Readers of this site know the name Stanley H. Trezevant Jr. as the "Father" of the Mall of Memphis. Mr. Trezevant related many stories to us of the trials and tribulations of building the mall. Those stories are on the various pages of this site. We were excited to recently receive an email from his daughter, Laura Trezevant - on her memories of the mall - and her efforts to help get it built!
Look for more here soon from her:
"I have been on your website and searched info about Dad and saw your acknowledgment of his death. I worked on the Mall from the time I was a little girl maybe 10 gathering signatures before school to take to the city council to get our approvals. The Mall took years to open around 1980 I think. Anyway, Dad and his partner, Jim Bridger and his two girls, would all go out to breakfast and then the 3 girls would knock on doors before people got off to work to get our petition signed. I think we took it back to the City Council with 7000 signatures and the rest is history. I have photos of the dredging site and of me after being thrown in (and mad as a hornet) that slop by my brothers. It was like quick mud. Very hard to get out of ...I was lucky it wasn't over my head. The Mall of Memphis was my Dad's life for years."
"He drew out his idea of the paddle boat logo on a paper towel in my mother's kitchen."
Monday, June 11, 2007 Retail relationship Laura Trezevant's success in retail real estate based on building loyal relationships
Laura Trezevant got her love of the real estate business honestly.
As a child, she used to ride with her father, Stanley H. Trezevant, around the property which was to become the Mall of Memphis.
"There was nothing he liked better than being in an SUV or Jeep and riding through dirt and watching someone move it," she says. "He loved it."
Laura Trezevant started in the family business when she was 5 years old.
That's when she started knocking on doors in Parkway Village, trying to get signatures to allow the construction of the Mall of Memphis.
She was joined by her father, as well as his business partner, James T. Bridger, and his daughters.
They would get up at 5 a.m, go to breakfast and then start knocking on doors in the neighborhood.
The first time the Mall of Memphis project came before the Memphis City Council, it was rejected because the neighborhood thought the developers would build apartments there.
The Trezevants and the Bridgers got 7,000 resident signatures and the Mall opened in 1980.
Despite her early start in real estate, Laura Trezevant thought of other careers while attending Memphis State University, including interior design.
"It wasn't nearly as interesting as I expected, studying fabrics and colors," she says.
She switched to accounting, but then dropped that after taking a real estate course. After college, she interviewed with Cushman & Wakefield, Inc., a full-service real estate service company based in Atlanta.
The company was going to send her to manage its Brentwood, Tenn. office, but decided her local connections would be better suited for Memphis.
For example, the Trezevant family was developing the Thousand Oaks business center and Cushman & Wakefield was going to handle leasing.
Laura Trezevant worked for Cushman & Wakefield in Memphis for two years and then started leasing the property in-house for the family.
She continued with the family partnership until about nine years ago.
She started out in office leasing, but also did property management and retail leasing.
"I realized that, for me, the retail portion of it was so much more fun and interesting," Trezevant says. "You develop the relationship and hopefully the relationship is ongoing. In office leasing, you develop a relationship, you put them in a space, they have one location and they're not going anywhere else."
With retail leasing, it's easier to maintain relationships because a company can open multiple locations in one market. She also like the retail brokerage community because it is better at sharing information.
"If I'm representing Aldi Foods, then I want everyone to know because I want everyone's eyes and ears working for me and for Aldi to find locations," she says.
Trezevant left the family partnership about nine years ago and went to work at the Memphis office of the Shopping Center Group LLC, an Atlanta-based retail real estate company. She worked there five years, then decided to start own company, Trezevant Commercial Brokerage, Inc., 2 1/2 years ago. Most of her retail clients stayed with her.
"They have remained loyal to me as I have to them," she says.
Trezevant enjoys working for herself, with only her assistant Angela Cox, and broker Don Rodgers to help her.
"It's also wonderful being able to almost select your clients and work for the people that you believe in," she says.
One of Trezevant's best friends is Laura Adams, executive director of the Shelby Farms Park Alliance, a non-profit support organization for Shelby Farms Park.
They met 38 years ago at Richland Junior High, which is now White Station Middle School. Although they haven't worked together, Adams says Trezevant is probably the best overall person she knows.
"Laura is very honest, loyal and has a high degree of integrity," Adams says.
They have traveled together for years, including skiing trips to Colorado and Utah and other trips to Florida.
"Laura's always game for something new," Adams says. "She's very willing and happy to try new things."
Another of Trezevant's attributes is her positive attitude.
"She never has a bad day and if she does you wouldn't know it. She's always in a good mood." Laura Trezevant
President, Trezevant Commercial Brokerage, Inc. Age: 48 Birthplace: Memphis Residence: Cordova Education: B.S. in business, University of Memphis Hobbies: Skiing, cooking, travel
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