After 18 years in its Memphis location, Gibson Brands, the 115-year-old guitar maker, is relocating its 127,000-square-foot factory and showroom to a smaller facility in the city. The complex, set on six acres across from the 18,000-seat Fedex Forum venue., is expected to fetch $17 million. The sale is still 18 to 24 months away.
According to local reports, only half the building was in use. An entertainment venue housed within the complex had been dormant for a couple of years. The Memphis Daily News reports that Gibson plans to remain in Memphis.
The Memphis location is one of three facilities operated by Gibson and mostly produces semi-hollow electric guitars and custom instruments. Gibson’s Nashville plant manufactures solid-body electric guitars while acoustic guitars are produced in Bozeman, Montana.
In a statement, Gibson Brands CEO Henry Juszkiewicz said: “We are extremely excited about this next phase of growth that we believe will benefit both our employees, and the Memphis community. I remember when our property had abandoned buildings, and Beale Street was in decline. It is with great pride that I can see the development of this area with a basketball arena, hotels, and a resurgent pride in the musical heritage of the great city of Memphis. We continue to love the Memphis community and hope to be a key contributor to its future when we move nearby to a more appropriate location for our manufacturing based business, allowing the world the benefit of our great American craftsmen.”