Lowell Harwood, the Jersey City parking boss who grew his business to a $100 million empire, has died. He was 85.
Harwood, who led Harwood Properties, built and grew the business, breaking into the competitive New York market with a shrewd business model of choosing the right locations and charging reasonable prices.
The company went public in 1969, with Harwood becoming chair of Square Industries, Inc., headquartered at 921 Bergen Ave. in Jersey City where Harwood was raised.
By the time the company was sold in 1997, the family operation had grown to a $100 million business with 135 locations across the United States.
During Harwood’s leadership of Square Industries, the company managed parking at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y., one of Harwood’s proudest achievements.
Born in Newark and raised in Jersey City, Harwood returned to Hudson County after graduating from Kent State University and serving in the United States Army during the Korean War to work in the family parking business that began in 1920.
He served on the board of the Jersey City Chamber of Commerce, and served as the chamber’s president in 1958.
In 1997, the Harwood family purchased the site of the former State Theater and created the first new residential development in Journal Square in more than 50 years.
His family belonged to Temple Beth El in Jersey City for more than 50 years, and Harwood was a member of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
Harwood is survived by his wife, Toby; his brother, Sanford; his children, Leslie and Craig; his grandchildren, Jonathan, David and Laura Ehrlich; and his nephews Brett and Scott Harwood.