Joseph “Joe” Allen Edens, 78, of Columbia, died Sunday, February 2, 2020. Born in Columbia on July 4, 1941, he was a son of the late Joe Edens and Josephine Beckham Edens. Joe Edens was Founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of EDENS, one of the nation’s leading private owners, operators and developers of retail real estate. The Company has approximately $3 billion invested in approximately 130 retail centers along the East Coast totaling over 16 million square feet. Joe was born in Columbia, SC and has been a life-long resident of Columbia, with the exception of the years he spent in Charleston at the Citadel. Not being able to finish and graduate with his Class of 1963, is the biggest regret of his life; however, he has taken and used daily the benefits he received, and the lessons learned while attending the Citadel. He was President of the Oakland Club and was a trustee of The Nature Conservancy. He was inducted into the South Carolina Business Hall of Fame in May of 2009. Edens served on numerous boards and committees, including the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond for the 5th District, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, South Carolina Department of Parks and Recreations, the Federation Center for the Blind, the Columbia Development Corp., the Eau Claire Development Corp., the Board of Visitors of the Medical University of South Carolina, the C & S South Carolina Bank Board, the National Bank of South Carolina Bank Board and was Chairman of the Republic National Bank. As founding Chairman of EDENS, he entered into the real estate arena as sole practitioner and was his only employee for the first two years. He was involved in commercial real estate for over four decades, beginning as an entrepreneurial developer in the mid-1960s. Edens started his retail real estate development business by packaging his concept of “necessity-retailers” in one convenient location. He developed his first 70,000 square foot grocery-anchored (BI-LO) shopping center in 1967. A successful first venture led Edens to other development and acquisition opportunities as he cultivated solid relationships with other grocers and other retailers. Soon, he was developing and acquiring neighborhood and community retail centers throughout the Carolinas. In 1997, Edens secured a private equity investment of $156 million from the State of Michigan Retirement System to fund additional growth for EDENS. With this initial capital infusion and subsequent investments, the Company actively pursued the acquisition and development of retail centers in targeted markets. In September of 2000, Edens completed a transaction with JPMorgan Investment Management and The New York State Teachers’ Retirement System that placed approximately $250 million of growth capital into EDENS. Edens consistently leveraged an unusual talent for developing strong relationships with retailers. His strategic partnering with capital resources continues to advance the Company, its employees and the communities the EDENS centers serve. Today, the Company’s portfolio consists of neighborhood, lifestyles and power centers, with many located in infill locations in urban markets from Boston to Miami. EDENS is headquartered in Columbia, SC, with regional headquarters in Boston, New York, Washington, DC, Atlanta and Miami. Joe is married to Carolyn Gladdens Edens of Winnsboro, SC. They have three children, Joseph Allen Edens, III, Kimberly Edens Redd (Ernie) and Michael Everette Edens (Cindy); and six wonderful grandchildren, Samuel Joseph Edens, Henry Dixon Edens, Hampton Edens Redd, Michael Everett Edens, Jr., Joseph Manning Redd and Frances Lucille Edens. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Betty Jo Edens. The funeral service for Mr. Edens will be held 11 o’clock, Wednesday, February 5th, at Shandon Baptist Church, 5250 Forest Drive, Columbia, SC 29206. A private burial will follow the service in Greenlawn Memorial Park. The family will receive friends from 5 until 7 o’clock, Tuesday evening at the residence, 1327 Greenhill Road, Columbia, SC 29206. Shives Funeral Home, Trenholm Road Chapel, is assisting the family. The family would like to give a special acknowledgement to his caregivers, Damien McBride, Derrick Coley, Joe Leech, Darrell Maxwell, Giovanni Barrera and Jose Barrera. Memorials may be made to Hammond School, 854 Galway Ln, Columbia, SC 29209. Memories and condolences may be shared at

Posted in: The State

Posted on: 2020-02-04

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