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    Bellhops ready to take on moving industry with new executive team

    With a new executive leadership team in place, tech-based moving company Bellhops is transitioning from the startup phase to a growth stage—and leaders are ready to take on the "big-box" moving industry. 

    Since January 2016, founders have made four C-suite hires. Co-founder Cameron Doody said they've assembled an "operation dream team." 

    First, veteran businessman Scott Downes came on as the chief technology officer; Katie West, who helped launch and run Groupon Home, was the next big hire as chief operating officer. 

    Next, the team brought on former ForeverCar LLC and SwervePay Chief Financial Officer Dan Piscatelli as CFO. 

    Uber regional general manager Luke Marklin started last week as chief executive officer, rounding out the new leadership team.

    "This all really started with hiring our CTO in January of 2016," Doody said. "At that time, we were squarely pegged in the startup phase ... mainly providing labor only and moving into the full-service phase."

    In September, Bellhops started beta testing its own moving trucks in order to be in more direct competition with big name companies in the $18 billion moving industry. 

    They now provide full services in 19 of the 23 cities they serve.

    "We will be live with full service in all 23 in short order," Doody said. 

    Here are four things to know about the changes. 

    The latest hire, Luke Marklin
    The Harvard Business School graduate was most recently responsible for ensuring Uber's success in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas markets.

    "We wanted someone with pretty heavy operational experience," co-founder Stephen Vlahos said. "Technology brings this company together and is central to how the company scales, but at the end of the day, this is a heavy operational business."

    Leaders were impressed with Marklin's work at Uber and that he'd been given the responsibility to manage operations in the Southeast, Vlahos also said. 

    Marklin was based in Atlanta, so he knew a little bit about Chattanooga, and the more he and his wife learned, the more they fell in love with the area, he said. 

    When he connected with Bellhops leaders and heard about what the business was doing, he was impressed with the vision and company culture, he said. 

    "I think that Bellhops is on a path to be a really big company," he said. 

    He's used the company for his own moves a couple of times and had positive experiences, he also said. 

    The technology
    The tech platform the company created makes the process of hiring movers easier. An automated system helps run operations. It coordinates scheduling, online orders and customer communication.

    "The thing that differentiates us from traditional movers, first, is the ease of two-minute online booking," Doody said. "These are actual bookings, not requests for a call or quote ... Customers can go on and get an instant online estimate."

    Customers also have the option to call a customer service representative if they prefer.

    Marklin spoke about his recent experience using Bellhops. He said it was nice to get an email with information about the movers, including a photo and other identifying information.

    It eases the potential stress of inviting someone new into a home to move valuables, he said. 

    The disruption
    The moving industry has been slow to adopt new technology and innovation, Doody said.

    "We believe that traditional space is going to have a hard time competing if they don't take on a model like ours that uses technology to create efficiency," he said. 

    Use of technology reduces overhead costs and improves the customer experience, he said. 

    Marklin said he saw firsthand through working with Uber the ability for technology to make significant, positive changes in an industry. 

    "[I've seen] the disruptive ability that technology and a fresh business model can have on an old, fragmented industry," he said. "All those similarities apply for the moving space. I think the technology and team [are] poised to disrupt and grow rapidly."

    The brand
    "We knew the No. 1 thing we had to get right in this industry was the workforce—our movers," Doody said. 

    The tech-based moving company uses young, reliable, athletic college students to do moves in cities across the country. 

    The customer experience needed to be on point. So they spent the first three and a half years performing and learning from about 100,000 moves. 

    "[The movers] shoulder the brand and the customer experience at the end of the day," Doody said. "It was really important that we got that right." 

    Disclaimer: Nooga.com's parent company is Lamp Post Group, which has a business relationship with Bellhops. Editorial decisions for this publication are made independently of Lamp Post and Bellhops. 

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    Chattanooga-based Bellhops wants to make moving greener

    Moving company tests reusable bags, bins in Atlanta

    Since its founding in 2011, Bellhops has positioned itself as an alternative to big-box moving brands with its Uber-like, on-demand moving and lifting services.

    Now, the Chattanooga-based moving company is offering a way to get rid of its conventional boxes altogether when its customers employ Bellhops to help with their move. Starting in Atlanta, Bellhops is launching a pilot program to replace cardboard boxes with IKEA's giant plastic, reusable bags and Bellhops bins to offer a more eco-friendly approach to moving.

    Called Bins & Liners, the new offering allows consumers to order IKEA's iconic Frakta bags instead of cardboard boxes to allow for easier movement of household items and to avoid the need to discard so much cardboard.

    "Plain and simple, the traditional moving industry uses way too many cardboard boxes. That's why we're testing a greener alternative using reusable bags and plastic bins," Bellhops President Cameron Doody said in a statement. "If this pilot program is successful, we are going to be looking at ways to make it more available and sustainable in other markets."

    The 19-gallon Frakta bags, which may be ordered directly from amazon.com or purchased at IKEA stores, can store most any item in an easy-to-access bag that is placed inside one of Bellhops' bins when loaded on a truck for shipment.

    Laura Patti, service designer for Bellhops, said a test of the bags and bins program among 20 customers in Chattanooga over the past six months showed most consumers liked the bags better than boxes since they make it easier to place and retrieve items and even children can then help pack and unpack items being shipped. Similarly, the Bellhops employees hired to do the lifting and moving said the handles on the bags and the plastic bins make moving easier, quicker and more secure.

    Consumers will still have the option of packing up their shipments in other containers.

    Kyle Miller, communications director for Bellhops, said if at least 10 percent of Bellhops customers in Atlanta opt to use the bags and bins the program will be rolled out across all of the 28 cities where Bellhops now offers its moving services.

    "Atlanta was a natural fit for the next step in moving this pilot forward," Miller said. "Our moving services have more than doubled in the Atlanta area and Atlanta is also the home of the closest IKEA in relation to our headquarters, which allows us to test in-store pickup."

    Bellhops does not currently make any money with the new bags and bins other than a marginal amount it receives through its Amazon Associates Account when bags are purchased online.

    "From its inception, this has been about developing a program that encourages use of more eco-friendly options when moving, enhancing our goal of making moving smarter and easier," Miller said. "We try to be innovative and creative in our approach and we believe we are one of the first to try to use reusable bags and bins with our moves."

    Bellhops' business has more than tripled since inception, booking over 100,000 moves in the process. The company has more than 70 employees at its Chattanooga headquarters and employs about 1,200 on-demand Bellhops for short-term moving help across the country.

    This article originally appeared on TimesFreePress.com on June 21st, 2017.

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    Warehouse Row Welcomes Hemline Boutique

    Warehouse Row will welcome a new women's clothing shop, Hemline Boutique, to the South Building on Thursday, March 4th. 

    Visit the Hemline Website

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    Welcoming Goodman Coffee

    It is with great pleasure that we announce Goodman Coffee Roasters from St. Elmo will be moving into the North Building across from Cosmetic Market. Ian Goodman and Aric Annear will bring coffee and pastries back to Warehouse Row. They roast beans sourced from around the world in their St. Elmo space near the foot of Lookout Mountain. With combined experience of 35 years between the two, we couldn't be more excited to have them expanding into Warehouse Row.

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    Warehouse Row breathes new life into Chattanooga

    View the full article on page 29 of Beck Partners' Insight Magazine here.

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    3 Chattanooga Restaurants make list of Places to Eat in Tennessee Before You Die

    A website called Only in Your State has listed 11 restaurants you have to visit in Tennessee before you die, and three from Chattanooga made the list. 

    "We turned to the voice of Tennessee—yep, that’s you guys—and found a list of places that many of you couldn’t dream about leaving this earth without trying at least once," according to the article.

    The Chattanooga restaurants on the list are Public House, St. John's Restaurant and Aretha Frankenstein's.

    "Each restaurant on the list offers 'something different, something eclectic or beautiful or strange that will keep you dreaming long beyond their wonderful cheeseburgers,'" also according to the article. 

    Click here to see what the author said about each location and what other restaurants around the state made the list.

  • Atlanta-based group purchases Warehouse Row

    PROPERTY INVESTMENT GROUP DOUBLES DOWN ON MARKET STREET WITH THE PURCHASE OF WAREHOUSE ROW

    CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Jan. 22, 2016) — Atlanta-based property owner and management group The Simpson Organization has purchased historic Warehouse Row, a revitalized  mixed-use property in downtown Chattanooga. The Simpson Organization entered the Chattanooga market in 2007 with the purchase of the SunTrust Building at 736 Market St. just months after Atlanta-based real estate investment and management company Jamestown began a $20 million transformation of the century old Warehouse Row buildings at 1110 Market St. In the last month The Simpson Organization doubled down on its investment in Chattanooga with both the purchase of Warehouse Row and groundbreaking for a long-anticipated apartment and retail complex at 728 Market St.

    “Warehouse Row is at the heart of Chattanooga’s urban live, work and play lifestyle and is a tremendous asset to both the city and our company,” said A. Boyd Simpson, president of The Simpson Organization. “The community of office tenants and expertly curated retail, restaurant and service businesses adds value to the downtown experience. We will continue to build on that and look forward to sharing it with a new group of in-town residents at 728 Market.”

    Over the last decade Warehouse Row has returned to a place of prominence among Chattanooga’s mixed-use retail and business concepts and become a leading urban shopping destination in the Southeast. The restored 19th century buildings house an eclectic mix of retail and dining establishments, including national retailers J.Crew and Anthropologie— the first premier national retailers to move into Chattanooga’s downtown retail corridor in decades. A third national retailer, Lululemon Athletica, opened late last year. The national retail renaissance is a complement to Warehouse Row’s established mix of stores representing the best independent retail in the Southeast.

    Warehouse Row’s nine buildings consist of 260,295 square feet of street-level restaurants and upscale boutique retail as well as upper-level creative lofts and office suites. The mixed-use Warehouse Row property is well occupied by long-term tenants like Public House, REVIVAL, Amanda Pinson Jewelry and Embellish whose early presence supported the property’s transformative growth, along with recent retail and restaurant additions including Woodhouse Day Spa, Two Ten Jack, Onward Reserve, J.Crew, Anthropologie and Lululemon Athletica. Office tenants including Bellhops, Barge Waggoner Sumner and Cannon and Stantec have also expanded. Simpson said long-time Warehouse Row Property Manager Jen Mingola and her team will provide oversight and continuity at the property.

    The Simpson Organization’s 728 Market development will include 125 apartments, 21,000 square feet of commercial space and 21,000 square feet of ground-floor retail/restaurant space. The 10-story project will include on-site parking connected to the current parking garage in the SunTrust Building. It is expected to open in summer of 2017. The two new Chattanooga assets are the latest additions to The Simpson Company’s portfolio of more than 90 properties comprising over five million commercial square feet of leasable space.

    For more information, visit The Simpson Organization.

    About The Simpson Organization

    The Simpson Organization, Inc. ("TSO") is a closely-held real estate investment banking firm, which was founded in the midst of the down-spiral of the real estate cycle of the late 1980's by A. Boyd Simpson. The company began as a real estate advisor providing real estate consulting services to institutions.  Today TSO invests capital with other investors in assets for its own account.  Over the last twenty years Mr. Simpson has nurtured and grown the organization into the full-service real estate company with more than 90 assets and nearly five million commercial square feet of leasable space.

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    Lululemon Opening Fall 2015

    Upscale yoga apparel retailer Lululemon Athletica plans to open a store at Warehouse Row by year's end, becoming the third national company to move into the downtown Chattanooga center.

    Lululemon will set up shop in 2,700 square feet that fronts Market Street and is adjacent to Anthropologie in the Row's North Building.

    Kim White, who heads the nonprofit downtown redevelopment group River City Co., said Lululemon is coming at the right time as the central city attracts hundreds of new apartment units.

    "It's a good fit," she said. "We don't have anything like that."

    White lauded Row officials for attracting national retailers while River City officials focus their efforts on regional and local companies.

    "The fact that [Lululemon] chose to come here instead of at the mall says a lot," she said.

    In spring 2014, the fast-growing designer and retailer opened a temporary showroom on the North Shore to display the brand's key offerings and hold in-store community fitness events, including complimentary monthly yoga classes.

    The North Shore showroom will close following the Warehouse Row store's opening, according to Warehouse Row. Globally, Lululemon has more than 200 locations.

    Late last year, national retailers J.Crew and Anthropologie, each offering apparel and accessories, opened units at the downtown retail and office center. Some in the city termed the move as a signal that Chattanooga's revived downtown has finally arrived on the radar of brands with nationwide reach.

    J.Crew and Anthropologie were among the first retailers with national footprints to open non-outlet stores in downtown Chattanooga in decades. City officials said then they hoped the moves start a trend and reverse the exodus of household names such as Sears, JCPenney and Woolworth from the city's core.

    Source: Chattanooga Times Free Press

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    All About the Row

    All about the ROW. Chatter Magazine also sat down this month with Terri Holley of Embellish to talk fashion and her favorite things.

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    Two Ten Jack Coming Soon

    Billed as the first restaurant of its kind in Chattanooga, Two Ten Jack is slated to open soon and bring its Japanese pub-style izakaya concept to Warehouse Row.

    Izakaya is a restaurant model where socializing and community gatherings happen. The concept premiered locally last year in Nashville.

    Two Ten Jack, which is owned by Nashville restaurant group Seed Hospitality, had a VIP preview last week in the Scenic City.

    Chattanooga was chosen as the restaurant's second location because of "the city's culture, which is vibrant, friendly and adventurous," according to Two Ten Jack officials.

    Two Ten Jack took over 4,800 square feet of space in the southern building at downtown's Warehouse Row and gave it an urban industrial feel, with exposed concrete and brick, paired with high-end wood and metal accents and furniture.

    The restaurant's open kitchen allows guests to watch as food is prepared, and a side room is available for large parties and reservations. Japanese-inspired films play silently through a projector on the wall in the side room.

    George MacEwan, formerly head chef at Grocery Bar, is chef de cuisine at Chattanooga's Two Ten Jack, and Shannon Jack is developing the restaurant's bar program.

    Two Ten Jack's arrival nearly rounds out Warehouse Row's available retail space, which is now 94 percent leased, according to property owners.

    Warehouse Row, at 1110 Market St., has 295,000 total square feet, broken into retail and commercial space. The facility's office space is 82 percent leased.

    Two Ten Jack guests, meanwhile, have ample seating options at the new Chattanooga location, and can either take up an oversized booth or choose free-standing high-top tables in the bar area, where a host of local craft beers, handcrafted cocktails and Japanese drink options like sake and shochu are available to drink.

    The Two Ten Jack menu features Japanese starters and entrees made with Southern diners in mind, with brussel sprouts, "Japanese fried chicken," squid and edamame served over the course of a typical four-tier meal, which arrives in rounds.

    The izakaya model calls for each course to be accompanied by a partner drink, whether it be a cocktail or shot of sake, and the typical izakaya experience starts with a drink.

    The typical izakaya meal is finished off with a plate of hand-made ramen, though guests are free to mix-and-match whatever they prefer from the menu. Two Ten Jack wait staff provide guidance for food and drink ordering and pairing, as the model is foreign to most diners.

    The restaurant is still hiring and more information is available at www.twotenjack.com/chattanooga.

    Source: Chattanooga Times Free Press

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