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Development group completes turnaround of Summit project

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A development group has filled its new state-of-the-art office building in Summit, three months after completing its transformation from a vacated medical property.

The group, a team of Mark Yeager and Normandy Real Estate Partners, announced this week that the 65,000-square-foot Summit Executive Center had reached full occupancy with the completion of two recent leases. The newest tenants include Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and Amlin PLC, a specialist insurance group that is expanding from the United Kingdom.

The leases at the property culminated a project that began in April 2011, when the team acquired the building from another developer, which had already stripped it down to its concrete structure. Yeager said the previous occupants, a medical group, left the aging building to expand at a nearby location.

When taking over the project, the group saw the potential to attract tenants to "an urban environment in a suburban setting," Yeager said, pointing to Summit's rail station, the nearby downtown and the growing market for transit-centric office space.

"We knew it was a little bit of a leap of faith," he said. "There was no question that this kind of asset had never been offered before in a location like Summit, so we had no question that we'd find demand. I think the only question was would we find enough demand in the price point that we were looking to obtain, which was significant."

He added that "the sizing and the scale of it was an important part of the consideration," noting that a 100,000-square-foot building "probably would have been too much for the market. But I think 65,000 square feet was enough where you could get kind of critical mass."

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