A Tennessee mall has gotten a new lease on life courtesy of a Memphis-based trucking company. JNJ Express announced it is turning a vacant shopping mall into its new company headquarters – and the carrier says it will be adding about 600 new jobs over the next five years.
The fleet operates more than 450 trucks, and its customers include major players in the new e-commerce economy, including Amazon, Walmart, FedEx, and UPS.
On Feb. 26, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee attended a groundbreaking ceremony at the defunct mall, marking the advent of an $84 million revitalization project by JNJ Express to transform the shopping center into a logistics facility. The carrier announced that it will be expanding its fleet in conjunction with updating and moving into its new headquarters facility.
The old mall that is being transformed into JNL's new headquarters was formerly the Delta Square Shopping Center, 5000-5050 American Way, near where the Mall of Memphis once stood. When the project is complete, the facility will replace the fleet's old headquarters at 3935 Old Getwell Road, about 6 miles southeast of the new site.
According to the Memphis Commercial Appeal, JNJ Express received a 15-year payment-in-lieu-of-taxes incentive worth $5.8 million to build the $20.5 million headquarters and bring new life to the "severely distressed" shopping center.
In addition to the cost of renovating the 115,000-square-foot space, the paper reports that JNJ Express plans to spend another $63 million on new trucks, according to an application for government incentives submitted to the Economic Development Growth Engine of Memphis and Shelby County last summer.
More incentives are likely to come from the state but the details have not been finalized, Lee said during the ground breaking ceremony. "The most difficult thing for businesses is to find workers, particularly in this economy," Lee said. "So a commitment to strong workforce development is one of the most business-friendly things that we can do, and we're going to work hard particularly over this year for that."