Merritt Properties is completing the company’s first set of small-bay warehouses in two projects.
One project is Merritt’s Hunt Ridge Business Park just west of Interstate 81 off Insurance Way in Washington County. The other is at The Garages at Hollins Ferry in Baltimore. Both are designed to accommodate growing businesses and provide short-term lease options.
Jamie Campbell of Merritt Properties’ leasing team said in a news release that the developments are “based on customer feedback and unserved needs in both markets.”
“There are many small office opportunities in the market, but the same hasn’t been true for small-bay warehouses. The growing business owner, with one truck needing a small space from which to run a business, has had few options,” he said.
Merritt is a commercial real estate development company with more than 16 million square feet of space in Maryland and Northern Virginia. Established in 1967, Merritt is the largest privately held commercial real estate firm in Maryland.
The company is constructing seven small-bay warehouses at Hunt Ridge Business Park. Once 11,250 square feet of vacant office space, the site is being redeveloped and converted into multiple 1,500-square-feet to 2,000-square-feet bays.
“Hagerstown and the I-81 corridor are known for big-box warehouses,” Pat Franklin of Merritt Properties’ leasing team said in the release.
He said the Hunt Ridge work is an effort to serve small businesses that need less than 2,000 square feet.
According to Noelle Hewitt, a Merritt spokeswoman, the back of the building will be altered to have one drive-in door per bay. The work began this month.
“We have our first tenant,” Hewitt said Wednesday.
That tenant, Stone House Urban Winery, will occupy 1,760 square feet in the first quarter of 2020.
“Unlike other locations in the market, Merritt’s small warehouse space at Hunt Ridge Business Park will meet our production and storage requirements,” Lorie Dixon, the winery owner, said in the release. “Our space is a perfect size and a short drive from our tasting room.”
In addition to the space that’s being renovated into small-bay warehouses, Merritt Properties owns and operates more than 131,000 square feet within Hunt Ridge Business Park. All of that space is occupied, according to Hewitt.
The Garages at Hollins Ferry consists of four 1,000-square-foot warehouse bays. Each bay features brick masonry, a 17-foot ceiling clear height and a 14-foot-high, at-grade, drive-in door per bay, the company said in the news release.
Within a one-mile radius of The Garages, Merritt owns and operates 1.1 million square feet of space, which is 98% occupied.
“The Garages at Hollins Ferry offer the perfect opportunity for users seeking additional storage or small warehouse space in a prime location off the Baltimore Beltway,” Campbell said.
The first warehouse lease was signed by Kona Ice, a mobile, Hawaiian-style shaved ice franchise.
Merritt Construction Services, the construction division of Merritt Companies, is managing both projects.