Commercial Real Estate Broker Bob Edge Dies At 81

Bob Edge is the commercial real estate broker responsible for locating American Airlines to Fort Worth, Texas in 1979.

Over the last four decades, Robert T. “Bob” Edge became one of the best-known figures in Dallas commercial real estate.

The vice chairman of Cushman & Wakefield of Texas Inc. founded the company’s Dallas office in 1974 and worked on some of the area’s biggest real estate deals.

Edge, who celebrated his 40th anniversary with Cushman & Wakefield in September, died over the weekend. He was 81.

Edge represented some of Dallas’ biggest and most prominent office building tenants, including Mobil Oil, FedEx and Celanese.

He was the real estate broker for American Airlines when it moved its headquarters from New York to Fort Worth in 1979. Edge had met the airline’s CEO, Al Casey, at a golf tournament and pestered him for years about moving to Texas.

Edge played a key role in Cushman & Wakefield’s Dallas office until recently.

“A recent example of his high character can be found in his daily efforts to mentor some of our young professionals, giving them a wealth of knowledge on which to build their careers,” said Steve Everbach, the top officer at the Dallas office. “He was an example for us all to follow and will be sorely missed.

“Bob was involved with many of the largest and most impactful real estate transactions in the area, solidifying his place among the Dallas real estate legends.”

Edge started in the real estate business in Dallas in 1959 as a fresh graduate of Texas A&M University.

In 1965, he moved to California to work for the huge Tishman Realty and Construction firm.

The fourth-generation Texan was lured from Los Angeles back to Dallas in 1974 to help save a troubled downtown skyscraper. The 56-story First International Building, now Renaissance Tower, had opened its doors just in time for an economic downturn.

Prudential Insurance Co., which put up the money to build the $50 million Elm Street office tower, brought in Edge and New York-based Cushman & Wakefield to try to rent out the almost empty high-rise.

For two years, Edge didn’t find a single tenant for the property. “I thought I’d made the worst career decision of my life,” he often recalled.

That was until Mobil Oil signed an 11-floor commitment to the building in 1976. Edge said at the time it was “one of the larger, if not the largest office lease signed in the country this year.”

Wayne Swearingen, a Dallas real estate leader, recalls sitting down to meet with Edge soon after he moved to Dallas from California.

“I wanted to get to know him because I knew our future competition would come from big national companies like Cushman & Wakefield,” Swearingen said. “One of the neatest things about Bob was his willingness to share information and advice.

“If I had a problem with a client and needed to bounce it off someone,” Swearingen said, “I would call him and he would always help me.”

Over the years, Edge was honored with the local real estate industry’s Stemmons Service Award and was inducted into the Dallas Real Estate Hall of Fame. In 2009, the North Texas Commercial Association of Realtors and Real Estate Professionals created a scholarship to honor Edge.

Edge was raised in Kilgore and originally enrolled at the University of Colorado to study petroleum geology. He decided he’d be better off with a career in business and transferred to Texas A&M.

 

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