In December 2017, DCA moved from its offices off of South Main Street into the former Nabisco warehouse at 11 W. Huling Ave.

“Professionally, we needed more physical office space to accommodate our growing agency,” said Doug Carpenter, founder and principal of DCA. “Personally, I had a desire to stake a claim in Downtown Memphis’ development.”

Carpenter wanted an environment where clients felt comfortable and where his team of art directors, writers, and account executives could “feel free, flexible, and creative.”

The 11 W. Huling property, originally a National Biscuit Co. distribution center in the early 1900s, sold to a holding company linked to Carpenter in 2017 for $1.48 million, according to the Shelby County Register of Deeds. The building still includes many of its original architectural features as well as something even more unique: a 35-by-35-foot photography cyclorama wall left over by the building’s previous owner.

Carpenter said it is the largest one remaining in Memphis, and we cannot find any evidence to dispute that fact.

“We use it not only for creative production but also as a community canvas for events, receptions, neighborhood meetings, concerts, and presentations,” Carpenter said.

In addition to the main Nabisco building, the site also included a former horse stable that Carpenter converted into a three-story residence, available for rent via Airbnb.

Carpenter calls it a unique space for a unique firm.

“We knew we wanted to continue to be physically, emotionally, and professionally invested in Downtown Memphis, so we sought to move into a space that could allow DCA more opportunities to contribute to the growth of Downtown,” Carpenter said. “11 West Huling is conducive to a variety of business, social, and creative endeavors, and we’re finding new opportunities to expand the use of this space every day."

DCA office, by the numbers:  

  • Square footage: 11,000-s.f. in total (8,800 of which serves as office and community space)

  • Employees: 12

  • Building cost: $1.48 million

  • Furniture and fixtures: More than $200,000

  • Project team: Austin Magruder: project architect; contractor: Octavius Nickson of Nickson General Contractors; front-door canopy: Signs & Designs Inc.; plate signage: the Metal Museum; branding and interiors: DCA

  • Incentives: Downtown Memphis Commission development loan and exterior improvement grant

Jon Dowdle