Who is Mareth Enterprises?
At the Nov. 21 Nevada city council meeting, the council voted to pass on first reading an ordinance to issue a Chapter 100 bond to Mareth Enterprises for the purpose of purchasing and renovating the old American Standard building along I-49 north of town.
Mareth Enterprises is a holding company based in Missouri.
“We invest in companies investing in people, in order to grow people, grow the businesses,” said Mareth Chief Operating Officer Lewis Gray. “We own multiple different entities.”
He went on to explain the company invests in the idea of “Profits for a Purpose.” Which according to their website means “see[ing] the fruits of our success enrich our communities.”
For example, Mareth purchased boots for the Purdy FFA in 2013 and helped open a coffee shop in Monett in 2011. Gray also mentioned the Catch a Dream Foundation and Little Flat Creek Ranches which provide “once-in-a-lifetime hunting and fishing experiences for children with life-threatening illness” according to the organizations’ websites.
Mareth has been interested in the building for a number of years.
“We’ve drove by it multiple times … since it’s been for sale,” said Gray. “It’s like, ‘there’s got to be a use for this thing.’” He cited the building’s ease of access to the interstate as a prime perk.
“We’ve been going through our portfolio … what we are looking at it for is warehousing, we’re talking to a couple different companies about that and also some light manufacturing,” he said. Expanding on the light manufacturing aspect he said it could be assembly or possibly wood products.
Gray declined to name which companies they were considering putting into the space at this time, but there are three businesses listed on Mareth’s website: 3D Corporate Solutions, LLC., Pet Solutions, LLC., and Protein Solutions, LLC. All three of which are involved in the processing of protein products for pet foods, which has some community members concerned about a repeat of odor issues the city had been experiencing with the N.F. Protein plant.
According to the Joplin Globe, the Protein Solutions plant in Joplin was issued two notices of violation by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources for excessive odor in November 2006 and there were two odor complaints filed in October 2007. According to the Globe’s story, the plant installed new equipment to control the smell at that time. No stories since that time could be found.
Gray said they would not be doing that type of work here. And City Manager JD Kehrman said the difference between the N.F. Protein location and the old American Standard building is that the protein plant is outside the city limits.
“The American Standard building is constrained, so they would not be able to engage in any processes that would cause noxious odors,” said Kehrman.
Gray hopes to employ 5-15 people at the start and would like to see that number increase over time.
“We’ve done this before, this is not something that’s new to us,” said Gray. “We buy good buildings, we think are in the right place, good value for the building that we can invest in the building, make it into something that a lot of people would like to have and use.”
Gray added that some light work has already begun at the property to assess it’s condition and prevent any further deterioration.
“We’re excited to be there,” Gray said. “Hopefully we’re going to be an asset to the Nevada community.”