Defunct Mall to Get Corporate Makeover in Memphis

ServiceMaster will convert the defunct Peabody Place retail center into its corporate headquarters.
Peabody Place Retail & Entertainment Center in Memphis will be converted into ServiceMaster Global Holdings' new headquarters.
Peabody Place Retail & Entertainment Center in Memphis will be converted into ServiceMaster Global Holdings’ new headquarters.

ServiceMaster Global Holdings Inc. has decided to renew its commitment to Memphis, and revitalize a dormant retail center in the process. The residential and commercial services provider will relocate its corporate headquarters downtown with the conversion of the former Peabody Place Retail & Entertainment Center into a premier office destination under a lease agreement with property owner Belz Enterprises.

Currently maintaining its headquarters at four separate locations in the Poplar Avenue Corridor, ServiceMaster moved to Memphis from suburban Chicago in 2007. The company has had a fruitful relationship with Tennessee’s largest city, and when it was time to plan for new digs, ServiceMaster took a closer look at Memphis–and other locations.

Two years ago, ServiceMaster tapped Newmark Grubb Knight Frank to spearhead a search for the right location for its consolidation. After considering a handful of strong contenders–Atlanta, Dallas, Austin, Orlando and Tampa among them—ServiceMaster  chose to stay put in Memphis. However, it opted against an existing office location, selecting, instead, Peabody Place.

“We wanted to create a world-class work environment that would help us attract and retain great people and accelerate a winning growth culture,” Rob Gillette, CEO of ServiceMaster, said in a statement. To that end, NGKF orchestrated the lease of the shuttered, 15-year-old Peabody Place, kicking off an adaptive-reuse project that will transform the property into a state-of-the-art office destination.

The building that will ultimately be known as ServiceMaster Centre will also be home to the company’s 20,000-square-foot Innovation Center, a collaborative workspace designed to exhibit ServiceMaster’s various businesses, and function as an incubator for entrepreneurs and IT developers in the area.

The renovation of Peabody Place will cost approximately $26.8 million, according to a Downtown Memphis Commission document, with ServiceMaster footing the $14.8 million bill for renovation and construction, and Belz plunking down $12 million on building shell improvements. The finished product, which will house 1,200 ServiceMaster employees, will be quite a boon to downtown Memphis.

“ServiceMaster’s vision to re-energize this southern city center capitalizes on the urbanization trend we’re seeing filter across the country from Silicon Valley,” Neal Golden, vice chairman with NGKF, said in a prepared statement. “With progressive thinking and collaboration, we’re turning ‘dead malls’ like Peabody Place into vibrant, urban mixed-use destinations for a new generation of users.”