August 03, 2015

Office Buildings Will Cap Boyle’s Ridgeway Center

By Amos Maki
– The Commercial Appeal –

Boyle Investment Co. is launching two new office buildings in Ridgeway Center, near Poplar and Interstate 240.

The 155,000-square-foot buildings will be located on the last available site in Boyle’s 206-acre Ridgeway Center development.

Boyle, one of the city oldest and most prominent real estate development firms, is in negotiations with anchor tenants for both buildings.

The 13-acre site is at Poplar and Shady Grove, directly across from the FedEx headquarters building, Embassy Suites and the upscale Regalia Center, which Boyle also developed.

"These are the first two Class A office buildings to be developed in Memphis since 2002," said Mark Halperin, Boyle’s executive vice president in charge of development, management and leasing.

"These upscale office buildings will be located on one of the most desirable sites in the Poplar corridor and, due to the unsurpassed quality of their design, will be perceived as the best address for office space in the East Memphis area."

The completion of the Ridgeway Center is a special moment for Boyle.

"We first started developing Ridgeway Center in the early 1970s on a strategically located piece of property that was formerly the Ridgeway Country Club," said Russell E. Bloodworth Jr., executive vice president. "The development of these two new office buildings represents the culmination of an extremely complex, mixed-use development that incorporates six different land uses and was the first of its kind in the city of Memphis."

Boyle expects to break ground in the fall on the first building, a six- story structure accessible from Poplar and Shady Grove.

"At the moment, it’s all (speculative) space, but we’re very close on anchors in both buildings," Halperin said.

Each building will include a floor of underground parking. The project also includes an exterior courtyard to accommodate corporate events.

Hnedak Bobo Group is the architect. The general contractor will be Mid-America Construction. The buildings will be similar to the Marsh and Morgan Keegan buildings, also developed by Boyle and designed by HBG.

Industry experts said rising Class A rents and occupancy along the Poplar corridor are creating a window of opportunity for office developers.

"The climate is just right to build," said Ron Kastner, office team leader at CB Richard Ellis. "That micro-market of Poplar and Ridgeway is so desirable — it’s the Main and Main of East Memphis.

"If you know that immediate area, people will flock to it. It’s the residential base. It’s the quality of the product in the area. It’s got good retail amenities and good ancillary services. If there’s any downside to it, it’s that it’s too congested."

Could more office announcements come later this year?

"Yeah, I think so," said Steve Guinn, vice president of Highwoods Properties.