Allen Tate, Jr., founder and chairman of the Allen Tate Company and a leading voice in real estate and economic development for more than 60 years, has died at his home in Charlotte. He was 84.
Tate had been in failing health for a number of years, but continued to work at his Southpark-headquartered real estate company.
Tate was born on April 23, 1931, raised in Gaffney, S.C. and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Shortly after in 1957, he took his father’s advice, moved to Charlotte and opened a one-man, one-location real estate and insurance office. Because of his hard work, vision, and dedication to excellence in customer service, the Allen Tate Company has become the No. 1 real estate and home ownership company in the Carolinas and No. 7 in the nation among independent, non-franchised real estate companies.
Tate believed that civic involvement was critical to business success, and during his career he served through various boards and organizations, including president of the Jaycees, chairman of the Charlotte Chamber, and chairman of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Planning Commission.
His contributions to the community, via service to boards and organizations, were numerous and diverse. One of his most passionate projects in recent years was his work as chairman of the Charlotte Chamber’s Regional Roads Committee. In March, he was honored for his transportation work when the final section of I-485 was named the H. Allen Tate Jr. Highway.
In May, the Allen Tate Tower on the main campus of Central Piedmont Community College was dedicated as a symbol of Tate’s commitment to education, and to the achievements of students and staff.
He was actively involved in service to the real estate profession and was a founding member of Reliance Relocation Services, which later became Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, the largest network of independent real estate companies with more than 500 members in 30 countries.
Tate’s many accomplishments were recognized through multiple honors and awards, including Carolinas’ Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year (2007); Distinguished Scouting Citizen (2008); Order of the Long Leaf Pine (2008); N.C. Business Hall of Fame (2010); N.C. Housing Hall of Fame (2010); and Paul Harris Rotary Fellow (2012).
In 2010, he was honored with a Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Queens University of Charlotte.
In 1992, Tate hand-picked his successor when he hired Pat Riley to serve as president and chief operating officer of Allen Tate Company.
“This is a great personal loss for me. Allen Tate was my mentor and beloved friend for more than 33 years, and he entrusted me with executing his vision 23 years ago. He planned well in advance for the future,” said Riley.
“We will celebrate his life and honor his legacy by continuing his dream to remain one of the leading independent real estate companies in the country. One of Mr. Tate’s wishes upon his death was that our offices would remain open, and we will honor that wish today and for many years into the future.”
Tate is survived by his wife, Bessie; four children, Allen III and wife Sha; Elizabeth (Libby) Gordon and husband Paisley; Lauren Campbell and husband Malcolm; and Frank Burgess and wife Heather; and nine grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife, Barbara, in 2006.
Arrangements are pending and will be announced in the Charlotte Observer.