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The Rouse Company

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James Rouse

Ceased operations

The Rouse Company wwwarchitravelcomarchitravelwpwpcontentuplo

Former type
Commercial Real Estate Development

Retail and Mixed-Use Centers, Master Planned Communities ("New Towns")

General Growth Properties Inc., The Howard Hughes Corporation (2010)

Key people
James Rouse, Melvin J. Berman, Hunter Moss, Churchill Gibson Carey, Charles "Chili" Jenkins.

The American City Corporation, Howard Research and Development, Community Research and Development

The Rouse Company, founded by Hunter Moss and James W. Rouse in 1939, was a publicly held shopping mall and community developer from 1956 until 2004, when General Growth Properties Inc. purchased the company.


Beginnings - Moss-Rouse Company

The Moss-Rouse Company was founded as a FHA mortgage company with a loan from Hunter Moss's sister. Rouse leveraged his knowledge as loan guarantee specialist at the Federal Housing Administration to establish a Baltimore-based mortgage company specializing in FHA backed loans. Moss-Rouse hired a WWII Navy friend hired Churchill G. Carey from Connecticut General, who in turn provided capital for future projects. Carey would hold positions ranging from president to CEO of the mortgage company subsidiary. In 1952-1953 the company built one of the first modern architecture office buildings on Saratoga Street in Baltimore while also dropping its commercial lending business line. Jim Rouse hired his brother, brother in 1952 and partner Hunter Moss phased out of operations selling his shares of the company while remaining temporarily on the board of directors. The firm was renamed the James W. Rouse Company with Rouse owning 50% equity, His brother Willard 10%, and 40% to company officers.

The James W. Rouse Company

The James W. Rouse Company built some of the first enclosed shopping malls, and it pioneered the development of festival marketplaces, such as Jacksonville Landing in Jacksonville, Faneuil Hall in Boston, South Street Seaport in New York City, Harborplace in Baltimore, and Bayside Marketplace in Miami. They also developed The Shops at National Place in downtown Washington, D.C. that opened in 1984-85.

On 20 June 1966, The James W. Rouse Company was renamed to The Rouse Company. The company has been credited as the pioneer of the first successful food court in an enclosed shopping mall, when the food court at the Sherway Mall in Toronto opened for business in 1971. It followed an unsuccessful attempt at the Plymouth Meeting Mall in 1968, which reportedly failed because it was "deemed too small and insufficiently varied."

The company moved its headquarters to the Cross Keys development, then to the project at Columbia Maryland in December 1969.

Its community projects include the Village of Cross Keys in Baltimore and the planned cities of Columbia, Maryland (where it was headquartered), Bridgeland Community, Texas, and Summerlin, Nevada. To develop these projects, in 1962 Rouse brought on Bill Finley, who built a planned "company town", Ravenswood, West Virginia, was a former planner with the National Capital Planning Commission proposing planned cities, and was a proponent of public-private partnerships.

Columbia Research and Development was founded as a publicly held company and Howard Research and Development was formed as a Rouse subsidiary in 1956 to raise capital for four mall projects and later to facilitate the Columbia Project with Connecticut General and Chase Manhattan as stakeholder with interest deferred loans. In 1966 The James W Rouse Company was restructured as the Rouse Company, adding Howard Research and Development (HRD) as a separate entity shielded Rouse Corporation from debt liability of the Columbia development. HRD lost money, with new rules affecting the parent company as well. In 1974, HRD was refinanced. Columbia Development Corporation was formed a subsidiary of HRD using subcontracted Rouse Company employees. In 1985 CIGNA (Connecticut General) divested its interest in HRD and the project back to Rouse for $120 million at a net loss.

Rouse created the subsidiary company The American City Corporation to take advantage of the National Urban Policy and New Community Development Act of 1970, A HUD program which granted developers incentives and loans to build Title VII "New Towns" with mandatory percentages of low income housing projects. Rouse's former ACTION member, Leo Molinaro was selected to run the subdivision. The symposiums held by the company gathered together investors like George Mitchell, who would go on to develop Woodlands, Texas using the Columbia model. The subsidiary was based at "Two Wincopin" in the second office building in built in Columbia in 1968. It was renamed to the American City Building using the subsidiary to lease the empty space and develop the system of Public-Private partnerships that Rouse would use worldwide to minimize risk in developments using public debt. The business was given its own postal office, the American Cities Station in 1977.

The Columbia development was marketed as a progressive community for all races. In 1971, the company responded to pressure from the NAACP that the company was absent of African Americans at all management levels and its businesses in Columbia were predominantly white owned. The company responded with an affirmative action program in November 1971.

In 1973, the former assistant attorney general of Maryland Mathias J. Devito left the Rouse-owned legal firm of Piper Marbury to replace James W. Rouse as President of the Rouse Company, with Rouse becoming Chairman of the Board. DeVito cut staff from 1,700 to 500 to keep the company afloat in 1975. In 1974, the Columbia development got a political boost as the population of Columbia supported a slate of at-large council candidates with Columbia interests, including Ruth U. Keeton, Lloyd Knowles, and Columbia's city manager, Richard L. Anderson.

In 1979, Simon H. Schuer took a 7.5% interest in the Rouse Company. He was the creator of "The Shrink", a method where an investor buys an interest in a company, then orders stock buy-backs to make the interest more valuable. Schuer died the day after purchase, with the Canadian firm Trizec purchasing the shares and bought a %25 stake. In 1986 the company attempted to purchase a majority share.

In 1985, The Rouse Company absorbed all of Connecticut General's interests in the Howard Research and Development subsidiary. In 1986, former general manager of Columbia and executive vice president of development Micheal Spear became president as a successor to Rouse. In 1990, Spear died in a crash with his wife and one daughter in his Piper PA-31T Cheyenne attempting a single engine missed approach near Logan International Airport.

In February 1995, Anthony Deering took over as CEO of the company that was operating without a profit since 1990.

In 1996, The Howard Hughes Corporation, which had extensive property and other business interests, became a subsidiary. On November 12, 2004, the Rouse Company was sold to Chicago-based General Growth Properties Inc., another shopping mall developer.

In 2012, General Growth Properties spun off 30 malls into a new real estate investment trust, Rouse Properties.

Company Projects

  • Freedom shopping center - (1953) A 308 unit combination apartment complex and shopping center funded by Moss-Rouse.
  • Mondawmin Mall Built in October 1956 in Baltimore, Maryland with partner Harry Bart.
  • Talbottown (1957) A Easton shopping center adjacent to the Spring Hill Cemetery where citizens rejected early Alexander Smith Cochran modernist architecture.
  • Harundale Mall (1958) Glen Burnie, MD. Financed by Connecticut General.
  • Cherry Hill Mall Built in 1961 in Delaware Township, now Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
  • Pocantico Hills (1962) - A cancelled "Village" concept for John D. Rockefeller's grandchildren. David Rockefeller would later finance $10 Million of the Columbia Project.
  • Village of Cross Keys (1963) - first "planned community" conversion of a golf course to high-rise residential and commercial.
  • Planned community (1966) - Howard Research and Development formed to build planned community of Columbia Maryland.
  • Planned community (1969) - Greater Hartford Corporation formed to redevelop Hartford, Connecticut suburbs with Connecticut General funding.
  • Planned community (1970) - Failed project to develop 10,600 acres of Staten Island as "New Richmond".
  • The Mall in Columbia Built in 1971 in Columbia, Maryland.
  • Highland Mall - Two level mall in Austin, Texas
  • Planned community (1972) - Failed project to develop Wye Island with 706 homes.
  • Planned community (1973) - Failed project to develop 5,000 acres in Memphis, Tennessee as Shelby Farms with First Horizon National Corporation.
  • Tampa Bay Center (1976) - Two level enclosed mall in Tampa, Florida
  • Hulen Mall (1977) - Two level enclosed mall in Fort Worth, Texas
  • Harborplace(1980) - A downtown marketplace built on the Baltimore Steam Packet Company docks.
  • Burlington Center Built in 1981 in Burlington Township, New Jersey. Opened August, 1982.
  • South Street Seaport(1983) - Festival Marketplace in New York.
  • The Waterside (June 1983) - Festival Marketplace in Norfolk, Virginia.
  • Jacksonville Landing (June 1985) - Festival Marketplace in Jacksonville, Florida.
  • New Orleans Riverwalk (1986) Festival Marketplace
  • Westlake Center Built in 1988 in Seattle, Washington.
  • Underground Atlanta (1989) - Renovation
  • The Centre at Salisbury Built in 1989 in Salisbury, Maryland.
  • References

    The Rouse Company Wikipedia

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