By Thomas Sellers Jr.
That Nov. 13, 2012 day was chilly but sunny. Fast forward to Nov. 3, 2017, the rain clouds and gloomy conditions didn’t dampen the spirits and smiles of those attending the first business groundbreaking for Veterans Parkway.
Millington Area Chamber of Commerce Director Dianne Baker hosted dozens welcoming the announcement ceremony of Inman-Murphy Pest Control Services starting construction next door to the Chamber and Millington Industrial Development Board building.
“We’ve sold property around Veterans Parkway but we hadn’t been able to get one to come in,” Millington Mayor Terry Jones said. “It’s such a great feeling to have a local businessman come back into the community and reinvest in our community. That’s what we’re excited about Inman-Murphy putting up a new facility right here on Veterans Parkway.”
The current location of Inman-Murphy 5087 Easley Street. Owner Chris Murphy said Flag City is home and when it came time for expansion he gravitated back to his roots.
“Millington has been good to us,” he said. “We’ve been looking at different places to move but decided to stay in Millington. Now it is possible for us to move out here. Plus it’s great access and all that type of stuff.
“I’ve been involved in the Chamber and IDB for a number of years,” Murphy added. “I’ve been on the boards and everything. As a business owner in Millington, it lends a lot of help for different folks and that sort of thing in the city. We’ve always been involved since we’ve been here the past 12, 13 years.”
Inman-Murphy is a pest control business providing a variety of pest control services. Inman-Murphy provides pest control for the home, termites and in yards with lawn treatments.
With the business growing and it becoming harder to function on Easley, Murphy and his partners were looking to move. Veterans Parkway was the ideal spot.
“Location,” he said. “Being a service business if you’re right in town in Memphis, its crowded and expensive – all those types of things. Its more favorable as far as cost and access with 385 going all the way down to the Loop. It’s easy access for us really.”
Murphy was joined by his wife Jennifer and other business partners Bonita Chenault, Leann Alvarez and Todd Mullins for the groundbreaking. The City of Millington was represented by Alderman Larry Dagen and Mayor Jones.
Charles Gulotta of the IDB and Carey Parham were also on hand. Nearby future neighbor Roy Remington, director of the Millington Regional Jetport came by for the groundbreaking in the wet conditions.
Jones said less than perfect weather wasn’t going to stop leaders of Millington from coming out to celebrate Murphy’s investment.
“To see he loves the community, wants to stay here and build this new building, it’s going to put more people to work,” he noted.
Construction starts soon and is scheduled to take 8 months. The possible grand opening will be late summer of 2018.
Veterans Parkway was 2012. The major construction of the road started in December 2010. The new road forms an eastern bypass around the center of Millington to connect the IDB area with Highway 51 to the west and indirectly with Paul Barrett Parkway to the south.
Public access to Veterans Parkway came Nov. 2, 2012.
The 1,600 acres where Veterans Parkway was built was donated by the U.S. Navy in 1993 after the Millington station base realignment. More than a decade later, Tennessee Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Association approved funding for the project. The development became a 80 percent – 20 percent funding split with Millington providing $5.5 million of the $26 million.
“If you get the people to come here, hopefully they’ll see the new investment and new development on Veterans Parkway,” Jones said. “Hopefully this will bring more interest. It’s always a little spark that gets things going.
“We would love to see more businesses here and come out here,” he continued. “If we can get the right industry in here, we’ve been talking to a couple right now that we can’t talk about. If we could get one of them to come in here, we’re talking 300 to a 1,000 jobs. That’s the drive we need to get the housing.”
Millington will still be the home of Inman-Murphy. Chris said he hopes today will be the groundbreaking to another level of growth in Flag City.
“We hope it allows us to serve more people,” he said. “Of course employee more people. We’re at a point to were we have to do something facility-wise to be able to house more employees.
“We’re very vehicle-dependent as far as the roads getting in and out,” Murphy concluded. “It’s getting tougher for us now where we’re currently located. This will open a lot of door for us as far as access and far as growth.”
Inman-Murphy is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and for more information, call 388-0852.