Editor’s Note: Many in the CCIM community as well as his home town of Jacksonville, knew and admired John H. Rogers and are saddened to hear of this death last summer. Because so many have expressed interest in his CCIM career and his life — his brother, a fellow CCIM and Jacksonville resident — Henry Rogers, compiled the following biography. We are honored to share this honest and insightful tribute from one brother toward another.
John H. Rogers, CCIM #478, started working on the designation in the 1960s and obtained it February 1, 1974. He prodded me, and others in the Rogers, Miller, Taylor office to achieve CCIM and offered to pay half of the expenses of going to classes that were in cities mostly outside of Florida.
Without John’s designations, he probably would not have been hired to a position as secretary of Guardian Mortgage Investors in 1969. Guardian was one of four mortgage oriented REITs in Jacksonville, Florida at that time. Like the others, about two hundred million dollars of shares were sold and listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Guardian was associated with The Charter Company, which had contact with money sources that loaned to Guardian. Two were associated with the Barnett National Bank.
While working for Guardian, John and the other four directors frequently flew to the four corners of the country to inspect sites for proposed loans. A Charter owned plane was rented for those trips. Much of the collateral was vacant land being developed in new locations. Early on, John saw what was happening in real estate development throughout the land, recognized the differences in various locations and helped arrange hundreds of millions of dollars of loans.
Many of the loans Guardian made were to developers at rates high enough to pay substantial dividends in the early 1970s, but when the rates escalated in the mid-seventies, the company went bankrupt because of rates the company was charged while increasingly high rates on its borrowings went up without the ability to collect on many of its holdings. At one time, John had a two foot stack of law suits by his desk filed by investors asking for personal liability of more than one hundred million dollars. His lawyers were able to protect him from personal liability.
John’s biggest deal was a direct benefit from his CCIM pin. A CCIM in Pittsburg had the job of locating facilities for H. J. Heinz Company nationwide. A new 293,204 square foot distribution warehouse was needed in Jacksonville in 1996 and John co-operated in the project, with pleasure. Much time was spent deciding where to locate the building. Possible sites were scattered on the north and west sides of town with 15 to 20 acres and rail needed. Patrick Pattillo’s Westside Industrial Park close to the I-295 and Pritchard Road interchange was chosen. The lease deal, as I recall, was a value of a little over $10 million. (I was a little miffed not to be involved because I had dated Heinz’s daughter in college and she visited me in Jacksonville on spring vacation.)
In 1963, before the CCIM pin was on his lapel, John made his best deal, buying a magnificent home at 4545 Ortega Boulevard in Jacksonville for about $75,000. For 42 years, he and his family enjoyed a beautiful view of downtown Jacksonville across the river. Fellow CCIMs were entertained there sometimes. In 2005, he sold the house for $4,100,000. After paying capital gains taxes, buying another house, moving and renovations on the new house, he had a few million in the bank.
All of the above comments are subject to error because I found little verified information and most is from my memory. — Henry Rogers, CCIM, #1573; ALC