July 12, 2016

Long-Time Past, Long-Term Future Celebrating 80 Years, Boyle Investment Company Continues to Develop

By:  Gaye Swan
MUS Today

In April 1907 The Commercial Appeal published a plan for a development on what was then the outskirts of town. With its wide avenue, shady trees, and stately homes, the plan was deemed “too visionary to ever be realized.” Today Memphians know this unrealistic vision as one of our showplaces: Belvedere Boulevard.

The pioneer behind the boulevard was Edward Boyle, whose sons carried his visionary spirit into the creation of the Boyle Investment Company 80 years ago. To mark this milestone, four of the eight MUS alumni employed at Boyle took a long look into the future – of Memphis, of their company, and how the two are intertwined.

These four men have been instrumental in Boyle’s success, as evidenced by their promotions in the recent company reorganization. As president, Paul Boyle ’87 now oversees all company operations. Henry Morgan ’61 is co-chairman, Rusty Bloodworth ’63 is executive vice president, and Mark Halperin ’67 is executive vice president and chief operating officer. Other alumni serve in key positions: Cary Whitehead ’68, as executive vice president; Joel Fulmer ’67, as senior vice president; and Tom Hutton ’91, as vice president. An eighth alumnus, David Ruben ’09, recently joined the team, and Jake Rudolph IV ’10 – grandson and namesake of our former football coach – is currently an intern.

“In many ways Boyle has paralleled MUS,” Bloodworth said. “The growth of each has kept pace with Memphis, and both have planned carefully and intentionally over the years to keep that pace. MUS and Boyle both started out on what was considered the fringe of town – but both are now in the heart of Memphis, both physically and as a part of what makes this city great.”

Halperin also spoke about the symbiotic relationship between the company and the city: “Boyle is only as good as Memphis is,” he said. “We are aware of our past achievements, but we don’t rest on them – we look to the future.”

Paul Boyle sees continued growth on the horizon. “We have large strategically located properties primed for future development,” he said.

Local projects include 443-acre Schilling Farms in Collierville, which has been under development for more than 15 years; and the 1,375-acre mixed-use Fisherville Farms community on the Shelby/Fayette County line at I-240 and Macon, which is in the planning stages.

The company continues to focus on the East Memphis office market, as well, and plans to keep the Poplar corridor up-to-date.

“Most of our major cultural amenities are sprinkled along Poplar,” Morgan said. “It is important to the future of Memphis to keep it current and vibrant.”

The four executives are in agreement that another key to Memphis’ success is providing the quality of life necessary to attract and retain the younger generation. To that end Boyle has made land donations and provided easements to support the creation and extension of the Shelby Farms Greenline and Wolf River Greenway. In addition, the company recently contributed $50,000 to the Harahan Bridge Trail Project, which will connect Memphis and West Memphis with a boardwalk across the Mississippi River.

“We envision the greenway and the trail system as knitting the community together using our natural resources,” Bloodworth said. “Helping make the greenway and the bridge possible were the right things to do to help the community.”

The company has not neglected promoting the finer things in life: To commemorate their 80th anniversary, Boyle was the title sponsor of The Crossroads of Memory: Carroll Cloar and the American South, a major art exhibition at the Brooks Museum this spring.

“We were proud to celebrate by bringing art to Memphis that speaks to our cultural heritage,” Morgan said.

After eight decades Boyle’s projects, philanthropy, and leadership have contributed greatly to the Memphis landscape. The leaders of this family-owned company said they are staying true to the visionary spirit of its forebears, while keeping established developments up-to-date and viable.

“We are excited about our city’s future and our role in it,” Paul Boyle said. “We remain dedicated to maintaining a long-term vision that delivers enduring value to Memphis, our partners, and our tenants.”