By Tim O’Connor
Construction Today Magazine
By Tim O’Connor
Boyle Investment Co.’s most valuable asset is its experience. The 84-year-old company has an extensive portfolio that includes most any kind of development imaginable, from suburban subdivisions to massive downtown mixed-use projects, hotels, and office and retail facilities. .
“Boyle is one of Memphis’ oldest real estate developers and has a longstanding reputation for quality developments that stand the test of time,” Vice President Les Binkley says. “We are a long-term holder of real estate and are known for our attention to detail.”
The faces behind that reputation for quality have been a lasting presence even as the company has grown. Many of Boyle’s executives have worked at the company for 40 years or more. “Boyle has a deep bench of experts who have been with the company for years and provide the necessary expertise and experience to ensure the long-term success of our real estate projects,” Binkley says.
Experience has guided Boyle well even in the most difficult of times. Three brothers, Bayard, Snowden and Charles Boyle, formed their namesake property management firm in 1933, just as the nation began its slow recovery out of the Great Depression. By the end of the decade, the company joined with National Life, Provident Life and other insurance providers to issue commercial and residential loans.
Following World War II, Boyle fed the development of Memphis by providing loans for residential, commercial and industrial projects throughout the Tennessee city. In the late 1940s, the company expanded into developing subdivisions in Memphis.
For six decades, the company flourished in the Memphis market, undertaking major projects such as the conversion of the Ridgeway Country Club into a 204-acre multi-purpose development and the 650,000-square-foot headquarters for electrical component manufacturer Thomas & Betts. The company gradually took on developments and holdings in Tennessee, Florida, Mississippi, Illinois, Arkansas, Kentucky, Texas and Missouri, but it wasn’t until 2001 that it opened its second office, located in Nashville, Tenn.
The Nashville division has since grown to encompass about 30 employees and 2.8 million square feet of commercial space. Another 5 million square feet of projects are in the development and planning stages. “The Nashville office has become one of the foremost real estate development and acquisition firms in middle Tennessee by partnering with local land owners, investors and growing businesses to create value in real estate,” said Jeff Haynes, Partner of Boyle Nashville, LLC.
Diversification fueled Boyle growth for much of its history and remains a core part of the company’s strategy. Boyle has years of experience in developing complex, large-scale mixed-use communities and high-end neighborhoods. The company’s notable projects include Ridgeway Center in the East Memphis neighborhood, which has 1.5 million square feet of office space; Humphreys Center, also in East Memphis, an office, retail and residential development with a medical center; and Schilling Farms, a 443-acre mixed-use community in the Memphis suburb of Collierville.
Several projects underway will continue to advance Boyle’s position as a leading developer in Memphis and Nashville. In 2016, the company broke ground at Ridgeway Center on 949 Shady Grove, Memphis’ first new Class A office building since 2009 and the new home of Pinnacle Financial Partners’ Memphis headquarters. Binkley says the building is on schedule to be completed in the fall of 2017 .
Boyle just recently completed three projects at Schilling Farms: a 50,000-square-foot Class A office building, a 9,000-square-foot retail center and the second phase of a multifamily community of boutique flats and townhomes called Carrington West.
In Nashville, Boyle is overseeing the construction of Capitol View, a 32-acre mixed-use project featuring offices, shops, restaurants, hotels, upscale multifamily residential units and a 2.5-acre urban activity park. Capitol View will also be home to the corporate headquarters of at least two companies. Hospital Corp. of America (HCA) opened a 500,000-square-foot office in the development last October to house subsidiaries Health Trust, Parallon and Sarah Cannon. Meanwhile, a new 250,000-square-foot headquarters for Christian publishing company LifeWay is under construction.
Work on phase two of Capitol View has already begun. Haynes says the development is adding a new mixed-used building with retail and office space and 378 multifamily units. A second building for restaurants, specialty retail and 300,000 square feet of Class A offices is also planned.
The development at Schilling Farms also continues to grow. The project’s upscale multifamily community, The Carrington at Schilling Farms, opened two years ago and Boyle is already leasing a second phase, called Carrington West, which will add another 125 boutique apartments and townhomes.
In the past, Boyle used an in-house construction company to build the vast majority of its projects , but today the company chooses to work in close relationship with select third party general contractors . “We currently contract out the construction of our projects and aim to build long-term relationships with firms specializing in the various building types that we develop instead of of working on a strictly transactional basis,” Binkley explains. “We only engage with companies that maintain the highest standards of quality and pay the same attention to detail that we do at Boyle.”
No matter where its developments are located, Boyle strives to design projects that benefit the region beyond the project site. “We think it’s important to make sure that quality of life is maintained and enhanced in all of the communities in which we develop,” Binkley says. Boyle has provided financial and land donations to the Wolf River Conservancy, which is part of the Mid-South Regional Greenprint initiative, a 25-year government-funded plan to create 700 miles of trails and cycling paths in the Memphis area. Additionally, the company contributed to the Big River Crossing, a 4,827-foot long pedestrian boardwalk that opened in 2016 and is built along the Harahan Bridge, a rail bridge spanning the Mississippi River just south of downtown Memphis.