What began four generations ago, with a single, department store in the small town of Mullins, West Virginia, largely serving poor, coal miner families, has developed into more than three million square feet of neighborhood, strip shopping centers, office buildings, industrial/flex business parks, mixed-use and residential developments and commercial real estate acquisitions.
Each unique asset – whether a property developed by Klein, a joint venture, or an acquisition – underwent careful assessment, research, and a valuation process which typically began and ended with the expertise of a man with numerous skills, dedicated to his industry, his family and his community.
Founder and former CEO of Klein Enterprises, Philip “PEK” Klein, began a career in the industry in 1939. Known in Baltimore as “the site man,” Phil Klein’s wealth of knowledge in the real estate industry was virtually unmatched. He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration in 1938 at the University of Baltimore. He was a licensed real estate broker, a real estate appraiser, a certified public accountant, and a principal in the development of twenty-one shopping centers, as well as housing developments in the Baltimore Metropolitan area. PEK served as a trustee for the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) from 1973 to 1976, and as the Director of the Maryland Real Estate Commission from 1970 -1975.
As a former instructor in Commercial and Industrial Real Estate at the Evening College of Johns Hopkins University, Phil Klein imparted much wisdom to many students and entrepreneurs entering the real estate arena. He earned tremendous respect from a myriad of industry colleagues, and from those of us fortunate enough to have been mentored by him.
Philip E. Klein will long be remembered as the cornerstone of Klein Enterprises and the name behind the brand. He leaves behind his legacy, and his father’s before him, to his son, Michael, and his grandson, Daniel, as they carry forward generations of experience, decades of success.