Shenehon Center for Real Estate

Research. Education. Outreach.

2011 Inductee: Darrel Holt

Most major downtown Minneapolis office buildings have more in common than just location; it is likely that, at some point in time, they were sold by Darrel Holt. During his career, Mr. Holt sold 15 shopping centers and brokered about 30 purchases of downtown Minneapolis properties – one of the best brokerage records in the history of Minneapolis.

Mr. Holt began his career working as a real estate agent and manager of a leasing department in Indiana before moving to Minnesota in 1944 to work for Towle Real Estate as a sales manager. He was quickly promoted and, in 1951, became a co-owner of the company. Mr. Holt was known and respected for his leadership of Towle Real Estate from 1955 to 1983. William Reiling, his successor at Towle, described Mr. Holt’s impact on the company, saying “When he came, the company was dealing with some farm loans and single-family loans during the war. He got it into the commercial business.” This commercial business included the addition of property management as well as a commercial sales and leasing operation within the company.

Spending more than 50 years of his life focused on real estate, Mr. Holt accumulated an impressive list of brokerage transactions, including the Foshay Tower, Dain Tower, TCF Tower, Opus 100-150 S. Fifth complex, Medical Arts Building and the Metro Bank Building. After selling his interest in Towle in 1983, Mr. Holt continued to participate in at least one major transaction per year until 1996. One of these transactions was working with the developers of the building now known as Gavidaiie Commons, which houses Neiman Marcus.

Not only is Mr. Holt respected for his real estate acumen, he is known for his personal integrity and the standards he set. Today, Cassidy Turley, formerly Towle Real Estate, grants The Darrel Holt Award to an employee who gives full effort to help others achieve their potential, demonstrates the highest quality of professionalism, shows respect and appreciation to others, exemplifies high ethical values and leads by example. The impact of the award recipient’s leadership is positively defined throughout the company, the industry and the community through their personal involvement. The professional reputation and heritage left behind by Mr. Holt is the theme for this award.

Mr. Holt was also generous in his time and support of numerous initiatives. He served as a member of the board of trustees for Hamline University from 1973 to 1979 and was a strong supporter of both the theater and tennis programs at the university.