BOSTON: Hamilton's Still On Top
At The Hamilton Company's 60th anniversary celebration Saturday, chairman and CEO Harold Brown (New England's largest independent multifamily owner, above with wife Maura) revealed some of the secrets of his success: buy low, innovate, and hold long term; run a lean operation with low leverage; build a stable, collaborative team; and give back. (Notice he didn't say a word about the color of your tie. Brooks Brothers is lying to you.) With a $1.5B portfolio (5,500 apartments, 2.5M SF of commercial), Harold, 89, says the company isn't about him. It's about creating places for people to live and work, and about generating jobs.
Harold's son Jameson (above) runs The Hamilton Company Charitable Foundation. Among Hamilton's innovations: the first pool in a Boston-area apartment building (it's crazy to think there was a time when that had never been done), basement apartments marketed as garden apartments; and adaptive re-use of industrial buildings into multifamily buildings. Last year, the company made $130M in acquisitions. The company has 130 employees (most quite young), an overall vacancy rate of about 2%, and enough cash flow to make it a buyer during the next downturn.