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Archway Electrical’s First Commercial Real Estate Purchase

Archway Electrical’s First Commercial Real Estate Purchase

Written By Joel Emery

On May 15, 2020

A Bold Move

archway electrical sales logoArchway Electrical Sales, founded by Craig Lampe and Jeff Myers, serves as a manufacturer’s representative for electrical components of all kinds, from pipe and wire to cable ties.

Lampe said of his business model, “What ‘manufacturer’s representative’ means is we are strictly commission. If we sell stuff, we get paid. But if we don’t sell, well, we don’t get paid.”

And they’ve been selling. Lampe and Myers started Archway in 2005, and now they’ve moved up to nine employees and are prepared to bring more people on board. The future is bright for the company, and they were ready to take the next step to invest in their growth.

Office Space to Attract a New Generation of Worker


new generation of worker in st louis
For more than a decade of those fifteen years, Archway has leased office space at 9958 Lin Ferry in South St. Louis County. By early 2019, they had grown tired of what Lampe called, “Throwing away money every month on rent.”

He continued, “If we had bought a building ten years ago, we would have owned it by now!”

Though the company doesn’t stock products for sale, they do stock samples. About five years ago, they expanded their current office on Lin Ferry from 200 square feet to 500 square feet.

But between samples and their growing base of employees, there was no longer room for growth. They wanted a newer office space they could customize to attract millennials. They wanted to stay in the same general area, hoping for a standalone building that was between 2500 and 3000 square feet.

A. William AschingerThey let their banker Jason Halteman at PNC Bank know they were looking for property, and he suggested Will Aschinger with Hilliker Corporation to help them make the leap.

As Lampe and Myers explained what they were looking for, they came up against the reality of a tight St. Louis area market. Aschinger told them it would take about a year to find the type of property they were looking for in that general location. They were up for the challenge and eager to start their search.

“This is it!”

Aschinger was efficient: He only sent buildings that would fit within the company’s parameters. Only four such properties appeared on the market. The first three were very close but not quite perfect. One had too much warehouse space that they would have to convert into an office. The second would require them to take on tenants. The third didn’t have the right curb appeal.

However, when Aschinger discovered a former video production studio at 5461 Highland Park, he sent the partners an email that said, simply, “This is it!”

Aschinger was efficient: He only sent buildings that would fit within the company’s parameters. Only four such properties appeared on the market. The first three were very close but not quite perfect. One had too much warehouse space that they would have to convert into an office. The second would require them to take on tenants. The third didn’t have the right curb appeal.

However, when Aschinger discovered a former video production studio at 5461 Highland Park, he sent the partners an email that said, simply, “This is it!”

Though slightly larger than they needed at 4500 square feet, it checked every other box and fell within their financial parameters. A standalone building in a good location, it’s well-placed near Forest Park in St. Louis City.

Now, they’re working on remodeling the building. Lampe and Myers are reaching for a distinct look and feel—one that will appeal to an increasingly millennial workforce. Partnering with Bill Hinds of Custom Alternatives, they plan to replace the front windows, paint the whole building, and install new flooring.

Lampe and Myers intend to move in late April or early May of 2020. They appreciated their partnership with Will, describing it with two words: “Very easy.

Moving into the Next Phase of the Real Estate Life Cycle

When entrepreneurs get past the first real estate deals that help them get up and running as a company, they can find themselves tired of leasing. They no longer want to “throw their money away” month after month. Instead, they want to build equity and diversify their portfolio.

Purchasing property doesn’t make sense for everyone. However, when it does, it’s critical to find a partner to guide you through the process. You want someone who will look with creative tenacity on your behalf.

That’s the work we do as Hilliker Corporation. We help entrepreneurs with “what’s next”—that next deal, idea, or whatever requires a change in commercial real estate to set them up for ultimate success.

If you want to speak with someone who can help you get to where you want to be, contact Will Aschinger today.

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