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Starting a new construction company in a new market, and specializing in new home building as opposed to restoration, which had always been Merlyn’s primary area of construction expertise, proved to be somewhat of a challenge at first. The Lake of the Ozarks market was already saturated with builders, and what Metro Renovators really needed was a new project in the lake area to showcase their quality workmanship. Merlyn jumped in head first, and full force; the first new construction project at the Lake would be a new office facility on Bagnell Dam Blvd. Without any hesitation as to the certainty of success; a beautiful new office building was built before they even sold their first job!

With Merlyn having to focus a good part of his attention on growing his other businesses, he needed a good second in command to oversee operations, and he had just the right guy for the job! A few years earlier, Merlyn had met a young architect named Larry Powell; Larry was very talented, and very ambitious; this was the perfect opportunity for him to spread his wings, take advantage of a great opportunity, and get in on the ground floor. As the companies new Vice President, Larry was eager to put his skills as an architect to work for Metro Renovators. What was certain to be a long and prosperous career for Larry Powell, as the companies new Vice President, unfortunately ended with a tragic automobile accident that took his life. This was a tragedy for sure, and was a major setback for Metro Renovators that he was so instrumental in helping start; Larry is credited with the initial designs of some of the finest homes at the Lake of the Ozarks, and the Tri County YMCA facility. As fate would have it, the day after Larry’s passing, Merlyn received an unsolicited phone call from his old friend Doug Ross; Doug had previously worked for Merlyn as the General Manager of Metro Renovators in Kansas City. A few weeks later, Doug relocated to the Lake area, and assisted Metro Renovators with recovering from their tragic loss. In addition to Doug’s efforts; Justin Generally, the son of one of Merlyn’s closest friends, had just started working with Larry and Merlyn as an up and coming designer. Rocky Corpe joined the Design Build team a few years later, and quickly rose to the top of the management ladder.

When Metro Renovators first got started, they had yet to build any new homes in the Lake market, and had made the decision to focus on building very high end homes; but quickly deducted that no one would give them the opportunity to build that magnitude of a home unless and until they had some history in the community, and some product in the area that would highlight their abilities to build such a high caliber project. Never being accused of doing anything small, Merlyn purchased four beautiful waterfront lots in the Lakes most exclusive subdivision, then had the four lots re-divided into three estate size lots, and began building three multi-million dollar, luxury mansions all side by side. Everyone in the community thought Merlyn had lost his marbles; no builder had ever even built a one million dollar plus "spec" home at the Lake, let alone three all at once! That risky move, turned out to be a huge home run; Merlyn built one of the houses for himself, and the other two were both under contract long before they were even completed.