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Kimco Founder, Martin Kimmel, Dies

With a handshake, Mr. Kimmel and his friend Milton Cooper started the Kimco Realty Corporation in 1960. Until the corporation went public 30 years later, the partners never saw a need to formalize their business relationship, Mr. Cooper said Wednesday.

Starting with a “mundane pedestrian strip” on Coral Way in Miami with a Zayre discount store and two other stores, Mr. Cooper said, the company has built a portfolio that now includes about 1,900 properties in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Chile and Brazil — approximately 1,100 of them strip shopping centers. The value of the common stock of Kimco, based in New Hyde Park, N.Y., was $286 million in 1991; today it is about $10.2 billion.

With that first shopping strip under construction, “Cooper and Kimmel quickly learned the tricks of the local real estate game,” a 1998 article in Institutional Investor magazine said. “Kimmel would follow utility trucks to find out where new power lines were being laid,” an early sign of new residential development.

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