2009-12-25 / Business

Marshall Kibler of Grubb & Ellis/Wilson–Kibler

Star Profile
By John Temple Ligon temple@thecolumbiastar.com

Marshall Kibler Marshall Kibler For his first six months after college, Columbia’s Marshall Kibler rode the rails of Europe. He was pretty much contained to Central and Western Europe in that the Iron Curtain was still hanging. Still, he was beginning to understand the value of a degree in history.

Kibler was born in the old Columbia Hospital, and his home was on Poinsettia, near Heathwood Park. His father was in sales for Binswanger. Kibler has an older brother, Bud, and a younger sister, Sis. Bud is with Merrill–Lynch. Sis was the No. 6 tennis player in the South when she attended Rollins College at Winter Haven, Fla.

After elementary school at Brennen, junior high at Crayton and high school at A.C. Flora, where he played varsity football for coach Jim Pinkerton, Kibler went to the USC Columbia campus. For pick–up money in both high school and college, Kibler was a life guard in the summers, first at the Maxcy Gregg pool in Columbia and then in the high chair on the sands of Myrtle Beach.

After he exhausted his last Eurail Pass in the six months following college graduation, Kibler interviewed with J. Willis Cantey and located with Carolina National, the mortgage operation under Cantey’s C&S Bank.

Commercial banks were more heavily regulated then and couldn’t cross state lines, but the mortgage banks could, so Kibler transferred around a good bit. His longest term was the two years he spent in Florence. Living in Florence and commuting between Florence and Columbia, Kibler struck up a romance with Anna Belle Heyward, whom he married in 1976.

They have three children: son Heyward, who plans to work with his father beginning this January; twin daughters Sarah Rhett (at Carolina First) and Anna Belle, who is a property manager with her father. One month ago, Sarah Rhett produced the Kiblers’ first grandchild.

Kibler left mortgage banking to start a business in home insulation installation. In the fall of 1981, he joined The Keenan Company as a commercial broker.

On Labor Day weekend,

1987, Kibler and Jeremy Wilson, who had been with Keenan since 1969, went in together to form their own commercial real estate firm, Wilson–Kibler. They started on the second floor of one of Wayne Smith’s properties on Devine Street, and they moved a year later to their current address in Jefferson Square, which they were managing before the move and still do. The home office population today includes 19 brokers and a support staff of eight.

Elsewhere, Grubb & Ellis/Wilson–Kibler has a full–time broker in Charleston (Belle Hall) and another five in Myrtle Beach.

The company had a broker in Lexington County, but Rep. Ted Pitts (House District #69) had to leave to serve with his S.C. unit in Afghanistan.

The Kiblers have a second home in Little Switzerland, N.C., where their address is on Osborne’s Knob. Once Kibler carries in the luggage and the groceries for their stay, he sits with the full intent to do nothing, absolutely noth- ing. Maybe a trek to a trout stream gets him out of the cabin, but that’s a rare event. Kibler claims Little Switzerland is close to perfect for full–time relaxing and part–time reading.

With a headquarters presence on Columbia’s Main Street for just over 20 years, Kibler wants to see more happening there — more restaurants, more apartments, more shops, more of everything. And Kibler’s money is where his mouth is. Look around downtown and you see his company’s signs all around you.

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