cj recently signed a 10 year lease purchase for the 30,000 sq/ft Brandau-Craig-Dickerson building across the street from Cummins Station for our company to restore and grow into. We went from 68 to 125 employees since 2007, so we obviously need some more room to grow.
“We are moving because we simply ran out of space,” he added. “We are bursting at the seams in our 17,000 square feet in Cummins Station and we are spread out over three separate spaces. This move also gives us a wonderful opportunity to design offices that nurture the culture which has played a key role in our growth, and we are very excited about that.” Arnie Malham, president and CEO of Malham Leverage Group said.
The investment — $4.5 million for the 10-year lease, $2 million to renovate the new location in the 84 year-old Brandau-Craig-Dickerson Building at 300 10th Ave. South and another $1.5 million to buy a nearby parking lot on Lea Ave.
“Cummins Station has been a great place for our business since we opened 15 years ago, and I’m really glad we are only moving across the street, because we will continue to rely on the Cummins Station community for many services, including housing our computer servers in a co-location facility there. Plus we love the Cummins Station neighborhood, which is only going to get better when the new convention center opens,” said Malham.
“There are a lot of good things happening downtown that are fueling growth, particularly in the Cummins Station area, where the new convention center is coming in on one side and The Gulch continues to thrive on the other side. People know they need to make their move now or they’ll miss some great opportunities. This is certainly a great opportunity for MLG and the renovation of this building is good news for the Cummins Station neighborhood,” Harrison Johnson, from CB Richard Ellis, said.
Another unique feature of the building that grew out of the company’s culture is the placement of a 1,200-square-foot coffee house at the building’s most public corner at 10th Ave. and Clark Street.
“Our decision to build out and lease space for a coffee house in our new building is part real estate investment, part life investment and part cultural investment, and it’s really more of the latter two than the first,” Malham said. “Basically, I wanted our people to have access to a good coffee house, and our lease agreement with the coffee house vendor will incorporate a discount for employees. We’re even willing to subsidize this operation for that reason. However, between our 125 employees, more than 1,200 more across the street in Cummins Station plus another 1,000-plus people within walking distance, I expect this to be a very successful operation. We are currently talking with several very interested vendors, so look for an announcement soon.”
David Bohan, president and CEO of Bohan Advertising here in Nashville, thought it was unusual for an advertising agency to be expanding so quickly. Overall ad spending was down 23% last year.
“He’s very fortunate,” Bohan said of Malham. “The need for advertising in his niche has not declined.”
MLG plans to completely renovate the 84-year-old brick building, beginning immediately, and this fall move all of its 125 employees into the new space at 300 10th Avenue South.