HOUSTON – Realty News Report recognizes Marvy A. Finger as the winner of its first RNR Lifetime Achievement Award.
A native Houstonian, Marvy A. Finger, founder, president and chief executive officer of the Finger Companies, changed the shape of Houston’s residential market and breathed new life into the city’s Central Business District.
In 2005, Finger recognized the potential for high-rise residential apartments in downtown Houston – a place where few lived and residential construction had been a rarity for decades. A new 12-acre park called Discovery Green was on the drawing boards for downtown. At the time, Finger was developing apartments in a dozen cities across the nation and he believed a downtown multifamily tower would be viable in his hometown.
“There was nothing new in downtown, and with 5 million people in Greater Houston, I knew I could find 340 people out of 5 million who will want to live downtown. I was able to sell that pitch to lenders at the time,” Finger explained in a 2018 interview with Realty News Report.
So on a block across the street from the Discovery Green site, Finger constructed the 37-story One Park Place tower. A multi-cultural grocer, Phoenicia Specialty Foods, opened on the ground floor of Finger’s building on Austin Street. Discovery Green park opened in 2008 as a smash hit.
Tenants flocked to Finger’s tower and other residential developers soon jumped into the CBD fray. Today, more than 10,000 people live in downtown.
Finger, 86, graduated from the University of Texas in 1957 and soon thereafter entered the apartment business. He constructed his first project on Houston’s Chimney Rock Road. Another 25,000 units have been added to the Finger portfolio over the years. Unlike the common industry practice where developers sell their new projects after leasing them to the stabilization stage, Finger retained nearly all of the properties he built for many years.
However, in October 2021, Finger sold 20 garden-style and mid-rise projects for $2 billion. The Finger portfolio was acquired by a venture led by the Greystar multifamily organization.
Mindful of his long-time employees as the deal concluded, Mr. Finger required the Greystar venture to retain all of Finger’s on-site personnel, such as maintenance people.
Realty News Report, a publication founded by Ralph Bivins, recognizes Marvy A. Finger as the winner of its first RNR Lifetime Achievement Award.