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After a century in business, we’re still looking to the future. Catch up on our latest news.

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Meritex Completes Development of Two Distribution Buildings in Roseville

December 6, 2018 Minneapolis, MN

“We’ve seen an increase in companies looking to take advantage of the 32’ clear height and excellent access to Interstate 35W,” said Ben Lieser, Minnesota regional manager at Meritex. “Leasing activity has been strong with 36,000 square feet already signed with a multinational company that is thrilled to be in a brand-new building conveniently located to their customers.”

The development site, located at 2501 and 2503 Walnut Street in Roseville, has close access to Interstate 35W, Highway 36 and Highway 280, and is closer to downtown Minneapolis and downtown St. Paul than any other recent industrial development. It is zoned I-1, which permits a variety of uses including manufacturing, warehousing and distribution, and will feature 32-foot-clear ceilings and ESFR sprinkler systems.

The site is across the street from Meritex’s fully-leased, 130,000-sq.-ft., Class A office-warehouse known as Highcrest Distribution Center I, which is currently home to Asmodee, a publisher of board games, card games and role-playing games.

The Cushman & Wakefield team of David Stokes, Todd Hanson, Jason Sell, Chris Weirens and Ian Thompson are handling leasing services.

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Spiegel II Named NAIOP Columbus Industrial Project of the Year

December 6, 2018 Columbus, OH

Frank Lloyd Wright famously stated that in great design, form follows function. This is certainly the case with the design of our Spiegel II Distribution Center, which was named the NAIOP Columbus Industrial Project of the Year.

The development, completed in September 2018, contains 250,685 square feet of space behind a dramatic façade. The slanted and angled precast wall elements, curtainwall entryways, and extensive landscaping set it apart from most other projects of its type. This means Spiegel II appeals not only to traditional distribution users, but also to tenants seeking image and identity in their real estate.

However, design and function were not the only elements that came into play during the project. Although zoned for distribution use, the Spiegel II site is adjacent to a residential development. We felt it was important be a good neighbor and build lasting connections within the community (after all, at Meritex, people come first), so we decided to communicate our development plans to the neighbors in advance of construction. We invited all neighbors to an on-site trailer meeting where we introduced our team and presented our project plans, including how our design incorporated a 10-foot-high berm and extensive landscaping to screen the site from their backyard views. We also handed out gift certificates so that owners could purchase additional trees to plant on their own properties. Additionally, we assuaged fears by letting them know that our site lighting had been engineered to minimize any direct exposure to their properties. We also offered to wash each resident’s windows at the end of site work and again at the end of construction. As a result, we received many positive comments from the neighbors after the meeting.

Speigel II is strategically located in the Rickenbacker Industrial Park on a 16-acre site at the intersection of Alum Creek Road and Spiegel Drive, providing excellent access to I-270, I-71 and I-70. The 32-foot clear building features two drive-in doors, 24 fully equipped dock doors. Building systems include an ESFR fire suppression system, LED interior lighting on motion detectors, LED exterior lighting, and three 400-amp electrical services. The site offers a 130’ truck court and parking for 187 cars and up to 27 trailers. The building has been designed to accommodate either a single 250,000 square foot user or multiple users as small as 43,000 square feet.

The building was designed and constructed by Opus Design Build, L.L.C.

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Meritex Breaks Ground on The Final Phase of Its Infill Industrial Development by CLT International Airport in Charlotte

December 6, 2018 Charlotte, NC

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Meritex Company is developing two additional speculative industrial buildings at CLT Logistics Center, located near the Charlotte Douglas International Airport. The project is the final phase of a larger plan to develop three buildings on the site. Meritex recently completed construction this year of a 79,420-square-foot, Class A, multi-tenant industrial building.

“This development site is irreplaceable and strategically located adjacent to the airport providing excellent access to the airport cargo, intermodal, highways, and downtown Charlotte,” says Matt Wagner, director of acquisitions at Meritex. “The new buildings and our existing business park attract a diverse tenant base because of its unique location and amenities that serve companies in distribution, freight forwarding, last-mile solutions, light industrial, manufacturing, tech and R&D sectors,” says Wagner.

The two new buildings will be called CLT Logistics Building II and III and will contain approximately 135,024 square feet of new modern space for industrial users. The buildings will feature 32’ clear heights, efficient column spacing, LED lighting with motion sensors, ESFR sprinkler system, high dock ratio count, pit levelers, abundance of natural light with clerestory windows, ample trailer storage, and 60’ speed bays. The buildings are anticipated for completion in Summer 2019.

“We have designed these buildings with the future in mind,” says Wagner. “We plan to provide modern amenities and a finish level with a higher standard to accommodate overall user demand and the changing needs of tenants in the market.” Meritex plans to build out office space in the buildings that will feature 12’ office ceilings, open floor plans with polished concrete floors and upgrade interior finishes.

Once Buildings II and III are completed, the CLT Logistics Center will comprise of a 14-building business park with almost 800,000 square feet of industrial space, which is currently seeing strong leasing activity. Additionally, the development at the CLT Logistics Center will bring the company’s footprint to nearly one million square feet of industrial product in the Charlotte metro area.

“Charlotte continues to be an attractive market for us as its supported by strong demand drivers,” says Wagner. “We plan to continue our growth in the near term, with the goal of growing our portfolio in excess of two million square feet.”

Meritex first entered the Charlotte market in mid-2016 with the acquisition of the 11 building, 583,021-square-foot, Class A property known as CLT Logistics Center. The initial purchase also included 14 acres of available land, which is currently under development. The business park contains more than 40 local, national and international tenants with a wide range of suite sizes from 1,500 sq. ft. to 40,000 sq. ft. The property is currently 97 percent leased.

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Meritex Completes Leasing of Three Eagan Properties

November 16, 2018 Minneapolis, MN

MINNEAPOLIS – The Meritex Company is announcing that all three of their Eagan properties have been completely leased to nine separate tenants. The properties represent a total of 404,109 square-feet of industrial real estate, primarily office and warehouse space, in the southeast submarket of the Twin Cities.

“Continued industrial growth in the metro-area has led to a high demand for quality properties that meet businesses’ unique needs, from higher clear heights to adaptable spaces,” says Ben Lieser, Minnesota regional manager at Meritex. “We’ve been matching tenants to their ideal spaces for more than a century, and are thrilled to continue to provide ideal locations, like our three Eagan properties, where business can thrive.”

Eagan represents the second largest industrial trade area by size. Currently, there are 93 industrial properties in the area, with less than 4 percent of spaces remaining vacant.

The largest of Meritex’s Eagan properties, 985 Aldrin, was purchased by Meritex in 2013 and is currently home to three tenants. The facility boasts 172,559 square feet with 32’ clear height. It’s located at 985 Aldrin Drive.

Kennebec Distribution Center, located at 3703 Kennebec Drive, is now home to one tenant who is currently utilizing all 155,050 square feet. The property was purchased by Meritex in 2015 and features 26’ clear height.

Finally, the Lexington Corporate Center, located at 3225 Neil Armstrong Boulevard, has recently completed leasing to five separate tenants. The 76,500 square-foot facility is a Class A building equipped with divisible office and warehouse spaces with 19’ clear height. Meritex purchased the facility in 2010.

In addition to the three Eagan locations, Meritex owns and manages property throughout the Twin Cities, totaling 1.8 million square feet. Buildings are located in Eagan, Elk River, Fridley, Minneapolis, Rogers, Roseville, Shakopee and St. Paul. Additionally, Meritex is wrapping up construction on two state-of-the-art 144,000-sq.-ft. bulk-distribution buildings, Highcrest II and III, in Roseville. The properties are anticipated for completion later this month and have already signed one lease.

“As the situation in Eagan demonstrates, demand for industrial spaces in the Twin Cities market continues to grow,” says Lieser. “Vacancy rates are already low and quality spaces are leasing quickly.”

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Meritex Purchases 121,520-Square-Foot Industrial Property in Houston

October 30, 2018 Houston, TX

HOUSTON – The Meritex Company continues to increase its presence in the Houston market with the acquisition of Park 225, a 121,520-square-foot, Class A, multi-tenant light industrial building. Meritex closed on the property on October 24.

Dan Ward, the director of investments for Houston at Meritex, says, “Park 225 is an attractive asset due to its location. The building is at the interchange of Highway 225 and Beltway 8, providing excellent access to Houston’s vast petrochemical industry, the Houston Ship Channel and to both Barbour’s Cut and Bayport Container Terminals of the Port of Houston.”

The strategic location is attractive to tenants in the petrochemical, port and shipping, distribution, and light manufacturing industries. The building is already fully leased to four tenants.

Park 225 is Meritex’s third acquisition in Houston and brings the company’s industrial portfolio to almost 500,000 square feet of assets owned and managed in the metro area. Texas is a key expansion market for Meritex, which is also currently exploring opportunities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Ray Kivett, CIO at Meritex, says, “We plan to own Park 225 long-term. Houston continues to have favorable property and market fundamentals and remains a targeted expansion market for Meritex.”

The Southeast Industrial submarket has 3.3 percent market vacancy and experienced over one million square feet of absorption in Q1 2018.

Tom Lynch, an investment sales broker at CBRE, helped with the acquisition. Property management will be provided by Stream Realty’s Houston office.

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Meritex Welcomes Gannon Scudder, Property Accountant

October 4, 2018 Minneapolis, MN

Join us in welcoming our newest hire, Gannon Scudder, to the Meritex family. Gannon joined us last month as our newest property accountant.

“We’re thrilled Gannon has joined the team,” says Scott Perpich, manager of accounting. “He’s a great fit for our people-first philosophy, and I know he’ll help support our growth, particularly in the Charlotte market.”

Gannon will be working in the Minneapolis office, providing support to corporate and property managers and handling critical accounting functions including general ledger analysis, budget and forecast support, and billing and accounts receivable activities for the Charlotte market.

Prior to joining Meritex, Gannon worked for CBRE as a senior real estate accountant. While there, his responsiveness, insight and dedication helped him get promoted twice since he was hired in 2015 as an associate accountant.

Gannon received his undergraduate degree from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO and moved to Minneapolis right after graduating from college.

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Meritex Named One of Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s Best Places to Work - Ranking Third in Small Company Category

August 24, 2018 Minneapolis, MN

The Meritex Company was named one of Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s 2018 Best Places to Work, reinforcing the company’s focus on putting people-first. The list of honorees includes companies in a wide range of industries across the Twin Cities who create and maintain engaging work environments for their employees through team-building activities, career-development opportunities, workplace amenities and more.

At Meritex, employees are encouraged to grow and evolve in a setting that combines the flexibility and innovation of a family-owned business with the benefits, discipline and governance of a much larger organization. This eliminates hierarchy and gives employees the opportunity to learn many aspects of the business by interacting daily with other departments and directly with senior leadership. Employees are encouraged to explore, challenge themselves, and look for ways to improve processes and make a difference at the company and in their communities.

Raising the standards for the industry, Meritex commits to doing business the right way, forming genuine, long-lasting relationships that lead to strong collaboration, beneficial outcomes and sustained success for everyone involved. By doing that, Meritex believes success naturally follows.

This is the Business Journal's 20th year recognizing great workplaces — the longest such awards program in the Twin Cities.

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Meritex Welcomes Andrew May, Investment Analyst

June 11, 2018 Minneapolis, MN

The Meritex family continues to grow. Andrew May joined us last month as an invest analyst. In his new role, Andrew will assist with underwriting, due diligence, market research and closing of acquisitions, dispositions and development opportunities.

“We’re excited to welcome Andrew to the Meritex family,” says Matt Wagner, director of acquisitions at Meritex. “We believe he’s the right fit to contribute to Meritex’s continued growth as we look to expand into new markets, build partnerships and invest in best-in-class properties for our tenants.”

Prior to joining Meritex, Andrew was a credit analyst at TCF Bank in the commercial real estate lending division. While there, he performed credit underwriting and analysis for industrial, retail, office, multi-family, mixed-use and hospitality properties. Additionally, he assisted in appraisal reviews, market research and preparation of credit investment packages.

“During the interview process, Andrew impressed us with his knowledge, work ethic and overall passion in the real estate industry and we know he will be a tremendous asset to our team,” Wagner adds.

Andrew is an active member of NAIOP and participated in the Developing Lenders program. He will work out of the Minneapolis office and report to Matt Wagner, director of acquisitions. He received his bachelor’s degree in finance and economics from the University of Northern Iowa.

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Meritex Acquires Strategically Located Property near Charlotte Airport

May 15, 2018 Charlotte, NC

CHARLOTTE – The Meritex Company has purchased Airpark West V, a 100,286-square-foot property located just three miles from the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, providing a versatile opportunity for small- to mid-sized businesses. In keeping with the Meritex tradition of doing good business by creating flexibility and innovation in properties, the building will undergo a major capital improvement plan, including adding additional dock doors, energy-efficient LED lighting, new HVAC systems, exterior enhancements and newly updated office suites.

“We acquired the asset completely vacant and plan to reposition it into an attractive, multi-tenant building appealing to small-to-midsize users,” says Matt Wagner, director of acquisitions at Meritex. “We intend to transform the functionality and image to best-in-class.”

With an eye to the long-term goal of providing spaces that are business-friendly, the property was also chosen due to its potential for allowing the companies within the space to evolve as they wish.

Ray Kivett, chief investment officer at Meritex, says, “Given the pace of change in so many industries, there’s no single design or layout that solves every problem. Rather than design to a specific need, we work to ensure all Meritex properties combine functionality with flexibility, designing spaces in such a way that we can anticipate and accommodate needs in a variety of ways—and be ready to evolve even further forward.”

Airpark West V is located at 8610 Airpark West Drive within the Air Park West Industrial Park in Charlotte, North Carolina. Originally built in 2004 and expanded in 2007, the property was strategically acquired based on its premium location and fulfilling Meritex’s objective of further expanding in the Charlotte airport submarket. In addition to its infill positioning, its transportation access is exceptional due to the adjacency to major corridors – under a mile from I-485, 0.25 mile from I-85, and only 1.6 miles from the intersection of I-485 and I-85.

Justin Smith, vice president at Colliers International, says, “Recently the airport submarket has experienced tremendous growth through leasing and investments and the Airpark West V building will be well-positioned to succeed with the future redevelopment plan.”

Smith and Rob Speir of Colliers International represented Meritex in the acquisition of this transaction.

Foundry Commercial in Charlotte has been engaged to act as both leasing agent and property management firm for the Airpark West V.

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Meritex Acquires Newly Constructed Infill Industrial Properties in Phoenix

April 26, 2018 Phoenix, AZ

PHOENIX – The Meritex Company has purchased a 198,771 square-foot Class A industrial portfolio located adjacent to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. The project is newly constructed and consists of two multi-tenant industrial buildings that feature modern amenities such as 28’ – 30’ clear heights, LED lighting, ESFR sprinkler system, efficient column spacing and attractive façade and entryways. The park is located at 2625 and 2675 South 16th Street in Phoenix and is called Meritex Park Sky Harbor.

“We are very excited to add these best-in-class assets to our portfolio as we continue to execute our investment strategy and expand our presence in Phoenix,” says Matt Wagner, director of acquisitions at Meritex. “We targeted these properties due to the infill positioning near the airport, major transportation nodes, significant population and labor force concentration.”

The business park is located only a quarter mile from two major highways, I-17 and I-10, and just over a mile from the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Meritex Park Sky Harbor is currently 71 percent leased to four regional, national, and international companies. The building suites range in size from 10,000 sq. ft. to 43,000 sq. ft.

“The buildings are specifically designed to accommodate small to mid-size users, which is where most of the leasing velocity occurs,” says Wagner. “We are very optimistic that the strong market fundamentals in the surrounding area are positioned for additional near-term growth.”

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Meritex Hires Ben Lieser to Oversee Minnesota Market

January 15, 2018 Minneapolis, MN

MINNEAPOLIS – The Meritex Company has hired Ben Lieser as the company’s new regional manager for Minnesota, effective December 28, 2017. In his new role with Meritex, Lieser will provide management oversight to the entire Minnesota market. He will work at the company’s headquarters in Minneapolis.

“Ben has a breadth of experience in property and asset management, leasing, construction management and development,” says Arvid Povilaitis, COO at Meritex. “We are excited to have him join the Meritex team.”

Lieser brings more than 20 years of experience to Meritex. Prior to joining the company, Lieser served as asset manager with the Roberts Management Group. His previous background includes 13 years at the Carlson Real Estate Company and roles with Great Lakes REIT and Suntide Commercial. Lieser holds a bachelor's degree in real estate from St. Cloud State University, certified commercial investment member (CCIM) and real property administrator (RPA) designations, and a Minnesota real estate broker’s license.

“During the interview process, Lieser impressed us with his industry knowledge, certifications, and extensive experience in the Minnesota market,” says Povilaitis.

Lieser will build upon the success of Steve Dorff, Meritex’s former regional manager for Minnesota, who retired in 2017 after 38 years with the company.

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Meritex to Develop 14 Acre Land Parcel near Charlotte Douglas International Airport

December 8, 2017 Charlotte, NC

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Meritex has begun development on a 79,420-square-foot, Class A, multi-tenant industrial building on the land site next to its 11-building industrial portfolio known as CLT Logistics Center. The development will feature 32’ clear height, 60’ speed bay, attractive store fronts with timber panel finishes, additional trailer storage, and the flexibility to be demised to 3 to 4 suites, targeting users with needs ranging from 25,000 sq. ft. to nearly 80,000 sq. ft.

The project is the first phase of a larger plan to develop three modern distribution buildings on the site, which can accommodate nearly 220,000 sq. ft. of new industrial product. Phase I will be completed on a speculative basis and is anticipated for delivery by Spring 2018. The remaining buildings will be considered during the construction process.

Meritex first entered the Charlotte market in mid-2016 with the $46.3 million acquisition of the 11 building, 583,021 square foot, Class A property known as CLT Logistics Center. The complex contains more than 40 local, national and international tenants with a wide range of suite sizes from 1,500 sq. ft. to 40,000 sq. ft. The initial purchase also included the 14 acres of available land which is now being developed.

Over the long-term, Meritex anticipates the area near the development will continue to see strong tenant and user demand due to its attractive location near Charlotte Douglas International Airport, intermodal, I-485, I-77 and I-85.

Meritex has selected Foundry Commercial as the listing agent and property manager for the project.

Eric Ridlehoover, managing director and principal at Foundry Commercial, says, “With overall market vacancy rates around 4 percent, and with the steady leasing velocity in both the overall market and airport submarket, the new building delivery couldn’t come at a better time.”

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