Gershman co-founder goes solo

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A heavy hitter among commercial real estate developers has left the firm he helped found more than 20 years ago, to start his own company, and has taken most of its employees with him.

crowley-tom-mug Crowley

Tom Crowley launched T.M. Crowley & Associates last month after leaving Gershman Brown Crowley Inc. The venerable firm built nearly 1,500 CVS drugstores nationwide, helped develop Hamilton Town Center in Noblesville, assembled the land for Anson near Whitestown, and is one of the largest commercial real estate developers in the Indianapolis area.

Crowley, 53, described the split with his longtime business partner, Jerry Gershman, as amicable.

But what effect Crowley’s departure will have on his former firm is unclear. The remnants of Gershman Brown Crowley have reorganized as Gershman Partners. Gershman President Eric Gershman, one of Jerry’s sons, declined to comment on the split or what his firm’s plans are going forward.

Gershman ranked 10th in central Indiana based on the number of square feet completed or under construction (1.1 million) in 2012, according to IBJ statistics.

For Crowley, he’s continuing the relationship with CVS by acquiring that piece of the firm’s portfolio. He also has other projects in the works, including a development on 120 acres at 146th Street and State Road 37 in Noblesville that he hopes to finalize within 45 days.

Crowley said the split affords him the opportunity to run his own company, something he’s always wanted to do. More than 20 employees, or all but one from Gershman, went with him, he said. He’s since hired a few more and has offices in Chicago and Lincoln, R.I., near the CVS headquarters.

“It allows us to pursue some of the development that I’ve always wanted to pursue,” Crowley said. “It’s just the right time to do it.”

crowley-factbox.gifLong gone are the days of developing massive shopping centers such as Hamilton Town Center or Clay Terrace, he said, because of the downturn in the economy and the glut of available retail space.

He instead plans to focus on infill-type and mixed-use projects that might combine apartments with medical or retail space. The developments are prevalent in downtown Indianapolis, as demand for urban living has soared. Crowley said he has no plans to follow the downtown trend but said he’ll build anywhere else that makes sense.

Announcements on specific projects should be forthcoming within 90 days, he said.

Crowley is well known in Carmel political circles. He served on the Carmel City Center Community Development Corp. and the beleaguered Carmel Redevelopment Commission before resigning from both boards last month to focus on his new business.

Crowley cut his teeth in real estate development while at Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group Inc., arriving in 1987. There he met his former business partners Gershman (then president of Simon) and Adrian Brown. The three left the company to form Gershman Brown Crowley when Simon went public in 1991; Simon is now the world’s largest mall developer.

A few years later, Gershman Brown Crowley began doing development work for the former Revco drugstore chain, which CVS bought in 1997. All told, Crowley estimates that Gershman developed 1,200 to 1,500 CVS stores nationwide.

“People used to laugh at us because nobody wanted to do that business,” he said. “Then when things went bad, everybody wanted to do that business.”

Crowley takes pride in his ability to assemble separate pieces of property for large-scale developments. He put together the 1,800 acres for the massive Anson project near Whitestown, which Gershman later sold to developer Indianapolis-based Duke Realty Corp.

Abbe Hohmann, a local land broker who operates Site Strategies Advisory LLC, has worked with Crowley in the past.

“One of the areas that I think where [Tom] has certainly excelled … is where there was an opportunity to put together a large development and work on the assembly and get that to happen,” she said.

Crowley was instrumental in acquiring the land for the 900,000-square-foot Hamilton Town Center lifestyle mall at Exit 10 along Interstate 69 in Noblesville. Gershman developed the mall in partnership with Simon.

“Tom is very good at what he does,” said Tom Schneider, an executive vice president at Simon. “We’re very pleased with that development.”

Crowley also will continue with Gershman to develop The Bridges along 116th Street between Illinois Street and Springmill Road, a 62-acre project they’re working on with local developer Pittman Partners.

Getting the land zoned had its challenges, Crowley said. Steve Pittman’s physician father, John, has owned the land for decades, and Pittman Partners is working with Gershman and Crowley to develop the site after winning a controversial rezoning in 2011.

City officials turned down a rezoning request soon after Dr. Pittman bought the property, saying they wanted single-family estate homes to replace the farmland. He responded by setting up a working hog farm there.

Officials relented, and Crowley began the tall task of getting that project off the ground.

“That was extremely controversial,” Crowley said. “I worked on that project night and day for a year.”

Crowley and Jerry Gershman each own a 25-percent stake in The Bridges and the Pittman family owns 50 percent.

Despite the split, Crowley said he and Gershman still own several properties together. The two bought out their former partner, Adrian Brown, in 2010.

T.M. Crowley’s office is at 501 Pennsylvania Parkway, directly across Interstate 465 from and north of Gershman Partners’ office at 600 E. 96th St.•


Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Good Day I am Mr (Victoria Wright) from United state of America, i stayed in NEW YORK, and i have a broke up business, until i found this company email who help me to gain a loan for business,, and now i want to used this short medium to congratulate the below company for the fast and safe money they loan to me without any form of collateral, i loan 500,000USD from the company to save my business and lots more, i saw their mail on the internet, everyone always give testimony for what they did, so i quickly contacted them and they all did everything for me without stress and my money was sent to my account just 3 days later, i was surprise and i feel so glad, now i have a standard business control agent who help me, now i will advice those who need urgent loan to contact him at the bellow email:zenithfirm12@gmail.com

  2. NOTICE:This is to inform the general public that Vampires are real. My name is James Franklyn.,am an agent of vampire,am here to introduce our new world trend to you,a world of vampire where life get easier,we have made so many persons vampires and have turned them rich,you will be assured long life and prosperity,you shall be made to be very sensitive to mental alertness,stronger and also very fast,you will not be restricted to walking at night only even at the very middle of broad day light you will be made to walk.In case you are wildly oppressed by some unscrupulous persons we can still help you fight them.Your protection is assured immediately you join.Just contact the bellow email if you are interested we are here to attend to you anytime you want us. Contact the bellow email for more details. Email:vampirescreed@hotmail.com Sincerely: James Franklyn.

  3. Bravo! Someone else that is willing to speak the truth! Bravo!_____NBCSN is available in almost 2 MILLION more homes than just a few years ago, but Indycar STILL gets less total viewers than it did just a few years ago when NBC took over Versus. Attendance and ratings cratered with the end of season races (just when the title battle got "interesting" HAH!__________And now...new race in Basilia, where Miles celebrated the "rich history" of Indycar racing there. Rich history? What, 7 events in the 100 years of AOW? Yep, some history. Well, at least its an oval. It's not??? Are you kidding me??? Gosh darn road racin furriners.

  4. PURITY RAY LOAN OFFER........ Have you been denied by your banks,or are you in need of of an urgent loan to pay of your bills we are capable of giving loans @ cheaper rate to interested individuals, student, companies and members of the public in need of finance to settle bills, we do offer considerable loans which you can count on. For more information on our various types of loan,then you will have to contact PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM, to help you achieve your desire LOAN APPLICATION FORM TO BE FILLED BORROWERS INFORMATION * Full name:………………………. * SEX * ……………………………. * Country………………………….. * State:……………………………. * Land:…………………………….. * Occupation:…………………….. * phone number:…………………. * Telephone: ………………………….. * Age:………………………………. * Amount needed as loan:……… * Loan Duration:………………….. * Propose of Loan:……………….. * Annual revenue:………………… * Monthly Income:……………….. * Guarantee:………………………. * Payment: monthly or annually Email.....purityrayloanfirm@gmail.com Thank you and God bless Mr Purity Ray PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM we tend to serve you better

  5. Problem: most of the people responding to this article don't know about this service AT ALL! Why? Lack of awareness. This isn't IndyGo. This is CIRTA: might as well be the mattress company because they are asleep at the wheel - something like 3 directors over the last year? Playing with federal grant money is great! This "region" wants commuter rail service, has spent MILLIONS on Transportation studies yet can't even support a commuter bus line? This is largely for suburban riders to get to downtown - not for "service people to work in our hotels and restaurants" ! Get your head out of your backside!! These are professionals, students etc. that don't want to fight traffic, save some money on parking, gas, stress.... if CIRTA would put their federal money into widely promoting the sevive to Greenwood, Fishers & Carmel instead of finding directors and studies - this would be a successful service. Our family uses(d) it daily for the last several years - but the recent uncertainty & now unreliability due to cuts from Carmel has been a problem. Now, costs us an additional $350/month for gas & parking ( $4200/year) plus vehicle wear, service, environmental impact ... YES - this REGION needs this this type of service in order to keep growing and getting the people it needs to fill skilled positions in downtown Indianapolis. Think outside of your own car !!!