AURORA, Colorado – United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE: UPS) announced today its first distribution center in Aurora, Colorado. The company signed a 10-year lease for the entire 360,000 square foot building located in Consolidated Investment Group’s (CIG) East Park 70 industrial park. More than 700 new jobs will be created with this facility when it is fully operational in late 2018. Operations are expected to begin this year in time for the busy holiday shopping season.
The Class A warehouse is located at I-70 and E Smith Rd. This state-of-the-art facility was completed in late 2016 to serve the metro area’s thriving industrial market.
“We are excited to have a reputable national tenant like UPS choose our park to grow its expanding metro area business,” said CIG Vice President Tim Bertoch. “This transaction further validates the East Park 70 location as a highly viable regional logistics and distribution hub.” CIG intends to continue its speculative development program at this location this year and into 2018. When fully built out, the park will consist of more than 1.4 million square feet of industrial space.
Construction of the facility began in late 2015 as part of a CIG speculative development phase, which included the large warehouse as well as an adjacent 81,000-square-foot, rear-loaded warehouse with 3 acres of secured outdoor storage area. Bertoch noted that interest in both of East Park 70’s buildings from local and national tenants has been strong throughout the development process.
This news comes soon after the recent opening of the Amazon fulfillment center, also located in the City of Aurora. “Aurora is a powerhouse in the industrial real estate market and we are happy to welcome UPS to the city,” said City of Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan. “It is because of our assets like East Park 70, that we continue to attract Fortune 500 companies. I’m proud of the partnerships that make these projects a reality, create jobs for our residents, and drive economic vitality in Aurora. With the continued growth of the metro area, it’s more important than ever that we show the world that Aurora is open for business.”
“We are thrilled to have helped UPS establish a presence in our city. This is one more example of how attractive Aurora is to businesses,” said Aurora Economic Development Council President and CEO, Wendy Mitchell. “As a city, we have shovel ready land, quality developers like CIG, and a diverse workforce among many other qualities. Companies across the globe are eyeing Aurora because of all that we can offer.”
The Aurora Economic Development Council focuses on attracting and retaining primary employers like UPS by working with businesses, developers, local government and the public sector, and many other parties through a comprehensive process. Mitchell added, “Our continued focus on aligning our economic development efforts with primary employers’ needs is a large part of why we have been so succesful. We look forward to having UPS’ operations and partnership in the city, and to bring so many new jobs to the community. We truly believe that Aurora is the best business address in the West.”
Consolidated Investment Group (CIG) is an entrepreneurial investment company that manages a diverse portfolio valued in excess of $1.5 billion. Since 2003, CIG has actively invested in private equity, capital markets, real estate, and philanthropy. The company’s mission is to preserve and grow its shareholders’ capital for current and future generations and to support their philanthropic endeavors. It accomplishes this through innovative processes and a results-oriented team. CIG is committed to an environment founded on high ethical standards that puts its people first, fosters collaboration, and inspires dedication. CIG invests domestically and internationally through operating partners, direct investment, and opportunistic funds. Learn more about CIG at www.ciginvest.com.
About The Aurora Economic Development Council
A partnership between business and government for more than three decades, the Aurora Economic Development Council champions Colorado’s most promising growth industries including aerospace and defense, bioscience, transportation logistics and energy, positioning Aurora and Colorado to win new jobs in an intensely competitive market. We create new primary jobs through innovative deal creation, strategic partnerships, and by advocating for economically sustainable public policy. The Aurora Economic Development Council is a private, not-for-profit 501(c)(6) corporation comprised of the leading 100 companies in the Aurora/Denver metro area, the city of Aurora, and Adams and Arapahoe Counties. A-List, Colorado’s premier business event of the metro area that brings together 2,000 regional business, political and civic leaders to celebrate the economic successes of the region, is produced by the Aurora Economic Development Council. For more information on the Aurora Economic Development Council, visit www.auroraedc.com.
In mid-August, Consolidated Investment Group (CIG) and Merage Social Impact (MSI) associates took time from their busy schedules to give back to the Denver community by cooking and serving meals at Urban Peak. Founded in 1988, Urban Peak is the only non-profit organization in Denver that provides a full convergence of services for youth (ages 15 through 24) experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk of becoming homeless. Their goal is to help these youths overcome real life challenges to become self-sufficient adults. One way that Urban Peak does this is by offering an over-night shelter, where the youth can receive three meals a day.
During the week of service, associates were divided into small groups to prepare meals based on menus provided by Urban Peak. Kerry Kiley, one of the organizers of the volunteering event, said “It was refreshing to see how quickly the 24 spots filled. The general excitement to lend a hand demonstrated how CIG and MSI associates uphold the cornerstone, “we create a better world.”
Gwendolyn West, an MSI volunteer, felt that serving at Urban Peak was a great way to “bond with her fellow coworkers, show off her cooking skills, and give back to the Denver community in a meaningful and tangible way.”
Morgan Reuter, another volunteer, used the opportunity to get to know associates from CIG that she does not typically work with. Also, because Morgan was unfamiliar with Urban Peak, the volunteer opportunity helped her learn more about the organization’s mission and the youth they serve.
Due to the success of the service event, CIG and MSI are looking forward to hosting more volunteer opportunities in the future, Kerry said.
During the month of April, we (Guy Segev and Moshe Kakon of Ofek IVIC Group) conducted a business trip to the U.S., hosted by the CIG Real Estate staff.
Our visit began after almost 20 hours traveling from Israel to Denver, CO, and the jet-lag was significant. We then flew from Denver to Houston, TX, to learn about CIG’s current investments in Houston and to also learn how they are managed by the team. We also wanted to see how new investments are evaluated.
On the flight, we held an interesting staff meeting to examine two investment projects: (1) the residential tower MARQ 5250 at a prime location in the heart of Houston and (2) the multi-family residential project, Cinco Ranch, in a developing area of Houston.
We saw that the investment strategy in the Cinco project is mainly focused on the fact that the current management is quite weak and, as a result, rents are low and the property value is not at its best. This situation presents an opportunity to acquire the properly, change the management, and improve the property and then increase rents.
The investment strategy at 5250 is also interesting, having a similar goal to improve the property. This residential tower in the center of Houston was initially intended to provide A and even A+ properties but has not reached this level to date. Thus, by combining investment in the property’s appearance, focusing on the existing management (which is at a noteworthy high level) and shifting the mix of renters, we can significantly improve the property and brand it as a luxury property in Houston.
The next morning, we shifted to going over our activities in Israel, focusing on the massive investment potential in the Negev city, Be’er Sheva, and the company’s intention to promote a massive and unique rental property in Israel.
Later, we visited similar properties in order to familiarize and learn about the market and understand similar reference points. We visited the incredible Marq31 property, which is in the final building stages, and also the Water Marq project, which is situated on the shores of the Colorado River with breathtaking views.
Over the next two days, our work divided into two: On one of the days, we focused on examining potential projects in Israel with Tim and Nate; on the other day, we toured additional current CIG projects in Austin with Tim, Heidi, and Nate. In the evening, we enjoyed the traditional flavors of the Texas kitchen.
In summary, we can say that beyond being a fascinating visit filled with lots of learning, the team members that we toured with Heidi, Josh, Jason, Kerry, Nate, and Jeremy – are fantastic people.
The team has a collective drive for excellence, working well collaboratively, and we also all had fun together. Thank you very much to Tim Bertoch and David Merage for organizing the visit and for the warm welcome.
We are anxiously awaiting our next opportunity to host anyone who will come visit Israel and, of course, look forward to our next opportunity to visit in the U.S.
-Moshe and Guy
Funky Chunky®, LLC, the gourmet snack featuring buttery caramel popcorn drizzled with different types of chocolate with added combinations of pretzels and nuts, spikes the Sweets & Snacks Expo May 23-25 at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL, with the introduction of an unexpected yet delicious flavor best known for being an early morning must-have. Funky Chunky Café is a gourmet coffee flavored popcorn that comes in three irresistible specialty coffee flavors: Caramel Latte, Vanilla Sweet Crème and Dark Chocolate Mocha. Forget that morning latte and stop by Booth 1295 to get your coffee fix.
Funky Chunky Café Trio
Inspired by a local coffee shop and our coffee loving staff, Caramel Latte begins with our traditional decedent caramel popcorn. Add layers of caramel latte white chocolate drizzle, milk chocolate drizzle, chewy caramel, and highlight it with dark chocolate covered espresso beans and get ready to experience an explosion of flavors.
Vanilla Sweet Crème is similar but with vanilla sweet crème white chocolate, chewy caramel and white chocolate covered espresso beans. This treat is guaranteed to trip your sweet tooth.
Lastly, Dark Chocolate Mocha loads up with dark chocolate mocha drizzle, milk chocolate drizzle, chewy caramel and dark chocolate covered espresso beans – perfect for your favorite chocoholic.
All flavors come in both 5-‐ounce bags and 19-‐ounce canisters, perfect for gifting or as a guilt-‐free sweet for you. Two ounce will be launched this fall.
“Funky Chunky is known for our delicious mash-‐ups of caramel popcorn and decadent drizzles. We combine fan favorites with our popcorn, and coffee is a flavor that is unexpected yet delicious,” said Laura Kruse, national sales manager. “We expect Funky Chunky Café to become a fast favorite.”
Stop by Booth 1295 to sample the latest innovation from Funky Chunky along with perennial favorite sea salt caramel.
On May 11, 2013, David Merage received the 2013 Ellis Island Medal of Honor, an award given to U.S. immigrants and native-born citizens who have made substantial contributions to American society. David was born in Iran and migrated to the U.S. when he was 15 years old. Since then, David has made a name for himself through both business and philanthropy. David and brother, Paul Merage, founded the well-known company Chef America, manufacturer of Hot Pockets©, Lean Pockets©, and Croissant Pockets©. After selling the company to Nestlé in 2002, David founded Consolidated Investment Group (CIG) based in Denver. CIG specializes in capital markets, commercial real estate, and private equity.
David and wife Laura’s philanthropic values are rooted in the family’s tradition to promote education as a way of improving life conditions and outcomes. Andre and Katherine Merage, David’s parents, instilled the value of empathy and compassion to others, encouraging their children to use their success to create positive social change. The David and Laura Merage Foundation was founded to promote self-sufficiency through education, community development, and arts and culture. These philanthropic ventures have positively impacted the lives of those throughout the U.S. and Israel, distinguishing David as a prime candidate for the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. David is recognized among U.S. presidents, Nobel Prize winners, artists, and athletes. Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper recognized the significance of David’s innovative and philanthropic ventures by proclaiming May 11th as David Merage Day.
To learn more check out The Denver Post article highlighting David and this prestigious award. Also visit Consolidated Investment Group and the David and Laura Merage Foundation websites to learn more about their vision.
Need a healthy, organic or gluten-free meal fast? Fantástico! Caesar’s Pasta, the New Jersey-based pasta expert with 50 years of experience, unveils its new line of USDA-Certified Organic and Certified Gluten-Free line of fresh-from-the-freezer gourmet pasta meals by Caesar’s Kitchen at the Natural Products Expo West convention here March 10-12. Find this exciting new brand in Booth 2719 in the Anaheim Convention Center. Featuring five different fresh-frozen SKUs – two Gluten-Free Gourmet and three Organic Goodness options – Caesar’s Kitchen steps up the game in both purity and quality of ingredients plus taste of the product found in the current freezer section. The proof is on the labels where you don’t need a text book to figure out what is in your food.
“Shoppers seeking quick better-for-you meals with complex, sophisticated flavors now have a reason to stop by their grocer’s freezer aisles rather than simply shopping the perimeter for healthy options,” said Michelle Hennessy, Sales & Marketing Manager. “Established as a family business back in 1967, three generations later, our dedication to honest, simple ingredients still rings true.”
More Americans are buying organic foods, with a 2016 US Organic Food Industry’s survey showing double-digit growth in the past four years and outpacing single digit growth of the overall food market. Caesar’s Kitchen is uniquely positioned as a convenient, USDA certified organic option for time-starved families. A hot meal is on the table in only 5 minutes, start to finish. Joining the lineup for Caesar’s Kitchen Organic Goodness and making its debut at the Expo West show is the Italian Style Stuffed Shells with Ricotta and Mozzarella in Marinara Sauce. It’s made from a favorite family recipe and it’s easy to taste why. Whether you prefer the Italian Style Stuffed Shells, Asiago Mushroom Penne Pasta with Monterey Jack Cheese Sauce or Spinach & Tomato 4 Cheese Ravioli with Herb Marinara Sauce, Caesar’s Kitchen Organic Goodness offers something for every pasta-lovers’ palette.
And the “goodness” goes well beyond the organic certification. Made with real cheese free of rBST hormones and antibiotics, packed with protein and void of preservatives, artificial flavors and trans fats, Caesar’s Kitchen Organic Goodness line of pasta dinners are 400 calories or fewer.
Caesar’s Kitchen prides itself on innovating based on consumer insight and demand. Gluten-free products have risen in popularity, with an estimated 2.7 million people in the U.S. having eliminated or reduced their consumption of gluten despite never having been diagnosed with a health condition requiring them to do so. Heeding the call, Caesar’s Kitchen created two gluten-free options that are also free of rBST hormones and antibiotics in their meat, cheese and chicken. And you won’t find any preservatives, artificial flavors and trans fats either. Gluten-Free Gourmet Buffalo Style Chicken Mac & Cheese with Cheddar and Blue Cheese Sauce will put a kick in your step, thanks to the touch of cayenne red pepper.
If you prefer a more traditional approach to your pasta, check out the Gluten-Free Gourmet 3 Cheese Herb Rigatoni & Meat Sauce… because who doesn’t love ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan? The SRP on all Caesar’s Kitchen Gluten-Free Gourmet and Organic Goodness products ranges from $4.49 – $5.99. Coming soon to select retailers, including Whole Foods Mid Atlantic & Wakefern. For more information, please visit our website www.caesarskitchenmeals.com or call toll free: 888-432-2372.
About Caesar’s Pasta, LLC
As a North American food company, manufacturing in the United States with retail and food service sales and distribution in the U.S. and Canada, Caesar’s Pasta, LLC products can be found in grocery and independent natural food stores throughout the country. The organization has more than 50 years of experience proudly producing authentic frozen Italian Pastas such as ravioli, lasagna, manicotti and other specialties. Importantly, Caesar’s continues to strengthen its insight into today’s changing consumer expectations and is committed to continuing to develop only the most delicious items that will delight its consumers today and in the future.
In November, Adi Boblil, Division Director of Community Development and Education of Merage Foundation Israel, visited Consolidated Investment Group (CIG) and gave a presentation on Wings, a multi-faceted program that provides support and guidance to lone immigrant soldiers serving in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
According to Adi, passion and ideology drive young people from all over the world to immigrate to Israel (or “make Aliyah”), leaving behind their families, friends, and the life they know. Each year, approximately 2,500 of these new immigrants join the IDF. And, through a variety of services—group workshops, enlistment preparation, and mentoring programs—Wings ensures that these soldiers do not fall through the cracks of Israeli society.
Adi noted that 72% of past participants reported that Wings helped them manage the challenges of education, finance, employment, and legal rights. Additionally, 90% of past participants had said that they planned to live in Israel after serving in the IDF.
Adi’s visit to CIG was a part of a larger trip to the United States with two lone immigrant soldiers, Maria Kol Yaakov, originally from Kazakhstan, and Tony Raichler from Venezuela. They traveled across the East Coast to share their personal stories and their experience in the Wings program.
More information about the Wings program can be found at www.wings.il.
The first week when you start at a new company is always a little nerve-wracking. Where do I park? What do I do for lunch? What is everyone’s name? That is why CIG believes it is crucial to have an effective onboarding and orientation program. The first week can leave a lasting impression on a new employee that will influence their tenure at the company, and CIG wants to ensure that initial impression is as positive as it can possible be for all of our new team members.
At CIG, a lot of time is spent planning and executing a new hire’s orientation to make sure the transition to the company is as comfortable as possible. The biggest goal of the program is to have the new associate walk out of the office on Friday afternoon after their first week feeling part of a large family and feeling no different in the way they are treated than the CEO.
All new associates have an orientation schedule tailored to their position, but for the most part, everyone goes through a similar process. On Monday morning, new associates are given a tour of the office and shown where all the office supplies are, how the kitchen is set up, and most importantly, how to work the coffee machine. They are also introduced to every single associate who explains their job title and role. Don’t worry, there is not a quiz afterwards on the names of the 50 people they just met.
On the first day, new associates will sit down with HR to do paperwork, IT to have their computer set up, legal, and accounting to go over expense reports. Throughout the week, they will meet with individuals in their department to get a sense of how they will work together and interact on a daily basis. They will also meet with all other department heads within the company to learn about all the moving parts within CIG as well as the Merage Foundations, a private family foundation that shares office space with CIG and can often be found working together on collaborative teams.
Since around 15-20 separate meetings will be scheduled during the first week, these meetings are the sole focus of the new associate when they start. If the new associate feels part of the CIG team and is happy with their choice to work at CIG by the end of this week, CIG feels they will be more productive long term. CIG and its entities are proud to have a retention rate of 80% which is well above average, and the company orientation is thought to be a large contributor to this successful achievement.
Buildings 1 and 4 are nearing completion at East Park 70. The 358,000 sf Building 1 has only site work remaining and is expected to be completed by October 7. The state-of-the-art warehouse and distribution facility will offer tenants the following features:
The rear-loaded, 81,200 sf Building 4 should be completed by October 21 with painting, site work, and fire sprinkler system installation remaining. This unique building will offer tenants the following:
CIG is working with the CBRE leasing team of Doug Viseur and Todd Witty to market both buildings to prospective tenants. Interest has been strong, especially for the large building. We currently have proposals out for the entirety of Building 1 and for more than half of Building 4.
As CIG and the Merage Foundations continue to grow, it has become a yearly tradition to celebrate our associates who reach significant milestones in their tenure with the organization. In 2016, we are happy to acknowledge the following associates for their years of service:
35 Years, Sandy Hancock, Manager of Finance
10 Years, Nate Miles, Portfolio Manager
10 Years, Sue Renner, Executive Director
5 Years, Shawna Jewell, Corporate Reporting & PE Accounting Manager
5 Years, Christy Gano, Accountant
5 Years, Rebecca O’Hearn, Sr. Controller
3 Years, Joy Jiang, Accountant
3 Years, Cheryl Lasher, Sr. Accountant – Tax and Investments
3 Years, Mike Crawford, General Manager
3 Years, Kelly Clement, Sr. Investment Analyst
3 Years, Justin Sutter, Aviation Maintenance Manager
On June 10, these associates were honored at a company-wide event at TopGolf in Centennial. Years of Service Awards were presented during lunch by David Merage, and afterwards, everyone divided into teams for some friendly golf competitions. Please join us in congratulating each of these valuable associates for their dedicated service and contributions to CIG and the Merage Foundations over the years. Well done!