MEMPHIS BUSINESS JOURNAL | Doug Carpenter
The ground has shifted.
The recent news regarding the redevelopment of the Hickman building as mixed-use retail, residential and the headquarters for Southern Sun Asset Management marks another dramatic change in the landscape. Commenting on the redevelopment, Southern Sun’s Michael Cook said Downtown checked all the boxes for their business and staff — a comprehensive research study of their employees collectively illustrated a desire to move to the urban core. This move allows them to better have their fingers on the pulse of what is happening in this vibrant area of Memphis.
The list of early Downtown anchors like Raymond James, AutoZone, The Peabody, the Rendezvous and others set the tone years ago and could easily be classified as long-term value investors. That investment has paid off for them as well as Memphis’ citizens.
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then they should be blushing. With the frequent announcements of new, renewed, and reconsidered residential, hotels, and eateries, Downtown is bustling with people and potential.
In the not-too-distant past, corporate leaders were urged to move Downtown as a civic gesture, based on the knowledge that a city is only as strong as its core. However, not all were able to make that decision. One of the issues they often faced was an employee base that simply didn’t want to leave the “convenience” of offices out east.
The times have changed and now employees see the benefits of working and living Downtown. The term “convenience” has been redefined by a changing culture. No longer does it mean access to six lanes of asphalt, but now it means a walkable, fun, accessible, vibrant life of interaction. With access to Memphis’ finest food, sports, businesses, watering holes and river views, Downtown is calling both residents and real estate developers.
The momentum is real. The development pipeline is burgeoning. The living options are diverse. The future is now for Downtown Memphis.