MBJ: Exclusive: Memphis’ largest ad agency expands Downtown
With a new, extended lease agreement, Memphis’ largest advertising firm will soon occupy 75 percent of the Cotton Exchange building in Downtown.
“With the Austin and Combustion acquisitions, this 64-year-old company has grown 50 percent in the past 15 months,” Williams said.
Combustion’s lease is up in July of 2017, and the 10th floor of the Cotton Exchange will be renovated beginning in February as part of the effort to move Combustion’s six former employees to the building Downtown.
Combustion president Billy Riley said everyone at the agency is looking forward to being in the same building with their colleagues at Archer, some of whom have been friends for decades.
“Downtown is really exciting, and [Williams] is really committed to the urban core and having a central place for creative professionals to congregate,” Riley said.
Combustion previously leased office space at 88 Union Ave. from 2001 to about 2010.
On the heels of a 3,200-square-foot expansion on the third floor last fall, Archer Malmo’s newest renovations will bring its total investment in the Cotton Exchange building to $1.5 million over about an eight-year period of time.
“We’re not going anywhere,” Williams said. “We love Downtown and we love the corner of Front and Union.”
With 180 employees in Memphis and another 30 in Austin, Archer Malmo employs a total of 210 creatives.
“With 200 strong, if [Archer Malmo] were moving from out of state, the governor would know about it,” said CEO Henry Turley. “Both of our offices are in the Cotton Exchange, and it’s fun to share the building and neighborhood with those guys.”
Turley said his company has tried to populate its buildings with creative types because “they prosper well in a Downtown and group environment.”