FedEx Logistics will move its headquarters to the Gibson Guitar Building next year, giving Memphis-based FedEx its first significant office requisition in the heart of its hometown.
And the Gibson building owners say they will build a new eight FedEx Logistics move will be part of a $ 44 million investment that will bring 680 jobs Downtown over the next three years and position FedEx Logistics. Finally, grow his workforce Downtown to as many as 1,200.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee joined FedEx, Memphis, Shelby County and Greater Memphis Chamber officials on Tuesday in a much-anticipated announcement that had appeared dead in the water less than three months ago.
"FedEx Logistics today announces that they are locating their headquarters in Downtown Memphis," said Lee, looking for the administration's first economic development winner in M emphis since taking office last month.
"It's very important that Shelby County and Memphis have an accelerated transformation. It's important to the state of Tennessee, and that's what's happening here today," Lee said.
Lee said the Department of Economic and Community Development Still working on a government incentive package, it would definitely include measures to protect taxpayers' investment and avoid repeating mistakes with Electrolux. Electrolux was attracted to Memphis with great incentives, most of them not affiliated but recently that it should close in two years.
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FedEx Logistics, the newly rebranded specialty arm of FedEx Corp. led by Richard W Smith will move around the 330 Memphis area's employees into Gibson, where they will be merged with about 350 workers moved from the state, Smith says. [1
Rest of FedEx Logistics Approx. 3,000 Memphis area workers will be put into properties spread across the area, Smith said. The logistics unit has around 22,000 employees worldwide, Smith said, president and CEO.
Ian Ross, founder and head of building owner Somera Road Inc., presented Smith with the latest Gibson ES 355 guitar to roll off the line at the factory. Ross said the last day of production was Tuesday.
Tuesday afternoon, Somera and its Memphis partners announced plans for The Clipper, a new development on Gibson's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. surface parking lot. Boulevard. Plans require a 250,000 square foot office tower, hotel, restaurants and other applications.
Smith and Ross dreamed of a morning conference that Soma's announcement would relate to FedEx Logistics's ability to expand its Downtown workforce in the future.  Standing in a curved, window-filled space overlooking FedExForum, Smith told the audience that unless plans changed, they looked at his future office view. "Welcome to my office."
Smith said FedEx Logistics had planned to paint its logo on the roof in even bigger letters than the parent company's logo on top of FedExForum.
"When you look around today, you understand the depths of the state's largest private employer who planted a very large flag in our urban core. It's hard to imagine that the moment is slowing down, Smith says.
" This is the physical manifestation of our "Go Big" strategy. It will be a landmark facility for us, says Smith.
Smith said he believes Downtown in an iconic space will enhance FedEx's appeal to younger workers, including Generation Z and the millennial workforce, and contribute to a more vibrant atmosphere of innovation for FedEx.
"As president and CEO of FedEx Logistics, I am happy with our team members when I think of the possibility this facility represents. This place will not only be a state-of-the-art home for a growing company, but also a place where our team members various backgrounds and skills and different parts of our businesses can work together, learn, develop and come up with incredible new ways to innovate our industry through collaboration. "
Smith, who is also the Greater Memphis Chamber Mayor, credited city councilor Berlin Boyd, then acting as President-in-Office, first delivering the theme of FedEx having a business center presence
Boyd said he drove Smith around the city center and "When we mentioned this building, he saw the vision – proximity to FedExForum, being close to the Westin , being close to the center to get the quality of your employees to go out and go, it gives so much – the life of the area, the energy of council. "
The FedEx-Gibson agreement was delayed twice last year: First, by the murder of Greater Memphis chamber president Phil Trenary on a Downtown sidewalk last September, then at the company's rebranding, Smith said.
"Certainly, we were very close to making an agreement, then it happened," Smith said of Trenary's death. "We needed to take a step back, treat it as a community and also our employees. We had to make sure our employees felt safe down here."
"We had meetings with Mayor Strickland, with the (police) director ( Michael) Rallings and MPD, and talked to them about their security plans in the area, lighting, cameras, increased patrols, etc. After these conversations we felt comfortable again, Smith said.
"Before Christmas, with the whole rebranding FedEx Logistics, it was just too much, so we jumped on it and came back after Christmas, "added Smith.
Referring to the new developments The Clipper, Smith indicated that it would give FedEx Logistics headquarters space to grow.
"The other thing you need to understand and you will understand at 1 today, we really needed to make it bigger," said Smith, Tuesday morning. "To make this a global headquarters and my company has 22,000 employees, our headquarters will be bigger, "Smith said. Plans for Clipper were announced at. 13:00.
"This building can only hold around 700 people when everything is built out and we need more space than that. At 1am you know what I'm talking about. There's more to come, Smith says.
While confirming Clipper The office tower could handle additional FedEx logistics space needs, Ross said it is not being built specifically for that purpose, but rather meeting an identified need for a new class A room to house several office workers Downtown.
Ross said, "I think so can both be FedEx expansion space, even though there is no deal now. There may be room for existing users Downtown. It can be for suburban users who seem to be in the urban core. I think what will be most exciting for the city, and the state finds new users from outside Tennessee. »
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Smith's father Frederick W. Smith, launched FedEx as Federal Express at Memphis International Airport in 1973 and built it into a global gigantic shipping company of $ 65 billion a year.
FedEx Logistics, formerly FedEx Trade Networks, links FedEx operations FedEx Express, FedEx Ground and FedEx Freight, which provide freight forwarding, supply chain management, ocean freight and 3-D services.
Ca. 30,000 employees in the Memphis area make FedEx Corp. the largest private employer and ubiquitous force in the city's economic, social and political life.
The governor welcomed the investment of Tennis's largest private employer and said, "FedEx and its subsidiaries have been a true Tennessee success story, and we as a state are proud to see this company continue to grow and call Tennessee home."  While the FedEx brand is prominent Downtown because of the names of FedExForum, the company has so far not made any direct efforts to revive the central business area as a haven for office workers.
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland welcomed FedEx to the staff of renowned corporate markets Downtown, including AutoZone, ServiceMaster, First Tennessee Bank and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Strickland said there was another example of his mantra that Memphis is speeding. "We want to keep the pedal to the medal and push full steam forward," Strickland said. It continues the city administration's emphasis on bringing investments to the core of Memphis. "We want to build, not out, and this work is proof of that."
FedEx Logistics Handler Downtown advocates another great success and eliminates the possibility that the building may be empty when Gibson leaves.
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It continues Downtown's momentum, based on ServiceMaster's flow of its 1,200 headquarters in the long-time vacant Peabody Place entertainment complex and Indigo Ags selection of Toyota Center for nearly 900 Unemployed North American commercial headquarters.
There have also been a number of work projects between employees in Downtown, including Wunderlich Securities and Southern Sun Asset Management, and an expansion of First Tennessee Bank.
In the fall of 2017, Nashville-based Gibson Trademarks announced that it would vacate its guitar factory in Downtown Memphis, which opened in 2001 a block south of the Beale Street entertainment district.
The investment capital companies Somera Road Inc. in New York and Tricera Capital of Miami bought the building and a car park of 350 seats from Gibson for $ 14.4 million. Majority owner Somera later collaborated with local developers, Billy and Benjamin Organ's Organ Family LP, to prepare a rebuilding plan.
Gibson continued to operate in the building under a lease, but having filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year, it said planned to eventually move Memphis & # 39; guitar production to Nashville. Gibson Beale Street Showcase and Guitar Factory covers nearly six acres of 145 George W. Lee.
Ross said when Somera and its partners bought the Gibson building, "We didn't expect this to happen so fast. We love the momentum that happens in Downtown Memphis. I invest in about 40 markets around the country and I can tell you what's happening here is really special … it's a decision among the Memphians that Downtown should happen. And we're just happy to be part of it. Absolutely didn't see this coming. "
Additionally to LRK architects, developers will use the Memphis entrepreneur Grinder Taber Grinder for renovation, with JE Dunn, contractor at The Clipper, as an investor.
In addition to its headquarters at the Crescent Center, FedEx Logistics has operations in Collierville, where it operates a packaging laboratory, Germantown and the southeastern Memphis-Shelby County transport, warehousing and distribution corridor.
"We have far more people than what fits into this facility," Sa Smith. "So we still have our other complexes, but we are pulling many of our employees here, our headquarters and employees are working in the center and making this the true FedEx Logistics headquarters. Remember we have operations all over the country, but increasingly our staff functions will move here, Smith said.
A year ago, FedEx announced it was cutting up what was then called FedEx Trade Networks by consolidating services and features previously operated separately.
Reports Detected last year that FedEx was negotiating for the Gibson building, but in November the company took the unusual step of plaguing the rumors by making a statement that it was no longer considered the Gibson Guitar Factory is building a potential alternative for moving its headquarters. "
But Richard Smith in January suggested that the move was still an opportunity and said that the recently renamed FedEx Logistics had been focused since last year on seeing Tte the company together in a corporate entity.
Smith has been president and CEO of the Trade and Specialty Unit since July 2017.
Smith said in January I was "looking at synergies and where it is most sensible to pull people together in a headquarters."
In its current configuration, FedEx Logistics covers the air and sea freight networks; trade brokerage and facilitation; custom critical services; supply chain services; cross-border e-commerce and fulfillment; Forward depot and 3-D printing; storage and transport management; time and temperature controlled deliveries; critical inventory logistics;
Reporter Bill Dries contributed to this story.