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Six time’s a charm. At least it was for STEVEN H. TEMARES L’83. That’s how many times he was called back to meet with executives at retailer Bed Bath & Beyond in early 1992 when the company was interviewing for someone to help with their real estate expansion plans. Today he is President of the company.
“I wasn’t interested in leaving the law firm. I just went as a courtesy,” Temares laughs now. “Bed Bath and Beyond was about to go public and they were looking for someone familiar with real estate to help lay out a plan for future store development.”
Temares had been a quick student of real estate law and development at Schulte Roth & Zabel, which he joined upon graduation from Penn Law School. As an associate in the real estate practice group he worked on cases that “ran the gamut. I was trained in all aspects of real estate transactions including acquisitions and co-op work because that was popular in New York then.”
A former associate of the firm recruited Temares to join him at Universal Maritime Service Corporation, a stevedoring company in the port of New York City. “We bought and developed properties in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and bought property across the nation. They wanted to diversify the company.” The company was then bought by Maersk Sealand, the Danish shipping company, which was not interested in real estate activities so they refocused the company on shipping.
From city ports to ceramic pots: today Temares oversees a company that has 425 stores in 44 states and had sales of approximately $3 billion in 2001. Real estate development has been integral to the success of Bed Bath and Beyond, which offers domestic goods such as bedroom and bathroom decorations, and home furnishings. The company is extremely entrepreneurial and locates stores in strip malls, freestanding buildings, traditional malls and off-price malls. No matter the location, the company’s reputation for providing quality goods might have its fans follow the stores to the Moon, if they could find a parking spot there.
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