Roumen Denkov and Dian Tchoparov — two Bulgarian immigrants who 15 years ago only dreamed of starting a trucking business — celebrated the latest achievement in their pursuit of the American dream on Friday afternoon.
In front of various business leaders, friends and family, Denkov and Tchoparov stood outside the new Memphis headquarters of trucking company RDX at 4590 American Way. The location was previously known as the old Memphis Mall Site which closed in 2003 and was demolished a year later.
Tchoparov said the 11,000 square foot facility is more than double the size of its former headquarters at Bartlett, 7731 US 70, and its proximity to the freeway was a major selling point for RDX.
“The whole industrial area is within 5 miles, so in 15 minutes we can be anywhere here,” Tchoparov said. “Immediate access to I-240 is unbeatable. Drivers can enter and exit this facility by dropping something. If we need anything they can get in and out within 5-10 minutes at most. We save them a lot of time.
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Denkov and Tchoparov co-founded their trucking company RDX in Bartlett in 2011. The Bulgarian immigrants started RDX in 2011 after each spending the last four years as truck drivers traveling the country to learn more about the transportation industry and logistics.
RDX now has 36 employees and a fleet of 100 commercial trucks in 48 states.
“That’s the exact symbolism of what we hope America is, and I think sometimes we tend to forget that when we think about the big macro policy discussions going on, there are still people who want be here,” said Ted Townsend, Memphis Chamber’s Greater Director of Economic Development. “Not just being here, but contributing to our economy.”
The once-vacant area of Southeast Memphis has been slowly transformed into an unofficial logistics park in recent years, as Tag Truck Center, 4450 American Way, is right next to RDX’s new $9 million investment.
“We like to see more companies like RDX and Tag coming in, but also (more) logistics technology companies,” Townsend said. “We think there’s a great opportunity to create a logistics technology innovation center because you have practitioners here.”
As part of the agreement to relocate its headquarters to Memphis, RDX was approved for six-year payment in lieu of taxes in August 2020. The PILOT required RDX to create 15 net new jobs with an average salary of $44,172. .
RDX has already added 16 new jobs since the PILOT agreement. Tchoparov said RDX plans to add 15 to 20 more employees in the coming years and is already planning to expand its new headquarters.
“We are already thinking (of) the next one because it will happen,” he said. “When I don’t know, I can’t specify, but it will happen.”
Omer Yusuf covers the Ford Project in Haywood County, residential real estate, tourism and banking for The Commercial Appeal. He can be reached by email Omer.Yusuf@commercialappeal.com or followed on Twitter @OmerAYusuf.