Six-month fit-up involved custom features such as water reclamation trench, garage doors and flexibility for future expansion

Within a warehouse in Ottawa’s east end, Vesta Marble & Granite is putting a decidedly high-tech twist on outfitting homes across the National Capital Region.

Inside the manufacturing area, workers ease 1,000-pound pieces of granite and marble with a pneumatic lift that uses powerful vacuum suction cups to support the massive slabs before carefully rotating them onto a fabrication table.

High-powered water jets then precisely cut the stones to meet their customers’ custom requirements. A water reclamation system – consisting of a 350-foot trench and 10,000-gallon holding tank in the floor – captures the runoff and filters it for reuse, lowering Vesta Marble’s operating expenses and environmental footprint.

“We’re on the forefront in terms of our system,” says Bruno Polito, Vesta’s chief operating officer.

The high degree of customization within the 30-year-old firm’s showroom, office and manufacturing facility makes it seem like the Star Top Road property was purpose-built for the Ottawa business.

In fact, the building was used by a high-tech manufacturing company prior to Vesta Marble leasing the space in 2015 and was overhauled by Ottawabased landlord and property manager Merkburn Holdings to meet the local firm’s requirements.

Fitting out the 48,000-square-foot space for Vesta Marble – which creates custom countertops, sinks and furniture – meant gutting most of the old finishes and effectively rebuilding the interior from the studs up. Additionally, a large garage door and ramp needed to be installed to accommodate Vesta Marble’s shipping and receiving requirements.

Merkburn Holdings helped Vesta Marble turn its vision of a state-of-the-art facility into a reality.

“There was a lot of demolition and a lot of customizing,” says Kevin Rougeau, managing partner at Merkburn Holdings.

A view of the Vesta Marble warehouse
The Vesta Marble warehouse. At left, a portion of the water recovery system. In the back, Vesta’s water jet CNC machine.

Merkburn acts as a one-stop shop for tenants fitting up space, coordinating architects, designers, contractors and the permitting process. This helps tenants move into their completed spaces as soon as possible.

“When doing a custom fit-up, it’s important to get it right,” Rougeau says. “It involves a lot of planning and construction work, so the space is well thought-out and serves the tenant for years to come.”

Room to grow

Vesta Marble has been a tenant of Merkburn Holdings for a decade, but its operations were previously scattered across three Ottawa properties.

When the building at 1402 Star Top Rd. became available, Vesta Marble saw an opportunity to both expand as well as find efficiencies by consolidating its operations under one roof.

“We got to the point where we decided it was the right time to grow,” says Polito.

At the time of the move, however, the company wasn’t ready to take all 48,000 square feet.

Merkburn Holdings worked with Vesta Marble to find creative solutions that would give the firm flexibility to expand.

“They gave us a fair amount of leeway over the last couple years to continue modifying the building to suit our needs,” says Polito.

In late 2016, Vesta Marble was ready to take another 3,600 sq. ft. on the second floor of the building. To facilitate this growth, Merkburn Holdings installed a new staircase on the production floor.

The local property manager believes that providing customized solutions that support their tenants’ growth is the key to building lasting relationships in the Ottawa market.

“We always work with tenants to come up with creative ways to satisfy their requirements,” says Rougeau. “It’s an important part of retaining tenants for the long term.”

Considering your next move? Merkburn Holdings has a diverse portfolio of office and industrial properties across Ottawa. Check out Merkburn.com for leasing opportunities.