The original Merry Land Investment Company, Inc., which began operation in 1981, became one of the nation's largest apartment companies. It owned and operated 135 high-quality communities with over 35,000 apartment units which it acquired or developed throughout the Southeast and Texas. Its common shares, with a market value in excess of $1 billion, were listed on the New York Stock Exchange and it had raised over $2 billion in the public capital markets. Its training, maintenance, accounting and other operating systems were among the most progressive in the industry.
In 1998, Merry Land Properties, Inc., was spun out of old Merry Land in conjunction with that company's merger with another apartment REIT. Merry Land II was a public company whose shares were traded on the NASDAC market. It continued to buy, build, and operate apartments. In 2003, Merry Land II was merged into Cornerstone Realty Income Trust. Immediately prior to that transition, the company's senior management bought the company's non-apartment assets and entered into development contracts with Cornerstone to complete five communities, and created a private entity called Merry Land Properties, LLC.
Merry Land Properties has been staffed by veteran officers and employees of the old Merry Land, and has always retained the ideals, the vision and the expertise that made old Merry Land so successful.
Like the new company, old Merry Land was born of a merger when it was spun off from another company. In 1981, Merry Companies, Inc., a large brick manufacturer, was merged into an Australian building materials company and the old Merry Land's shares were distributed to the shareholders of Merry Companies. Through both old Merry Land I and II and Merry Companies, our roots go back over a hundred years, when Merry Brothers Brick and Tile began accumulating and mining the clay lands that we still own and from which we continue to earn royalties.