Mayor Strickland's Weekly Update


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We can all identify moments in recent years that helped Memphis take tangible steps forward.

We all have our lists. Most would surely start with events like FedEx’s relocation from Little Rock, the creation of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and the day we landed a major league sports franchise. And there are many others beyond just those.

Today needs to go on that list, too.

I’m sure you know this by now, but a few hours ago, I participated in the announcement of ServiceMaster’s corporate headquarters relocation into the former Peabody Place mall Downtown. The facts speak for themselves: By the end of next year, some 1,200 employees will inhabit a building that went dark years ago, a major company will have staked its future in Memphis, and our city's ongoing momentum will accelerate.

This is the most significant corporate headquarters announcement in Memphis in years, and the most significant such announcement in Downtown in a generation. (You can watch the video of the announcement on our Facebook page.)

Please understand this: ServiceMaster held an honest national search for a new headquarters, as was its right. We worked hard to convince its leaders that Memphis was their best choice. I personally got to know ServiceMaster's CEO, Rob Gillette, and made this a major priority for the first few months of my administration. I knew that any result short of what we saw today was bad news for Memphis. We left no stone unturned.

Fortunately for all of us, ServiceMaster agreed that Memphis is the best place to grow its company. And not just to grow -- to change its company, too. Rob’s vision for the future of ServiceMaster is to continue building an exciting and innovative culture, and he knew the best place for that is at the corner of B.B. King Boulevard and Peabody Place.

And we’re grateful.

This is not just a jobs announcement -- though it’s a big one. (In addition to the 1,200 moving Downtown, ServiceMaster employs another 1,000 or so here.) This is also about reactivating an absolutely critical corner of our Downtown. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked what can be done there; I imagine you’ve wondered the same thing. But now, instead of a vacant building, imagine the activity Downtown every day when 1,200 people are working there!

Simply put, today is a statement about the momentum of our city -- particularly our core city. It fits everything I’ve told you I want to do in building the Memphis of tomorrow.

I said it at the news conference, and I’ll say it again: Let this be a message to other corporate leaders who may be looking for the right place to build their company of the future. Memphis -- particularly Downtown Memphis -- has everything you need, and everything you want.

In the story of our city, today is a big day. I hope you’ll recognize that, and remember it for years to come.



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