During the “worst recession since the Great Depression,” most commercial real estate developers stopped developing buildings on speculation. Not Robert K. Mericle.

Since mid-2008, Robert Mericle’s company, Mericle Commercial Real Estate Services, has constructed 15 buildings on speculation along Northeastern Pennsylvania’s I-81 Corridor. These new buildings have ranged from just under 25,000 square feet to more than 400,000 square feet and have included bulk industrial, flex, and office space.

Mericle plans to begin construction on more spec buildings shortly.

Robert Mericle founded Mericle Commercial Real Estate Services in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania in 1985 and has grown the company to more than 200 employees. Mericle has developed more than 18 million square feet in Northeastern Pennsylvania, most of it on speculation. More than 13,400 people work in Mericle-developed facilities.

Robert Mericle’s belief in his home area as a premier location for new businesses has paid dividends. Since mid- 2008, Mericle’s company has provided new homes for 87 firms in Northeastern Pennsylvania.   These companies are occupying 6.5 million square feet and are creating and retaining more than 6,800 jobs with a combined annual payroll of close to $250 million.

Among the companies that have moved into Mericle spec buildings since mid-2008 are Amazon.com, Bimbo Bakeries, FedEx Ground, Home Depot, Corning Life Sciences, Benco Dental, United Sporting Companies, Cintas, Geisinger, Henry Schein, Neiman Marcus, and Pella Products.

“We have tremendous confidence in the people of Northeastern Pennsylvania,” said Mericle Vice President Jim Cummings. “They are among the most productive people in the United States and define the term ‘work ethic.’ When you combine our great people with our exceptional highway system and Mericle’s modern buildings, you have a winning combination that reduces our risk of building on speculation.”

Once a company leases space in a building developed by Mericle, they tend to stay. Mericle employees provide around the clock property management services to make sure tenants’ needs are responded to quickly and efficiently.

Mericle buildings can be found along the highways that converge in Northeastern Pennsylvania. For example, Mericle buildings in Humboldt Industrial Park near Hazleton provide immediate access to both Interstates 81 and 80, the “Crossroads of the East” while Mericle buildings in CenterPoint Commerce and Trade Park near Pittston are less than one mile from both I-81 and I-476.

Since 1985, Mericle has provided commercial real estate solutions to 36 Fortune 500 firms.