One Commerce Square at 40 South Main St. will house Prospero Health, which will occupy 14,000 square feet on the 13th floor and has the option to expand to 50,000 square feet. (Courtesy photo)

Boston-based Prospero Health has selected Downtown Memphis as the site for its new operations headquarters.

A national provider of home-based healthcare services for seriously ill patients, Prospero Health will occupy 14,000 square feet on the 13th floor of 40 South Main Street – One Commerce Square – and has the option to expand to 50,000 square feet.

According to the Downtown Memphis Commission (DMC), the company will create 250 new jobs over the next five years and has begun advertising job openings on the Prospero Health website.

The announcement was made Tuesday in the skyscraper’s lobby at South Main Street and Monroe Avenue, and included officials from Prospero Health, the DMC, Greater Memphis Chamber, City of Memphis, Shelby County Government and the State of Tennessee.

With few sites offering enough space, the company chose the downtown spot because it provides “such an attractive setting for employees,” said Michael Scarbrough, Prospero Health president and COO.

“I wanted to be downtown.”

While renovations aren’t expected to be complete for six more weeks, several company executives have already moved into the 30-story tower with office views of the Downtown Memphis skyline and Mississippi River. Most of the company’s executive staff will continue service at the main HQ in Boston.

Many of the new jobs will involve administrative support for hundreds of doctors, nurses, social workers and therapists who provide 24-hour care to patients through telehealth or phone consultations. The Care Center at the new HQ will include responsibilities such as ordering prescriptions as directed by nurses and providing follow-up reports.

Medical positions will also be available and the Memphis HQ will be the site for employee training.

Scarbrough will run the Memphis HQ in support of healthcare providers, patients and caregivers both locally and nationwide. In respect to workforce standards, Scarbrough emphasized the need for compassionate, empathetic employees.

“We’re taking care of people with advanced serious illnesses who really need a lot of supportive care and we need to make sure, first and foremost, that we hire people who are a really great cultural fit for helping to take care of those kinds of people, people with really strong empathy skills.”

Prospero Health is investing $1.5 million in the new HQ and was offered state and local financial incentives.

Details on the incentives and employee wages were not immediately available during Tuesday’s announcement.

The path to Memphis

According to Doug Wenners, Prospero Health CEO, the central location, highly skilled workforce, low facility costs, and relationship between Prospero Health and The University of Memphis Foundation Research Park were key factors in the decision to expand operations in Memphis.

“Prospero Health is committed to Memphis and we are thrilled to be welcomed by the entire city with such open arms,” said Wenners.

“Basing our operations in Memphis is a key step in Prospero Health’s growth and we’re excited to be involved in a community with such a welcoming culture.”

In January, Prospero Health attended the launch of U of M’s new research park, which provides 10,000 square foot of shared office space to growing start-up companies.

Prospero Health is using part of that space, but later found it needs a far larger area for projected growth. Incentives plus the affordable cost at One Commerce Square vs. facility costs in Boston or other cities positioned the company for expansion.

As part of U of M’s research park, Prospero Health has access to research and researchers at the U of M, as well as access to a pool of skilled student talent. In turn, U of M students will benefit from Prospero Health internships and careers.

Tenn. Governor Bill Lee praised the company for its expansion to Memphis and noted, “Since 2014, Tennessee has seen a nearly 12 percent increase in employment in the healthcare and life sciences sector.”

In a written statement, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said, “We’re so happy that Prospero Health is choosing to grow their business right in the heart of downtown. This is further proof that our momentum is real and Memphis is open for business.”

For information about Prospero Health and current job openings, visit www.prospero-health.com.