Avison Young in Memphis
The Memphis MSA, comprised of nine counties spanning three states, is home to more than 1.3 million people. Known as “America’s Distribution Hub,” Memphis boasts the busiest cargo airport in the United States, the fifth-largest inland port in the United States, five Class I railroads serving nine fully operational rail yards, and one of the most widely traveled interstate corridors in the country. The local economy is well diversified with a number of successful organizations headquartered in and around Memphis including FedEx, International Paper, AutoZone, ServiceMaster, Mueller Industries, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Nationally-recognized higher education institutions, including The University of Memphis, Rhodes College, Christian Brothers University, LeMoyne-Owen College, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, and Southern College of Optometry, educate a competitive workforce. The region’s rich cultural history and diversity, friendly business environment, low cost of living, and easy commute continue to attract residents and businesses alike and have earned it a number of accolades:
- #1 Logistics Leader in Business Facilities magazine’s national rankings (2016)
- #4 of Urban Land Institute’s “25 Cities Where Millennials are Moving” (2017)
- #4 for “Overall New-Business Friendliness” by Wallethub (2016)
- #4 for “Best Places for Women-Owned Businesses” by Wallethub (2016)
- #10 on MovieMaker magazine’s “Best U.S Movie Cities” (2017)
- #1 “Most Generous Metropolitan Area in the Country” by Chronicle of Philanthropy (2017)
Characterized by stable, measured growth, the Memphis office market continues to see healthy market fundamentals including declining vacancies and competitive rental rates. While demand has historically been strongest in the East submarket, the Midtown and Downtown submarkets have seen a recent resurgence reflecting the national trend of reinvestment in older urban cores. Vacancy rates for Class A product dipped to record lows over the last few years, resulting in several new speculative development projects marked by strong pre-leasing activity.
The prominence of the Memphis industrial market is supported by a number of factors including the region’s central location, the confluence of world-class river, rail, air, and highway transportation networks, a pro-business climate, and a large, experienced pool of workers in the industrial sector. Total market vacancy rates have fallen to historic lows over the past three years resulting in strong rent growth. Despite this, rents remain low relative to larger primary markets, making the Memphis region an attractive opportunity for businesses and investors.