The Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame was established by the Shenehon Center for Real Estate at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business to honor leaders in the local real estate community. As we begin taking nominations for the 2011 Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame, we wanted to introduce you to the esteemed group of current Minnesota Hall of Fame members. Meet Lloyd Engelsma, 2010 Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame Inductee.
Lloyd Engelsma (1913-1997)
Mr. Lloyd Engelsma is known for cultivating and maintaining the outstanding reputation for high quality and timeliness that Kraus-Anderson still holds today. He proved his integrity through his collaborative approach with owners, architects and the planning team.
Mr. Engelsma began his career with Kraus-Anderson in an entry-level position that involved keeping the office open, answering the phone and bookkeeping. Within a few years, he owned the company, which at the time amounted to little more than a pickup truck, a wheelbarrow and a few shovels. Over the next decade, Mr. Engelsma built one of the most successful privately-owned corporations in the United States, building the construction business and fostering real estate, insurance, financing and other operations. From the early 1950s, he invested in commercial real estate, including Bloomington’s first shopping center, Clover, built in 1955, and its largest (at the time), Southtown, opened in 1960. His diverse real estate portfolio grew to include office buildings, bowling centers, industrial parks, a 365-acre residential community in Florida and resort condominiums in Colorado and Hawaii.
Mr. Engelsma was instrumental in the development of Methodist Hospital. He served on the boards of Swedish and St. Barnabas hospitals and provided guidance during their merger to Metropolitan Medical Center (now Hennepin County Medical Center). His influence spans through the 5.3 million square feet of commercial properties developed in nine states during his leadership. Mr. Engelsma’s lasting legacy is reflected not only in the skylines of the Twin Cities and beyond, but in the inspiration he provided through his lifelong habit of wisely, diligently and generously seeking out and building on opportunity.
In 1979, Wayne Christiansen of Corporate Report Minnesota wrote of Mr. Engelsma, “It may well be that his basic decency and honesty have contributed to Kraus-Anderson’s getting much of its business over the years, for the conventional wisdom in the construction business, largely dominated by family-owned concerns, holds that many contracts are awarded on the basis of the integrity of the company’s principals and not to the lowest bidder.”