Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport brings on real estate and development manager

By Kristena Hansen

Growth seems to be the mantra of late at and around Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. To keep that momentum going, the southeast Valley aviation hub is now tapping into the expertise of real estate experts.

Airport officials said in a statement Thursday they recently brought on Michael Merk as real estate and business development manager. The newly created position is designed to head the airport’s property management and leasing; terminal advertising and concessions; and real estate development, which entails luring the private sector to build and make use of some of the airport’s vacant land.

The airport’s statement, however, did not disclose that Merk holds an active, self-employed real estate brokerage license with the Arizona Department of Real Estate, which expires in mid January.

Airport officials refused to allow the Phoenix Business Journal speak with Merk directly, but spokesman Brian Sexton said late Thursday afternoon they are aware of Merk’s potential conflict of interest and have openly discussed it with him. Sexton said that he wouldn’t know until Monday whether Merk had filed, or is required to file, a conflict of interest statement because the human resources director was out of the office Thursday and the airport is closed on Fridays.

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