Lowell Harwood, Square Industries and Harwood Properties Chairman
Lowell Harwood, a longstanding member of the Jersey City business community who grew his family's parking company into a $100 million venture, died March 18. Harwood, a Short Hills, NJ, resident and former Kean University trustee, was 85.
Born in Newark and raised in Jersey City, Harwood returned to Hudson County after graduating from Kent State University and serving in the United States Army during the Korean War to work in the family parking business that began in 1920.
Harwood built and grew the business, breaking into the competitive New York market with a shrewd business model of choosing the right locations and charging reasonable prices. The company went public in 1969, with Harwood becoming chair of Square Industries, Inc., headquartered at 921 Bergen Ave. in Jersey City where Harwood was raised.
By the time the company was sold in 1997, the family operation had grown to a $100 million business with 135 locations across the United States. During Harwood's leadership of Square Industries, the company managed parking at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y., one of Harwood's proudest achievements.
After selling the company, Harwood continued running Harwood Properties LLC, a private parking and property management company that continues to be managed by the Harwood family in Jersey City.
He served on the board of the Jersey City Chamber of Commerce, and served as the chamber's president in 1958. In 1997, the Harwood family purchased the site of the former State Theater and created the first, new residential development in Journal Square in more than 50 years.
Harwood was also involved in numerous parking business associations, serving on the Board of Directors for the National Parking Association, the Metropolitan Parking Association and the New York Parking Association.
A philanthropist in Jersey City and throughout his home state, Harwood was a dedicated supporter of Christ Hospital serving on the board of trustees, the executive board and the Christ Hospital Foundation board for 40 years. While serving on the Foundation Board, Harwood donated funds to establish the Harwood Heart Center, a state-of-the-art coronary-care unit, which continues to bear Lowell's name.
Harwood's philanthropy included more than 10 years of service as a Kean University Trustee and Trustee Emeritus. Harwood implemented numerous campus improvement projects and donated a stained-glass window that remains the centerpiece of the Kean Hall Conference Center.
Harwood also founded the Kean University Gala event in 1997, which raised more than $1.4 million over seven years for the school's scholarship fund, a cause for which Lowell was very passionate.
In recognition of his dedicated service to Kean, he was named the university's 'Man of the Year' at its sixth annual gala in 2003. The Harwood Arena at Kean University is named after the former Jersey City businessman in honor of his leadership and generosity to the university.
His family belonged Temple Beth El in Jersey City for more than 50 years, and Harwood was a member of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
Harwood is survived by his wife, Toby; his brother, Sanford; his children, Leslie and Craig; his grandchildren, Jonathan, David and Laura Ehrlich; and his nephews Brett and Scott Harwood.