August 03, 2015

Hidden Jewel

Cassandra Kimberly
Commercial Appeal
February 19, 2009
While some office spaces are seeing a decline in tenants, one East Memphis office park is booming with activity.
In the next few months,Boyle Investment Co.’sMoriah Woods office center will be adding two new tenants and accommodating two other expansions for existing companies.
"We believe Moriah Woods is a hidden jewel in the heart of East Memphis that can provide tenants with a viable, cost-effective alternative to office space in the Poplar corridor," said Boyle vice president Kathy Pampuro.
Along with a 1,760-square-foot expansion of Memphis-based Cornerstone Laboratories LLC, Tissue Banks International, a global nonprofit network of eye and tissue banks, is more than doubling the size of The National Eye Bank Center.
Expanding to 18,000 square feet instead of relocating will enable The National Eye Bank Center, which opened in 2005, to process more corneas and eye tissues for transplant surgery, said David Pennington, vice president of ocular operations.
"Our MO is to have tissue come in the morning, process and evaluate it by the afternoon, and send it out that same day," he said. "The close proximity to the airport allows us to do that."
The Exceptional Foundation of West Tennessee, a recreation center for those with conditions such as Down syndrome and autism, is expected to open the doors to its new 10,632-square-foot home in the next few weeks.
The biggest addition, however, will come when Pennsylvania-based Entercom Communications Corp. consolidates its six Mid-South radio stations and 115 employees under one roof.
Entercom is expected to open its 18,000-square-foot broadcast station in the office park at Mt. Moriah and Interstate 240 at the end of February.
The addition of the new tenants brings Moriah Woods’ occupancy up to 80 percent — a dramatic change since Boyle bought the 15-acre office park in 2003.
With only 40 percent of the one-story buildings filled, the glass- and-brick structures scattered among the 155,000-square-foot property seemed vacant.
With security enhancements such as a gate surrounding the campus, building improvements, and a hands-on management approach, the property is more welcoming, Pampuro said.
Moriah Woods is now competing with other office parks in East Memphis where vacancy hovered at 11.9 percent at the end of 2008, according to the fourth-quarter CB Richard Ellis Office MarketView report.
"I think a lot of that is attributed to the property having a much better feel," Pampuro said.