If it seems like the Boyle family has played a key role in Memphis since the city was founded, it’s because it has.
Edward Boyle developed Belvedere Boulevard – still one of the city’s most stately streets – in the early 1900s.
(Boyle Investment Company)
A Boyle family ancestor, John Overton, founded Memphis in 1819 along with James Winchester and Andrew Jackson. In the early 1900s, Edward Boyle developed Belvedere Boulevard, which remains one of the city’s most elegant arteries.
With the nation caught in the grip of the Great Depression, three of Edward Boyle’s sons – Snowden Boyle, Charles Boyle and Bayard Boyle Sr. – formed Boyle Investment Co. in 1933, making this year the company’s 80th in operation. Boyle is celebrating its anniversary Tuesday, June 18, with a private viewing of the Cloar Exhibit at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.
“It was in the heart of the depression when the three Boyle brothers started their effort, started working in the middle of the worst economic depression people have ever seen,” said Russell E. “Rusty” Bloodworth, executive vice president at Boyle. “Think about the difficulty of starting a business at that time. 1933 was the bottom.”
After World War II, Boyle began developing neighborhoods and shopping centers. In the 1950s the company virtually exploded, providing a full array of real estate services, including real estate investment, commercial and industrial properties, leasing, management, construction, mortgage banking and insurance.
Continuity is in the company’s DNA. Boyle is in the third generation of family ownership. The firm has 31 people who have been with the company for more than 20 years.
“Boyle has remained closely held and that has allowed it to be a family company but also a very stable place for other people like me to work and do the craft of real estate development, creating communities, leasing to tenants that are important to Memphis’ growth,” said Bloodworth, who began working at the company in 1968.
Boyle’s fingerprints are all across the city’s built landscape, from retail centers like the Regalia to mixed-use office parks like Ridgeway Center and industrial developments like Century Center Business Park. Since 2001, that same touch was brought to Nashville when Boyle created a team there.
“My father had a remarkable ability to identify and acquire properties in areas that would become major growth corridors,” said Bayard Boyle Jr. “We still stick to careful research and planning, whether it’s a residential subdivision, a shopping center or an office building.”
Mark Halperin, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Boyle, said that even during difficult financial times the Boyle family treated its employees with respect.
“They just treat people respectfully and that builds loyalty and a sense of family that can stand the test of time, even during challenging times,” said Halperin, who joined Boyle in 1973. “Nobody ever raises their voice to you. Nobody treats you a way you wouldn’t want to be treated. The Boyle family treats everybody with respect.”