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Drive down memory lane…

by Suzanne Licata

Charles F. Curry, after graduating with a civil engineering degree and service in World War I, returned to Kansas City, founding the real estate company that is his namesake, adding a mortgage company, insurance company and a savings and loan.

His son, Charles E. Curry joined his father’s enterprise after serving in the Navy during World War II, becoming president of the real estate, mortgage and savings and loan companies, growing those as he also became deeply engaged in Kansas City’s civic and political life.

Raymond R. Brock, Jr., joined the companies in 1954. Among other duties, he led the real estate company’s efforts to acquire ground and property, first for Antioch Shopping Center which Brock and his team developed in 1956 as the first retail shopping center to open north of the river. Over the next 20 years, Brock helped acquire 5,300 acres for the company. He rose to president in 1977. In 1980, those 5,300 acres were sold in a single transaction to the Mormon Church. Family ownership of the Curry company moved to the Brock family when he purchased the real estate assets from the Curry family in 1980.

In 1984, Brock formed Curry Association Management (CAM). From a start in the late 70s having introduced a homes association when the company took on the sale of condominiums at Crown Center’s San Francisco Towers, CAM grew to become the greater Kansas City area’s largest association management company, managing 150 associations representing about 25,000 homes and condominiums.

Over the years, all the Brock family daughters worked in the business. Daughter Ellen Todd, who joined the company in 1981, worked through nearly every department over the years and became its president and CEO in 2000. Brock continued working in the position of chairman emeritus and passed away in 2022 at age 92.

Headquartered north of the river, Curry Real Estate Services today has a multi-million dollar owned asset portfolio of commercial and multi-family property in Gladstone, Independence, Kansas City, Kearney, Leavenworth, Lee’s Summit, Liberty, Overland Park, Ottawa and Smithville. The company also has had nearly four million square feet of gross leasable space under management. In recent years, the company grew to more than 250 associates with four celebrating 40 years with the company.

In 2012, Todd initiated a business planning process with the goal to strategically grow, improve and rebalance the fourth generation business in a way that serves employees, customers, the company and community. An early outcome of that process was the successful 2013 sale of the company’s association management business to FirstService Residential, a difficult letting go of a legacy asset that was completed in a way that served the affected employees, the 150 associations and our community.

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