Nevada's Living Legacies: Dermody Properties
Dermody Properties was featured in this month’s issue of Nevada Business Magazine as one of the state’s “living legacy” companies:
When businessman John Dermody accepted the Nevada franchise for the Philco Appliance Company and relocated his family to Reno in 1950, little did anyone suspect that this move would be the catalyst that created a successful industrial development company, Dermody Properties.
Appliances after World War II were like cell phones are today… consumers couldn’t get enough of them. Technology and styles were changing daily. After building a successful appliance business in Northern Nevada, Dermody sold it in 1960, but kept the building and became a landlord. His goal was to slow down. In fact, he moved his family in Europe for a year. But the calm didn’t last, as he turned his attention to real estate in Nevada.
To increase revenue, the State of Nevada, envisioning Northern Nevada as a Western US distribution hub, had passed the Freeport Law in 1949. This law exempted taxation on goods warehoused in Nevada. More significantly, California did not have this law and it taxed goods.
(left: John & Sue Dermody at a Philco Sales Convention, 1952; right: John and Michael Dermody, 1985, at the grand opening of Dermody Properties’ corporate headquarters.)
Soon John Dermody, along with other developers and landowners in the region, seized the opportunity and focused on Northern Nevada as a geographical hub for warehousing and distribution in the Western states. The industry grew quickly, attracting a diversity of companies. Dermody, a charismatic salesman, had soon recruited the first New York Stock Exchange company, Bigelow Carpet, to Reno/Sparks in the early 1960s.
In the appliance business, Dermody had developed strong business networks statewide. It was only natural in 1974, for his company, John A. Dermody, Inc., to bring a public warehousing customer to North Las Vegas, into a building that still stands today.
In 1976 Michael Dermody joined his father’s successful two-man company. Although their careers would take different paths and Michael would buy out his father’s interest in the company in 1990, he and his father would work in the same offices together for more than 30 years.
In 1982, Michael Dermody became president of the company and took it in a broader direction, with what would become a trademark focus on customer service and also speculative development. The company was renamed Dermody Properties to reflect the broader business initiatives.