Very few businesses are successful enough to stay open and thrive in a competitive area like the Mile Square. Stack & Stack, however, is one such business. This real estate business knows a thing or two about keeping up with the market and remaining a staple in the community. Plus, longtime Hoboken company is celebrating its 100th year anniversary this year after launching in 1920 — here’s how it has managed to stay around for so long.
The Founding Brothers
The founders of Stack & Stack are none other than the Hoboken born and raised brothers known as Edward M. Stack and William J. Stack. Growing up on Hudson Street, the Stack family was very prominent in the political and business scene in Hudson County for many years. One brother specialized in real estate, while the other had a niche for insurance. Ahead of their time in recognizing Hoboken as a suburb of Manhattan, the duo capitalized on the potential hub for thriving businesses. In 1980, Edward’s children Maurice and William who collectively oversaw the insurance operations and real estate appraisals took over the businesses and continued the Stack & Stack legacy until it was time for the third generation to step into the title of owner in 2010.
The Stack & Stack Legacy
Originally located in a street-level office at 1 Newark Street, Stack & Stack switched gears and planted new roots at 90 Hudson Street in the 1940s. “At first, it was operated out of the first three floors of the building. The insurance, appraisal, and brokerage services were stationed on the ground level, with the real estate services stationed on the second and third floors,” Thomas shares. Later, the company downsized with the official office now located on the second floor handling real estate, appraisal, and tax appeal services.
“The company has always been very well-known in the area and took pride in being active participants in the community. In the early 1980s, Stack & Stack sponsored a Hoboken Seniors Recreational baseball team and went on to play against other staple businesses in town, like the Clam Broth House. Later in 2011, the company made a significant donation to a Hoboken public school fundraiser and sponsored a golf tournament to raise funds,” Thomas told Hoboken Girl.
The Stack & Stack We Know Today
Thomas Stack, the son of William and grandson of Edward, took over ownership of Stack & Stack after the passing of his father, William, and currently holds the title of CEO. With an abrupt transition from employee to owner “the company’s most trusted employee of 23 years, Lisa, provided insight and guidance on the operations that I wasn’t familiar with at the time,” says Thomas. “There was no room for error, I had to think and act quickly on my feet in order to thrive,” Thomas explains, and thrive, he did. It wasn’t long before he knew the business inside and out. With Thomas being the only local tax appeal expert, Stack & Stack has a competitive advantage that keeps them ahead of any new competitors.
Today, the insurance business within the company has been sold separately and Stack & Stack has become a strictly real estate company that offers appraisal and property tax appeal services representing taxpayers and tax authorities. “Stack & Stack has provided support to the Assessors’ office in municipalities for over 30 years and on the plaintiff side, have maintained relationships with lawyers and their firms,” Thomas explains. Stack & Stack’s center of operation is Hudson County and the surrounding counties of Bergen, Essex, Passaic, Union, and Middlesex, NJ. “The company has represented railroads, office building owners, shopping centers, housing projects, income property, industrial property, and more,” says Thomas. You name it, they’ve done it.
In the mid-1980s, the construction industry was at a roadblock and Thomas found himself in need of work. He shares his thoughts during that time, saying, “well, I figured I might as well join the family business and work under my father in some capacity.” Facing the pressure and expectation of living up to your family’s legacy as a third-generation member is enough to make anyone feel next-level anxiety — and Thomas was put to the test the moment he joined. “I went from cargo pants and boots to a suit, tie, and shoes from one day to the next. I was tasked with researching the company’s archives to use as references for appraisals, a process I knew nothing about. My first report took a month to complete, today, my turnover time is simply a few hours,” Thomas shares with Hoboken Girl.
But, all in all, Stack & Stack has been around for a century in the Mile Square — quite the feat. Curious of the secret to its success? “It’s maintaining honesty, integrity, and persistence,” according to Thomas. “It’s about running a transparent business and establishing trust with your clients. Stack & Stack has clients that have been with us for over a decade for two reasons, we get the job done and we’re trustworthy,” shares Thomas.
It’s not every day that a company has the honor of celebrating its 100th year in business and we would be remiss not to tip our hats to Stack & Stack accomplishment as a pillar in the community since 1920.
Know of a long-standing business in Hoboken? Let us know in the comments!
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