Legacy Partners CEO W. Dean Henry dies

Developer oversaw creation of nearly 80K units

Legacy Partners CEO W. Dean Henry, who helped grow the Bay Area-based company into a major apartment developer and manager responsible for thousands of units, has died. He was 76.

Henry died on Aug. 8 after a short illness. He became Foster City-based Legacy’s CEO in 2012 and is succeeded by Guy Hays, who will retain his existing role as president.

“Dean was a giant in the real estate industry who leaves a tremendous imprint across a national multifamily portfolio and as a leader who touched every person at Legacy Partners,” Hays said in a statement.

C. Preston Butcher, Legacy’s chairman, called Henry “an icon in the industry.” Henry succeeded Butcher as the firm’s CEO in 2012 after the latter held the post for almost 15 years.

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Henry had concentrated solely on multifamily acquisitions, development, property management and other roles since 1969, the release said. He joined the western region division of Lincoln Property Company, Legacy’s predecessor, in 1973, five years after its inception. Since then, the company has developed more than 78,000 apartments and acquired nearly 12,000 rental units spread across the western U.S., Texas, and Florida, according to its website.

In Legacy’s home region, it owns more than 1,000 completed and under-construction apartments in five properties either by itself or in joint ventures, according to Apartments.com data and title service records. It manages more than twice that number across 14 properties encompassing Silicon Valley, the East Bay, and San Rafael in the North Bay, according to Apartments.com.

Legacy is one of the few companies that owns, manages or develops apartment complexes across much of the Bay Area, with its portfolio spanning 13 different cities north and east of Cupertino in the South Bay. The company has focused its development efforts in the East Bay in recent years, with Henry citing the area’s lower rents and construction costs compared with San Francisco and the Mid-Peninsula as a reason in an interview with the San Francisco Business Times in 2019.

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Legacy Partners' W. Dean Henry with The Verandas (Legacy Partners, The Verandas Apartments)
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