Housing Hub History: Our Owners!
Welcome to day three of Housing Hub History Week! Today we’re getting to know the owners, Joe Collins and Tom Gallagher, a bit more!
Joe and Tom are St. Paul natives who are passionate about helping investment property owners and their tenants. It all started when Joe bought a triplex in St. Paul when he was 18. Tom had a lawn service at the time, when they decided to go into business together.
In 1997, they bought their first piece of real estate together, paying $50,000 in cash for a house. They fixed it up and rented it out. They saw a huge demand for rental housing, and went on to acquire more than 60 properties over five years. They formed a holding company in 1999, continuing to work full-time and rehabbing properties on the weekends.
In 2002, the City of St. Paul started targeting landlords with frequent and seemingly unfair inspections, which appeared to be focused on properties rented out to low income and section 8 housing. Joe and Tom were worried the citations might put them out of business, so they started talking with the city regarding housing code and inspection practices.
In 2005, they filed a lawsuit against the City of St. Paul, claiming uneven and overreaching code enforcement. Nine other landlords joined the trial, which lasted 11 years. The lawsuit nearly made its way to the Supreme Court, before the city backed down in 2015, and settled with Joe and Tom out of court. The agreement included putting a residential landlord on the City’s Business Review Council - the first landlord was Joe!
Housing Hub was officially formed in 2013. By then they had cemented their vision and developed a formula to service other landlords, helping them in all matters of real estate and property management. They’ve been through good times and bad, and not just the housing crash of 2007-2009
Housing Hub continues to grow and expand, hiring more employees, and acquiring new investment property owners. But most importantly, Tom and Joe are still best friends!