Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Residential Real Estate Developer Expanding into Commercial Market

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Residential Real Estate Developer Expanding into Commercial Market

Article excerpt

ERC Development Group, a multistate developer of residential real estate, is expanding its reach into the commercial market with what company officials say is its first foray into the Edmond office/ warehouse business.

Investors in property acquired from the Barling, Ark.-based property developer and manager have begun earthwork on the first of several new office and warehouse buildings near W. 15th Street and Fretz Drive in Edmond. The development, known as ChapelRidge Commerce Park, is the first development of its type in the metro by ERC, which is better known for building apartment complexes and single-family homes.

"ERC has not been involved in the office and warehouse development area before," said Bob Thorpe, a broker with ERC Development in Oklahoma City.

ERC officials said the company would still focus much of its attention on building residential properties, much of which are apartment complexes. Company management, however, said ERC is now branching out to develop excess land neighboring their apartment developments into other uses, including office and warehouse properties.

The move led company officials recently to focus on the patch of undeveloped land in central Edmond left over from the construction of the combined 214-unit ChapelRidge of Edmond apartment complexes, phases I and II, at 501 W. 15th St. The land sits amid a high- traffic area located about one block west of the main north-south Broadway Extension.

The new warehouse development will have 20 lots that range from 23,881 square feet to as large as 54,855 square feet. Four of the lots have been sold to an investor group called CR Commerce Bldg. LLC, which includes Thorpe, and are now under development.

"We've basically moved into the commercial land development business as an adjunct to our housing business," said Bert Belanger, a developer with ERC's Oklahoma City office.

At the site of the development, the speculative warehouse construction is still in its infancy. Workers are doing earthwork in preparation for the construction of the first two buildings on the site.

Thorpe said the first four lots now under development will eventually feature 50,000 square feet of combined warehouse and office space. …

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