August 03, 2015

Morgan Keegan’s Commitment to Memphis has Endured Through Previous Ownerships

Memphis Business Journal
Although Morgan Keegan & Co. Inc. is expected to have new owners eventually, don’t expect it to change addresses anytime soon.
The company leases more than 300,000 square feet of office space in the Downtown and East Memphis submarkets. Its lease terms extend through early 2016.
“Having been here for more than 40 years, this is a potential change in corporate ownership, but we don’t expect that to really change our presence here in Memphis,” Kathy Ridley, director of corporate communications with Morgan Keegan, says.
Morgan Keegan Tower at 50 N. Front St. serves as the company’s corporate headquarters, where it leases 242,000 square feet.
Morgan Keegan, one of Downtown’s largest employers, became the property’s first tenant when the 21-story tower opened in 1985. The company extended its lease at the 334,668-square-foot office tower in 2006.
Morgan Keegan Tower houses the firm’s executive management offices, operations and technology centers, equity and fixed-income trading floors, institutional and retail sales units, wealth management services and investment banking.
Parkway Properties Inc. purchased Morgan Keegan Tower in 1997 for $36 million. Parkway Realty Services LLC manages it, while CB Richard Ellis Memphis handles leasing.
The property, which has a connected 550-space garage, is almost fully leased. It has an 18,400-square-foot vacancy on the 11th floor. The property has asking lease rates of $23 per square foot, according to the latest Memphis Business Journal Office Real Estate Leasing Guide.
Morgan Keegan also leases 58,000 square feet at 1100 Ridgeway Loop, a Boyle Investment Co. building, for an East Memphis branch office. The company has an ownership stake in the building at Ridgeway Center as well.
“We have a long-term commitment here,” Ridley says.
Ridley says Morgan Keegan has been through corporate ownership changes before, including when it was bought by Birmingham, Ala.-based Regions Financial Corp.
“It hasn’t changed our presence here and we’ve expanded that presence here in the past 10 years,” she says.
CB Richard Ellis Memphis president Kelly Truitt recently worked with Pinnacle Airlines Corp., which filled a large office vacancy Downtown. The Memphis-based airline holding company signed a 170,000-square-foot lease at One Commerce Square in December 2010, a vacancy created when SunTrust Bank moved to East Memphis.
“They (Morgan Keegan) have always been a strong tenant in all of Memphis, especially Downtown,” Truitt says. “I think that building and that active Downtown environment was part of their image and was very beneficial in the growth of their firm.”