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Mark Bertel Jr. found early success with his construction company by buying vintage trailers and repurposing them as food or coffee trucks.
He got burned out on the business and formed The Dels Corp. Bertel buys “dilapidated” properties such as old motels and then renovates them to be used as affordable housing units for students, couples and older adults. Bertel currently has 13 properties in development in Arkansas and Missouri that will result in more than 400 studio apartments.
“There are a lot of good people out there who just need a good place to sleep at night, but they don’t want to be price gouged,” Bertel said. “That inspired me. I know what people are going through.
“We are in growth mode right now and will be for the next 10 years. We are going to acquire as much property as we can.”
Bertel knows about second chances. His parents helped him attend Arkansas State University in Mountain Home, but he flubbed his first chance. “They gave me an opportunity to go to school, and I messed that up by partying,” Bertel said. “My old man told me if I go back, I had to do it on my own. My parents didn’t buy me out of a problem. It taught me how to work and how to work with people.”