MEMPHIS, Tenn. — After years of sitting empty and speculation about its future, the wraps finally came off for the official plans for the old Peabody Place mall in Downtown Memphis.
Mayor Jim Strickland said the new plans are huge for the city.
“This is the most significant corporate announcement in Downtown Memphis in a generation,” Strickland said.
ServiceMaster, known for brands such as Terminix, Merry Maid and American Shield, unveiled a giant banner.
The company, along with state and local leaders, announced it will move its headquarters and about 1,200 employees from East Memphis to the now closed mall.
Peabody Place shutdown about five years ago.
Rob Gillette is the ServiceMaster Chief Executive Officer.
“Part of our challenge was there was no single building for us to locate everyone and part of why we looking at where else we could be and this came about and the opportunity to convert it,” Gillette said.
The company had looked to move from its current location on Ridge Lake Boulevard to another city or another place in Memphis.
It chose to stay in Memphis and move to Peabody Place.
Phil Trenary is CEO and President of the Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce.
“If you think about the impact this will have on the entire community downtown, it’s not just from a business standpoint. Every business on the street has a smile on its face,” Trenary said.
How will this building change once ServiceMaster moves in?
The building will be renamed One ServiceMaster Center.
The old Peabody Place atrium won’t change much, but on each level, glass will cover the openings of the atrium.
There will also be room for future retail space and the old Tower Records store will house a new technology and innovation center.
“You’ll see innovations down here in the technology center that faces the street,” Gillette said.
City leaders said the relocation of ServiceMaster shows a new emphasis or shift for Downtown Memphis that includes corporate, entertainment, retail and residential.
Terence Patterson is the President of the Downtown Memphis Commission.
“You could see it as a shift, but it’s a good example of mixed use integration of residential, commercial and restaurants. It’s okay to have everything together,” Patterson said.
Together, there’s hope for a stronger city.
ServiceMaster signed a 15-year lease with Belz Enterprise, which owns Peabody Place.
Some operations of the new One ServiceMaster Center could open next year.