DALLAS — Funeral services were held Monday at Temple Emanu-El here for Henry S. Miller Jr., the Dallas real estate magnate who transformed Highland Park Village from a sleepy neighborhood shopping center into a top luxury destination.
This story first appeared in the December 9, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Miller died of heart failure Saturday at his Dallas home. He was 95.
Miller was respected for his ethics and acumen as a broker and developer, building his father’s one-man real estate agency into a national powerhouse that was sold to Grubb & Ellis in 1984 for $45 million. Along the way, he mentored many agents who became prominent real estate entrepreneurs, including former Dallas Cowboys star Roger Staubach.
Highland Park Village, his marquee property, rented for only $3.80 a square foot when Miller and another investor bought it in 1975 for $5 million. The center, which was sold in May for $170 million, now commands $130 a square foot and is home to Chanel, Hermès, Harry Winston, Tory Burch, Ralph Lauren and luxury brands.
“He didn’t talk about integrity — he just lived it,” said his son, developer Henry S. Miller 3rd. “He taught me to be kind to other people, generosity of spirit and belief in a commitment to make a difference to his fellow man.”
Born into one of Dallas’ pioneering families — his grandfather held the city’s first Jewish sabbath services at his grocery store — Miller earned a business degree from Southern Methodist University in 1932 and began his career selling insurance. He enlisted during World War II and was a major in the Army’s Quartermaster Corps. In 1945, Miller married Juanita Lewis and joined the agency his father founded in 1919.
Miller’s son credited his father’s focus on quality, service and fairness for building the commercial and residential brokerage into the fifth largest in the country at the time it was sold.
In addition to his son, Miller is survived by two daughters, Patsy Donosky and Jacqueline Stewart, another son, Vance Miller, a sister, Carmen Miller Michael, 15 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.