From those humble beginnings, Mr. Schwaber grew the Company over the next four decades expanding into shopping centers, office buildings, industrial buildings and a chain of movie theaters.
Schwaber Holdings, LLC was established in 2010 to consolidate, expand and diversify the real estate interests of the Estate of Milton Schwaber, the founder of the predecessor companies of Schwaber. Milton Schwaber started the Company in 1926 by purchasing a series of vacant lots throughout Baltimore City. He developed the properties to serve the growing automotive industry, leasing a series of “drive-in filling stations” to the oil companies.
From those humble beginnings, Mr. Schwaber grew the Company over the next four decades expanding into shopping centers, office buildings, industrial buildings and a chain of movie theaters. Mr. Schwaber alongside son-in-law Boots Wagonheim, together opened Baltimore’s first art-house cinemas in the ’50s, The Playhouse, The 5 West and The Cinema, while also promoting the Baltimore art scene by featuring local artists work in their theater’s lobbies.
They also designed, built and opened Maryland’s first multi-screen complex in 1964, The Yorkridge Cinemas, as the anchor to Yorkridge Shopping Center, one of Baltimore’s first suburban neighborhood centers. Mr. Schwaber also owned Maryland’s first FM-Stereo radio station. Needless to say, “Matzi, as he was known to his friend and family, was an innovator with a unique vision towards “tomorrow”.
Upon Mr. Schwaber’s death in 1981, and without a succession plan in place, the Company’s real estate portfolio was organized into a series of Trusts that was managed by a team of trustees. Unfortunately, growth stalled for the next 20 years and the company stagnated and less strategic assets were sold.
In 2004 third-generation family members Rick and Mark Wagonheim, Dr. Jeffrey Gaber, and Jane Gaber Rose assumed ownership and took control of the Trusts as active Trustees, and reorganized the management of the Company into an Advisory Board of Directors. The Board of third-generation members recruited an entirely new team of advisors, including real estate brokers, lawyers, and accountants.
The Third Generation became engaged in the day-to-day activities while actively participating in renovations of Yorkridge Shopping Center (2005) and a complete teardown of the center at 6300 York Road and created an entirely new center, Gittings Marketplace (2006).
In 2010, the Trusts were dissolved and the assets were reorganized as Schwaber Holdings, LLC. The Third Generation soon recognized the company’s need for a full-time real estate professional to focus on the assets. In 2011, they hired Mark Renbaum, an experienced real estate developer, to serve as Chief Executive Officer. Working directly with the Board, Renbaum concentrates on formulating and executing the firm’s long-term real estate strategy and its day-to-day management while, overseeing acquisition, development, and asset management functions.
Since the Company’s founding more than 90 years ago, the individuals responsible for profitability have never lost the desire to move forward, the passion to innovate, or the vision to recognize the next opportunity in the industry. We have built a reputation for integrity and accessibility which is carried on today under the leadership of Schwaber Holdings’ management team and its Board of Directors, Mr. Schwaber’s grandchildren.