Edward Rose & Sons is celebrating 100 years in business thanks to a timeless success story that mirrors those of many Jewish immigrants who relocated to the Detroit area.
When Edward Rose, founder of national real estate development company Edward Rose & Sons, immigrated to the United States in 1907 to live on a farm with his Uncle Streir, the young boy had virtually nothing to his name. Like so many like immigrants who also left Poland for a better life in America, he had to somehow build a career from the ground up.
Now, Edward Rose & Sons is celebrating 100 years in business thanks to a timeless success story that mirrors those of many Jewish immigrants who relocated to the Detroit area.
It began during World War I, when Rose was enticed by Henry Ford’s offer encouraging workers to move to Detroit and take on jobs in the city’s booming auto industry. The wages promised were $5 per day, which at the time was a handsome sum.
Though working for Ford didn’t ultimately come to fruition for the then-21-year-old Rose, he had other ambitions to pursue.
After trying out a temporary building business with his brother, Louis Rose, Edward decided to launch his own company. He partnered with a friend, Max Rosenfeld, to invest $5,000 saved from a window-washing company into what would become Edward Rose & Sons (Rose later bought out Rosenfeld). By 1921, the new building company was open for business.
“We’ve been in continuous operation since 1921,” explains Warren Rose, grandson of Edward Rose and current CEO of Edward Rose & Sons.
“My grandfather founded the company at that time as a single-family home builder.” Now, Edward Rose & Sons has significantly expanded, branching into luxury apartments, multi-family units and even a new senior living arm.
Warren Rose attributes the company’s success to his grandfather’s unwavering commitment to getting the “most house for your money.”
“That was his inspiration,” Rose explains. “He wanted to give great value to the people who purchase homes.”
For Edward Rose, a simple man who came from humble beginnings and didn’t need the luxuries in life, his goal was for customers to buy homes that would be worth every dollar. This was especially important during the historic economic collapse of the Great Depression, which significantly impacted the housing industry.
Surviving the Great Depression, Warren Rose says, was one of his grandfather’s — and the company’s — biggest accomplishments. “My grandfather was a very astute businessman and was able to get through that economic downturn in one piece,” he explains. While there wasn’t a lot of activity during this time, Edward Rose and the company maintained their solidarity.
The Rose family then opened a mortgage business, Advance Mortgage Corporation, which was later sold to Citicorp (now Citigroup) in 1970. The mortgage business, Warren Rose describes, was the company’s second key milestone.
Their third major milestone is the new Rose Senior Living business, which works exclusively with the senior community.
“It’s hard to believe we’re now in our 100th year,” Rose says. “I think the entire family takes great pride in the legacy that was started by Edward and all that he did.” The business, which is kept going strong by several generations of Rose family, sees many members involved in its management.
Though times have changed (including the economy and market demands), Warren Rose says Edward Rose & Sons continues to adhere to his grandfather’s motto of getting the “most house for your money.” This has carried them through the decades, he believes.
“It’s a thread of culture,” he says of the motto. “It’s a common theme of the company and over Edward’s lifetime.” The Rose family is also heavily involved in Jewish philanthropy and advocacy, including Warren Rose serving on Temple Beth-El leadership for a number of years.
To celebrate 100 years in business, Edward Rose & Sons will host events at their 150 apartment communities over the next few months. They’ve even hired a filmmaker to put together a documentary showcasing the history of the company. Though the business has seen remarkable growth over the past century, Warren Rose says the story of his grandfather’s vision is only just beginning.
“We want to see continued growth in new markets around the country,” he explains. “We’re currently in 18 states and growing. We’d like to continue developing new product lines and also increasing our presence in senior living spaces.”
Yet despite their success, Warren Rose says Edward Rose & Sons will always remember and honor their humble roots. “It’s remarkable how all they had is their wits, their hard work and their ethics,” he says of his grandfather’s generation and other immigrants who made a name for themselves.
“They turned that into success, and Edward is certainly an example of that group.”