"Wallace Properties - A Case Study," Family Business Legacy Series, Davis Wright Tremaine, Seattle
Wallace Properties, Inc., a commercial real estate company founded by Bob Wallace, is almost a case study of a family business. Highs and lows. Family members joining and leaving the business. The need to transform or die. Succession planning. All while participating in the amazing growth and change of the Pacific Northwest.
Bob established Wallace Properties in 1977 for a joint venture with his father and siblings. What he naïvely envisioned as a part-time project turned into a life-long career. His passion for building a real estate portfolio has led the firm into development, syndication, property management and brokerage.
Bob's son Kevin, now co-owner and president, heads the company's development division. He joined the business in 2004 after working seven years as a real estate lawyer in Seattle. Bob's wife, Joan, ran the company's brokerage division for many years before retiring in 2010; his daughter Kim spent a year in property management between college and grad school; and a couple nieces and nephews have come and gone. Today, two grandsons work as interns.
Bob and Kevin sat down with us to tell their story including how they manage and share responsibility, deal with challenges, and their goals for the future.