"In my second year at Harvard Business School I was planning to return to Procter & Gamble’s Advertising (Marketing) Department where I had worked for eight months prior to going to business school. With that in mind I bought a fixer-upper on Mt. Adams, then a declining neighborhood, which I nevertheless found charming, with the intention of “fixing” it up and walking to work.
That fall I took a class at the Harvard MIT Joint Center for Urban Studies led by Professor Lewis Mumford, an outstanding civic and architectural critic. Professor Mumford talked about what good planning and good architecture could do to enhance peoples’ lives. He was mesmerizing. After a while he invited me back to his office to talk further. Inspired by him I sold my junker and decided that somehow or other I was going to buy more houses on Mt. Adams and lead the renaissance of that hilltop village.
Upon graduating I worked for a local developer for year. During that time I bought a number of houses in Mt. Adams. On June 1, 1961 I left my job to start Towne Properties. Shortly thereafter I was joined by partners Lambert Agin and Marvin Rosenberg.
With Procter’s marketing strategy of filling an unmet need and the inspiration of Professor Mumford Towne to created great places, we turned five houses on St. Gregory Street into sixteen cutting-edge apartments for the young professional whose only other options were no better than dorm units. The result was the St. Gregory Row, which became our company’s logo.
Following our Mt. Adams success we took our approach to the suburbs. There through the mid ‘70’s we created a number of award-winning apartment communities. Thereafter we diversified creating not only suburban apartments but downtown apartments, downtown and suburban offices, shopping centers, condos, single-family houses, mixed-used projects, land development and recreational properties and in 1975 began managing properties for others. As we diversified, we stayed true to our mission of creating “Great Places to Live, Work, Shop and Play” always focused on the need to continue marketing our properties from the initial lease-up through our long-term holding. As our associates and portfolios grew, we also prided ourselves on becoming a “Great Place to Learn and Give Back.”
Today Towne Properties owns part and manages for others a portfolio of more than 12,000 apartments, 130,000 commercial and home-owners associations and over 600,000 sq. ft. of office space and two recreation properties. As we near our 60th anniversary, we are committed to do more of the same. When asked what the best project we ever did was, we say “the next one.”