Windermere acquires Park City firm Jess Reid Real Estate
Jess Reid, whose influence in Park City’s real estate, nonprofit and tourism sectors stretches back to the 1970s, will be taking on a new role.
On Friday, Windermere Real Estate Utah announced its acquisition of Jess Reid Real Estate. Windermere Real Estate is a residential and commercial real estate firm with offices around the Western U.S. With the acquisition of Jess Reid Real Estate, it adds three Park City offices to two existing locations in the area. Reid, who founded his firm in the early 1980s, will become a Windermere branch manager.
Reid said he is excited about the acquisition and believes Windermere is positioned to succeed in a technology-driven era of real estate. He said he is pleased to hand his firm to Grady Kohler, principal broker and owner of Windermere Real Estate Utah, because Kohler lives in Park City and is active in the community.
Reid started working in real estate when he moved to Salt Lake City in 1975. He moved to Park City three years later, despite hearing from people who said the area was not promising for real estate. At the time, a large part of Main Street was boarded up and Deer Valley Resort did not exist. Reid moved anyway because he wanted to live in the mountains.
He worked for a large company based in Salt Lake until 1983, when he launched Jess Reid Real Estate. It was around that time that people began to discover Park City. Deer Valley Resort had opened two years prior, and new developments attracted second home-owners from California and the East Coast.
He watched as lots that once cost about $10,000 jumped up to $45,000. Now, similar lots are valued in the ballpark of $1.5 million.
“It’s been quite a bit of change,” he said.
The change is bittersweet for Reid. He said he is glad there are more job opportunities so people can live in town, and he is glad the city has maintained open space and accessible trails. But there is also increased traffic and a rising percentage of second home-owners.
About seven years ago, Reid and Kohler began tossing around the idea of Windermere acquiring Reid’s firm. Then, as Reid began seriously considering the offer two years ago, he experienced a nearly fatal horseback riding accident that delayed the decision. As Reid healed and realized he wanted more time to do activities that he loves, he and Kohler decided it was time.
Kohler, who moved to Park City in 2005, said he and Reid mesh well, and their real estate agents appeared to be like-minded. He anticipates that the transition will be smooth, especially because they do not expect any of the staff is moving and Kohler is not pushing for change. Reid will continue to remain in his office, with awards and plaques showcasing his work with the Park City Chamber/Bureau, Park City Board of Realtors and Park City Rotary Club on the wall behind him.
“I feel proud of the things I’ve been involved with and worked,” Reid said. “Now, there’s all the new guys coming along, and that’s the way it ought to be.”
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