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Good Guys Blog Lowell Harwood


It has been 4 years since I wrote my last “Good Guys Blog”.  This is the 11th in that Blog Series. The “Good Guys” are not all “guys” and they are all deceased, they were all wonderful clients and friends, and I miss them.

As I reflect on my 46 years in the Industrial/Commercial real estate business, there are too many instances negative, and I firmly believe that the positive instances should be noted.

Sanford Pollock

(412) 310-1172

It was very early in the 1980’s when Lowell Harwood entered the Pittsburgh Downtown parking business when his company, Square Industries, purchased Metro Auto Park from Leon Thorpe (Another in the Good Guy Series).  Through Leon, I was introduced to Larry Gerace. Larry ran Pittsburgh for Square Parking.  (Happy to say that Larry does not qualify, he is  a great guy and very much still living!)  I met Lowell when Larry brought him to my office. We were discussing additional parking lot acquisitions.  Lowell had a wealth of information and knowledge.  He was a very straight-up and cut and dried guy.  

At the insistence of Larry, I was asked to approach a strong local Developer, who owned a garage in downtown Pittsburgh, regarding taking over that garage the Developer owned and ran on their own.  My contacts to that office were all met with negative responses, so I made my next approach to a person who used to work there, and he got us in the door.  Every meeting with Lowell was just a wealth of business and life acumen.  When Lowell came to Pittsburgh, and we met with the Developer, the meetings were all the two of them talking as Larry and I sat back, listened, and looked at each other. The Developer would call his secretary in to write down their terms in shorthand. Lowell would say , “No, that is not what we agreed to!”  Then, Lowell would say what we agreed to, and the Developer would say, “No, that is not what we agreed to!” This exchange went on for many meetings and lunches until the Lawyer for the Developer turned it into a written 21 year lease at $375,000.00 per year, triple net. It was probably 1984, and that was an enormous dollar volume lease.  Lowell verbally agreed that Square would pay my fee.

I could call Lowell any time and talk to him at great length, listening to his wisdom.  In the end, it was Square, not the Developer, that paid my very substantial fee.  Lowell was; a gentleman, forthright, professorial, and never a shrinking violet!  I had no contract with him and he lived by his word. Lowell passed away March 18, 2015 and the world lost a truly Good Guy.