Construction restarts on TraVure hotel after contractor 'blindsided' developer

Construction on Germantown's new, dual-branded Hilton hotel originally broke ground in February 2018.

The hotel — located at 6799 Poplar Ave., behind the TraVure office building — was supposed to be done this year. Last July, though, everything came to a halt.

The contractor, Ohio-based Omni Construction, was going bankrupt.

"It kind of blindsided us. You don't expect a general contractor to go bankrupt in a boom economy," said Sunny Desai, the hotel's developer.

Finding a new contractor wasn't a problem; within a week of the bankruptcy, Desai started working with Memphis-based Montgomery Martin Contractors. What was a problem was a state law that required Desai to secure a lien release from every subcontractor who had worked under Omni before he could sign a new mortgage.

"That whole process took a very long time," Desai said. "We just closed on the new loan."

Montgomery Martin recently started construction on the site, and Desai said construction will be back at "full speed" within the next two weeks.

Now, Desai said he expects the 220-room hotel to be finished in mid-2020.

The two brands on the site will be Hilton Garden Inn and Home2 Suites by Hilton.

By Jacob Steimer-Staff Reporter, Memphis Business Journal

February 11, 2019

JPMorgan Chase growing local presence, signs lease

JPMorgan Chase (JPMC) is growing in Memphis.

The global bank recently signed a lease for 2,000 square feet of space on TraVure's first floor. The buildout of that space is set to be completed by next summer, and the bank hopes to have 12 employees working there by 2020, spokesman Greg Hassell said.

“This is part of our growth and long-term commitment to Memphis,” said Tom Simpson, who leads the local JPMC office. “Memphis is a vibrant, growing city. Chase looks forward to being an important part of our city’s bright future.”

Simpson and most of the employees at TraVure will be on JPMC's Middle Market Banking team, meaning they will be tasked with serving mid-sized companies in West Tennessee and Mississippi.

JPMC hired Simpson as its first local employee in September 2016, Hassell said. He and a small team have been working from offices in the Colonnade building, at 1661 International Dr.

Nashville-based FirstBank is also moving its local corporate office to TraVure's first floor. The project’s anchor tenant, MAA, completed moving into the building’s top three floors — a total of about 89,000 square feet — in May.

Gill Properties developed TraVure, and Gill broker Patty Bullock negotiated the JPMC lease for her company. CBRE Inc. broker Brand Cook represented JPMC.

By Jacob Steimer-Staff Reporter, Memphis Business Journal

December 6, 2018

Nashville bank ready to 'move to the next level in Memphis'

Nashville bank ready to 'move to the next level in Memphis'

May 23, 2018, 1:47 CDT

A Nashville-based bank is ready to “move to the next level in Memphis,” and they will soon have more space to make that happen.

Last week, the Memphis Business Journal revealed FirstBank had signed a lease for 8,000 square feet of space in Gill Properties' new TraVure development in Germantown. Jeff Hudson, Memphis president for FirstBank, said they expect their growth in the Memphis market to continue and they simply ran  out of space at their current corporate offices on International Drive.

“We have had a tremendous amount of growth in the last three years,” Hudson said. “Opportunities are really good in Memphis, and we have a terrific team.”

Hudson, who joined FirstBank in 2015, said the organization expects to hire more people locally and, though he did not have an exact number, said they would welcome “as many that can help make an impact on Memphis.”

As for the site selection of TraVure, Hudson said it was all about location.

“If you chart all the banks from Germantown to Highland, there is  a bank on every corner,” Hudson said. “If you  want  to  get visibility in a good, quality location — Class A space — and show the community we are making a commitment to Memphis, then the TraVure building is a terrificoption.”

FirstBank, which is under the FB Financial Corp. umbrella, was also the lead bank in the financing for the TraVure project.

A building permit valued at $395,000 for the interior build-out of FirstBank was filed May 17. Hudson said he expects work to start by next week with construction slated to take five months. The TraVure development, which is located near the corner of Poplar Avenue and Kirby Parkway, is anchored by Memphis- based multifamily giant MAA. The bank will occupy part of the firstfloor.

Since FirstBank currently has a bank branch less than a mile west on Poplar Avenue, their TraVure space will not include retail banking. However, an ATM at TraVure is possible.

“I have been in Memphis 40 years. … [I] just had an opportunity to come back and make a difference in a really good  organization that has kind of been under the radar in Memphis," Hudson said. "Other banks know about us; the community, I hope, is seeing what we are doing. We are doing a lot of things. We are going to grow. We are going to hire more people and move to the next level in Memphis, because we love Memphis.”

By Meagan Nichols - Lead Reporter, Memphis Business Journal

May 23, 2018