VOL. 126 | NO. 95 | Monday, May 16, 2011
EMPHASIS Retail Real Estate
Loeb Builds Success on Long History, Strong Team
By Allison Buckley
In 1887, a T-shirt maker named Henry Loeb, great-grandfather of Robert “Bob” Loeb and Louis “Lou” Loeb of LOEB Properties, opened a Laundromat on Main Street. His entrepreneurial spirit transpired four generations, officially reaching the Loeb brothers in the early 1980s.
Left to Right: Robert E. Loeb, Earl E. Williams Jr., Louis S. Loeb, Matthew S. Prince, Carey D. White
(Photo: Bob Bayne)
Today, LOEB Properties owns and manages a portfolio of more than 2 million square feet of retail, office, multifamily and industrial properties in Tennessee and Mississippi, and the company is actively involved in more than 100 nonprofit organizations in the Memphis area.
Since Bob and Lou Loeb took over the family business, as president and executive vice president, respectively, they have, according to Bob Loeb, been able to grow the real estate assets significantly; grown the number, size and type of properties; and, most importantly, have been able to assemble a team of real estate professionals who have helped grow LOEB Properties even more.
“As we were changing and growing the company, we spent a lot of time just being deliberate about planning that change, and so, with the help of some facilitators and consultants and a lot of time on our own, we have, over the years, really gotten specific about our identity – who we are and who we wanted to be and how we’d go about being that,” Bob Loeb said. “As you build a team and attract people, you’ve got to be sure you’ve got a common vision in goals.”
To make sure all employees are on the same page, LOEB Properties set in place a list of values and norms that outline the importance of respect, honor, honesty, commitment, responsibility, punctuality and God at LOEB Properties.
Along with the list of values and norms is the company’s vision statement, which states the company strives to be the best developer of people and communities.
“We believe in professional development for everyone on our team, and growth creates opportunity,” Bob Loeb said. “We’re developing people within our company to fulfill our mission. … We’re improving communities by improving the physical environment – that could be living, working, playing space.
“To be the best might be a little too ambitious (but) it’s not a competition. It’s what we want to do.”
Currently, LOEB Properties is excited about the redevelopment of Overton Square. The acquisition and renovation of retail space and mixed-use properties on the south side of Madison Avenue is where the company’s focus will remain for the next 18 to 24 months, Bob Loeb said.
The company’s focus on Memphis, the Memphis Metropolitan Statistical Area and specifically the New Urbanism Movement, is helping to grow the company and give LOEB the opportunity to form positive working relationships in areas such as Midtown.
“It’s really exciting,” Bob Loeb said. “It’s incredible – the amount of comments we get from people who are encouraging. So many people, spanning probably three decades in age group, have a lot of sentimental attachment to Overton Square. Since it’s been in such a sad state for 10 years and we now have a plan that seems very viable, people are encouraged and we’re getting a lot of support – a lot of ideas – from a lot of people.”
Over the years, Bob and Lou Loeb have mastered the art of productively working together. And with three children each, they’re almost certain the LOEB legacy will continue.
“The challenging stuff we figured out when we were little kids,” Lou Loeb said. “We’ve been working together for almost 30 years now (and) we’ve developed a rhythm for working with each other. We look at things a little bit differently.
“The way I’ve considered it is – he’s a left-brainer and I’m a right-brainer, and together we have a whole brain. It works out nicely.”