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Seeing demand, Mericle plans fourth spec building in year

The Citizens' Voice

Mericle Commercial Real Estate Services, the developer of the fast-growing CenterPoint Commerce and Trade Park in Jenkins and Pittston townships, has started constructing a 120,416-square-foot speculative building in the park.

Work is under way on the project site, a 22.78-acre parcel at 501-575 Keystone Ave., Jenkins Twp. Steel will arrive on the site in April, and the building will be ready for tenants in late summer, said Mericle spokesman Jim Cummings.

Like Mericle's other flex buildings, the new facility has been designed to accommodate manufacturing, distribution, office and medical firms.

Mericle Vice President Bob Besecker estimates the building will house four to eight tenants and create more than 100 jobs when fully occupied.

It marks the second speculative building constructed in the park over the past year. Two "long-established" companies have already signed leases for a 108,800-square-foot building on more than 18 acres in CenterPoint West near Home Depot's regional distribution center and a third is expected to sign soon, Mr. Cummings said. He would not identify the companies, but he said they should be announced soon.

Mr. Besecker said both companies supply products to the commercial and residential construction industries and CenterPoint has become a preferred destination for companies that supply the building trades. With the two new tenants, Mericle now has 12 companies in CenterPoint that provide services to the construction industry, he said. The third company expected to lease space in CenterPoint West is a medical-related firm, he said.

"The space is being gobbled up before the paint is even dry. We want to make sure we have enough space in the park to keep up with company demand," Mr. Cummings said. "We're seeing a good amount of demand from local companies and out-of-area companies for flex space, anywhere from 5,000 to 100,000 square feet."

The building will be the 20th Mericle developed in CenterPoint since 2005 and will grow the total square feet in the park to 5.5 million. Nearly 3,000 people work in CenterPoint. It marks the third speculative building Mericle has constructed over the last year and another building is planned in Jessup.

In addition to CenterPoint, Mericle is about 90 percent finished constructing a 25,200-square-foot speculative office building at the main entrance of the Corporate Center at East Mountain in Plains Twp. Mericle expects to start construction this spring on a 96,000-square-foot speculative building in the Jessup Small Business Center that would likely house four to eight businesses.

"Having sites and spec buildings that are ready to go gives Northeastern Pennsylvania a big advantage over competing areas," Mr. Besecker said.

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