Trammell Crow, the iconic commercial real estate developer and founder of Dallas-based Trammell Crow Co., passed away on January 14th at age 94.
Crow founded Trammell Crow in 1948. The company grew into a leading commercial real estate developer and investor with offices in 23 major U.S. cities and Toronto, Canada. In 2006, the company was acquired by Los Angeles-based CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. in transaction worth $2.2 billion, including debt and integration costs. To date, Trammell Crow has acquired or developed a total of more than 500 million sq. ft. of space, valued at $50 billion, according to company estimates.
“The world will remember Mr. Crow as a legendary real estate developer and businessman because of his unparalleled vision and passion for success. But to those who were fortunate to know him personally, we will remember his humor and upbeat personality along with his uncompromising honesty, integrity and character,” said Jim Carreker, a former CEO of Trammell Crow, in a company press release.
In the commercial real estate development field, Crow is known for the use of the atrium structure, which became a popular architectural feature of many office and hotel properties in the U.S. His developments helped reshape the skylines of Dallas, Atlanta, San Francisco and dozens of other U.S. cities that came of age in the post-World War II building boom.
In addition to his success in business, Crow was also an art collector. He was particularly fascinated by Chinese art, according to his wife, Margaret. That interest led to the creation of the Trammell & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art in Dallas. The Crow Collection is a permanent set of galleries dedicated to the arts and cultures of China, Japan, India and Southeast Asia.
"Trammell Crow left an indelible footprint on the Dallas Arts District," said Amy Hofland, director of The Crow Collection, in a statement. "His love of the East and its art flowed from his core, and we are so honored that he gave the community a chance to share in and experience that."
One of Crow’s six children, Lucy Crow Billingsley, is also a real estate developer and partner with Billingsley Co., which she founded in 1996. In a 2006 interview with NREI, Billingsley said she and her father always had a very deep bond, to the point where they could read each other’s thoughts and finish each other’s sentences. “More than anything about real estate, he has taught me about life,” she said.
In addition to his wife, Crow is survived by six children, 16 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.