ServiceMaster details upcoming move to Peabody Place

ServiceMaster details upcoming move to Peabody Place
Published: Jun. 3, 2016 at 12:55 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 3, 2016 at 10:34 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - ServiceMaster is moving its headquarters to the long-vacant Peabody Place. The employees are preparing to move operations from five separate buildings into the former mall.

"Right now, we're dispersed across several locations, so this gives us an opportunity to all be under one location and increase collaboration," ServiceMaster Director of Telesales Dana Leake said.

ServiceMaster Chief Information Officer Janie Smith said the move will not only improve communication, but also allow the company to attract techno-savvy minds from across the world.

"One of our biggest challenges is honestly finding the talent to do that," Smith said. "So this opportunity is going to attract the finest technology minds, not only to ServiceMaster, but hopefully to Memphis."

According to Smith, the building will also support the start up entrepreneurs through rentable co-working space. The company also plans on collaborating with local schools for hackathons and coding boot camps, all of which will create a recruiting hub for ServiceMaster.

"The third is space for our teams to foster innovation, ideas that might not make it all the way through that we can, take the moon shot kind of beats," Smith said.

ServiceMaster employs around 2,200 people in Memphis.  Approximately 1,200 of those employees will be moved to the new Downtown Memphis location.

"This is the most significant corporate headquarters announcement in Downtown Memphis in a generation," Mayor Jim Strickland said.

"This could have been a time to say, 'Let's go somewhere else,' but they doubled down on their efforts to stay in Memphis," Governor Bill Haslam said.

The company moved its headquarters to the Bluff City in 2007, but recently had been searching for options for its new headquarters outside Memphis.

"This is big because 1,200 professionals, a group of diverse professionals, every single one of them 1-1,200 will be joining our vibrant, distinct, flavorful neighborhood," Terence Patterson, with the Downtown Memphis Commission, said.

Within two years, the former Peabody Place Mall will transform into the new headquarters for ServiceMaster. The company signed a 15 year lease to move into the 328,000 square foot building, which will be renovated into four levels of office space.

"It means a lot to me. It's going to be a shorter commute, and it's going to be really good to be downtown where there's a lot of things happening," Senior IT Analysis Diego Ramirez said.

State leaders said with more employees flocking to Downtown Memphis, there will be more money made for surrounding businesses.

"Having Downtown Memphis be healthy is important," Haslam said. "Not just to Memphis or Shelby County, but to the entire state."

The company was offered grants and payment in lieu of taxes to move into the building, all of which will not be publicized until next week according to company leaders. Although the money was a big push to get them in the door, the CEO said the uniqueness of the building itself was a huge incentive.

"For us, it came down to this building," ServiceMaster CEO Robert Gillette said. "The uniqueness of this building. The investment necessary from our perspective--the continuity of employment. The people. We want to retain the people that made the business great today."

According to Gillette, the renovations should be completed by the end of 2017 and they should be able to move in by 2018. As for parking downtown, space at nearby parking garages was included in the lease as well.

"Our search is over, and I'm delighted to say we're landing just short of where we started here in Memphis," Gillette said.

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