish office space,” he said. “We think it ought to be a big success.”

Located at 1125 Schilling Boulevard, the Business Center is the first office project planned for the Schilling Farms development, and it will serve as a transitional building between the development’s office and light industrial sections, said Gary Thompson, director of planning for Boyle.

Most of the business center’s office space will be concentrated in the front of the building, which will have a high-finish, brick and glass exterior.

Its warehouse-type space, which will have truck access and docking, will be toward the back.

“As you go around the boulevard, the topography rises up to a kind of ridgeline on the east side,” Thompson said. “What we’re trying to do is keep that appearance very ‘officey’ from the street.”

Over the crest of the hill is the Carrier facility, which marks the beginning of the development’s industrial sector.

“So, we’re trying to kind of use that building as an endcap to set the stage so that, toward the heart of the project, it’s very high-finish, and as you get around towards the back it’s more industrial, with truck access.”

The flex-style building can accommodate several different types of users, Thompson said.

“It will really depend on the user,” Thompson said. “If you have some type of user who has some kind of expensive equipment they keep in their service vehicles, they can have a garage and park that vehicle inside at night.

“Or, they could have warehouse type space with a truck dock.”

The center’s office space will be ideal for general office users, such as medical, technical or sales enterprises, Whitehead said.

No leases have yet been signed for space in the he building, he said.

Tenants must lease a minimum of 3,600 square feet. No lease rates have been set for the building, which was designed by The Crump Firm.

The general contractor for the project is Mid-America Construction Co., Inc.

The Collierville Business Center is the first of several office buildings planned for Schilling Farms, Whitehead said.

“There will be other office buildings in the development, but right now we don’t know when they will be built or how big they will be,” he said.

Schilling Farms, located on 443 acres of former farmland, is being transformed into a $350 million mixed-use development.

The development, located on the south side of West Poplar Avenue on the western edge of Collierville, eventually will include 1.5 million square feet of office space, as well as a significant amount of retail space, 90 acres of distribution space, 700 homes and 700 apartment units.

Work on the development will be completed in phases, and it is estimated the project will take 20 years to finish.

Office space will be located in the northwest quadrant of the development, with the distribution and light industrial in the northeast quadrant. Most of the residential areas will be south of Winchester Road.

A number of projects are under construction or in the planning stages, Thompson said.

“There is a ton of activity out there right now,” he said.

Projects underway in Schilling Farms include:

• Schilling Farms Middle School, which will accommodate up to 1,000 students in grades six, seven and eight, will be completed this summer. • Homes in The Neighborhood, located between the new middle school and Winchester Road, are now under construction. The subdivision has been chosen as the site for this year’s Vesta Home Show. • South of Winchester, construction of Sterling Square, Patton, Taylor & Ryan’s 75-lot residential subdivision of single-family detached homes and townhouses is expected to start later this month. • The Collierville YMCA, located just north of Winchester near the business center site, opened Saturday. • The Kid Tech Child Care Center, located southeast of the new YMCA, is now under construction. • Patton, Taylor & Ryan has started construction on a 324-unit apartment complex located just south of the YMCA.

Methodist Hospital recently purchased a 7.5 acre site for a new primary care facility, Thompson said. Two banks, the BankTennessee and National Bank of Commerce, also have plans to build in the development.