Three New Members of Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame Announced

The Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame, established in 2010 by the Shenehon Center for Real Estate at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business, will add three new members in a morning ceremony Thursday, Nov. 10, at the Golden Valley Golf and Country Club.

Members of the Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame are chosen for their outstanding business performance, high standards of ethics and community activities. The three new members are:

Walter Nelson

Walter Nelson’s career included 56 years at the Eberhardt Co., a real estate advisory company located in Minneapolis. Born in 1910, he joined the company in 1939 as an associate of Alex Eberhardt. Nelson purchased the company after Eberhardt's death in 1951 and served as its president until 1976. He remained with the company as chairman of the board until 1995.

As the business grew and prospered, Nelson became active in both business and community affairs. In 1959 he served as president of the Mortgage Bankers Association of America. He was active in several mortgage and real estate related companies as a director. He served his community in several volunteer leadership capacities that included director of the Minneapolis YMCA and president and board member of the Minneapolis Downtown Council.

Nelson received many honors, including the Counselor of Real Estate designation and the Mortgage Bankers Association's Distinguished Service Award. He developed his naturally inquisitive mind through his continuing interest in reading and self-education. He was a natural teacher, mentor and coach, and touched many lives in the process, both through his business career and outside activities.

Fred Wall

Fred Wall started his real estate career at the Spring Co., at the time the most prominent residential real estate company in the Twin Cities. He learned that he had a knack for hiring good people and helping them prosper and he was soon promoted to sales manager. This is indicative of Wall’s thoughtful, upbeat and enthusiastic personality.

After several years, Wall and another top Spring Co. manager, Carl Martin, decided to go out on their own. Together they formed the Wall-Martin Co. and Norseman Realty. After Martin met an untimely death in a 1968 plane crash, Wall formed the WallCo and brought on investors and a board of high-profile professionals.

Notable achievements in Wall’s career include owning and undertaking a historic renovation of the Foshay Tower and, in partnership with the Trammel Crow Co., developing the Normandale Office Park in Bloomington.

Through his work with the United Way, his generosity to the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, and his community outreach through the Fred and Alice Wall Family Foundation, he is touching the lives of countless people.

Mark Westra

A pre-eminent commercial real estate attorney in the Twin Cities since 1975, Mark Westra has been involved in hundreds of local real estate projects and has represented some of the largest lenders, developers, owners and investors in our area.

As a longtime partner at Fabyanske, Westra, Hart and Thompson, Westra was an expert in a wide variety of real-estate-related practice areas including real estate finance, zoning, land use and leasing. Additionally, Westra has served as a former instructor at Hamline Law School and he has been a mentor to many younger real estate attorneys in the Twin Cities.

Throughout his career, Westra has set and maintained high ethical standards in all of his business dealings. He has been and continues to be an icon and thought-leader among real estate attorneys.

The Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame program is open to the public and the cost is $60. More information is available at the Shenehon Center for Real Estate website.

The Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame now has 30 members. Previously named were:

  • 2010: Tony Bernardi, Lloyd Engelsma, Gerald Rauenhorst, William Reiling, Jim Ryan and Sam Thorpe Sr.
  • 2011: Robert Hoffman, Darrel Holt, Bernard Rice, Emma Rovick and five members of the Dayton family: Bruce and the late Douglas, Donald, Kenneth and Wallace.
  • 2012: David Bell, Robert Boblett Sr., Philip Smaby and Boyd Stofer.
  • 2013: Leonard Bisanz, Helen Brooks, Thomas Crowley, M.A. Mortenson Sr. and Kenneth Stensby.
  • 2014: George Karvel, Ph.D.; Cyril “Cy” Kuefler Sr.; and Jim Stanton.
  • 2015: Dan Dolan, Larry Lautka and James Solem.