About Us

Company Profile

First Merit Realty Services, LLC (FMRS) and its affiliates have managed, renovated, and developed a broad spectrum of real estate projects in 10 states since 1982. In total, FMRS has managed and leased over 5,000 residential units, 940,000 square feet of office space and 472,000 square feet of retail space in major metropolitan areas such as: Chicago, Atlanta, Washington, DC, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Columbus and Grand Rapids.

From multi-family communities to high-rise office buildings, from retail shopping strips to single tenant sites, and from hotels, condo conversions and build-to-suit projects, FMRS has successfully managed different types of real estate across all property classes.

This depth of knowledge is supported by principals with over 100 years of real estate, management, and finance experience.

Key Executives

Gary Z. Baxter – CEO

Gary Z. Baxter has been active in the real estate industry for more than 40 years, having started with a Chicago mortgage-banking firm in the mid 1960’s. During the early 1970’s Mr. Baxter founded his own mortgage banking firm and participated in the structuring and negotiation of more then $100 million in commercial property financing. In 1976 he became active in asset management; managing in excess of 650,000 square feet of office property; and participated in the conversion of numerous apartments properties to condominium ownership. Mr. Baxter founded First Merit Realty Services in 1982 as part of the acquisition and syndication of a number of limited partnership investments in multi-family and commercial properties.

Michael K. Bloom – Senior Vice President

Mr. Bloom has been with the company since its formation and has been active in the real estate industry for over 35 years, having been a top-producing associate with a regional commercial real estate brokerage firm where he participated in every aspect of both multi-family and commercial property transactions.

Mr. Bloom has also had extensive property management experience supervising regional and on-site management personnel for both multi-family and commercial properties. Additionally, he as facilitated and supervised the acquisition, conversion and marketing of over 2,000 condominium units and has participated in the continued operation of their respective associations.

Mr. Bloom participates in the acquisition and disposition of additional properties at FMRS. As principal in several of its partnerships, Mr. Bloom directs and participates in rehab and capital improvement activities. As President of Jayboc Realty, Inc., Mr. Bloom remains active in property sales as well as the direct marketing of the condominiums converted through FMRS and its principals.

Mr. Bloom graduated Ohio State University in 1973.

Matt Rooney – Vice President

Mr. Rooney joined the FMRS management team in 2002, bringing with him twenty years of business experience in accounting, marketing, and public relations. He has extensive experience in multi-family management and operations concentrating on policy and procedures, leasing strategies, renovation and marketing. He is also involved in acquisition analysis and monitors the day-to-day operations of various FMRS properties.

Mr. Rooney is a 1982 graduate of Marquette University.

Henry A. Erlich – Regional Manager

Mr. Erlich has been with the company since 1999. Prior to joining the firm he spent three years as a loan analyst for Aries Capital in Chicago. Mr. Erlich has extensive experience in multi-family management and operations, focusing on budget and financial analysis, contract negotiation, banking relationships, and investor and lender reporting. In addition, he monitors the day-to-day operations of various FMRS properties and has training in conventional, Section 8, Section 236 and Section 42 properties. He has earned certifications from NCHM as a certified occupancy specialist and tax credit specialist.

Mr. Erlich is a 1995 graduate of DePaul University in Chicago.