Mark Pirtle Obituary: Key Murfreesboro Gateway Area Developer is Dead

Mark Pirtle Death – Mark Pirtle, charity and successful commercial real estate developer in Murfreesboro is Dead. Pirtle passed away Monday night at the age of 70. The former executive editor and general manager of The Daily News Journal in Murfreesboro, Mike Pirtle, who is his brother, claimed that funeral plans are still being made.

According to John Harney, a friend and business colleague for more than 35 years, Mark Pirtle had a prosperous career as a vehicle dealer, including in Murfreesboro and Shelbyville, as well as commercial real estate development in various sites in Middle Tennessee.

But more so in the real estate development business, Harney said, “Mark was an excellent entrepreneur in the automotive business.” “To me, he was like a brother. He was an excellent dude.”

According to Harney, Pirtle had the foresight to develop a sizable chunk of the commercial property in the city’s Gateway neighborhood off Medical Center Parkway that encircles Ascension Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital.

Harney recalls Mark Pirtle competing with two other developers—a national and a regional one—around 2005 to purchase the Medical Center Parkway land in order to create a Class A corporate office complex, as recommended by the Murfreesboro Gateway Commission to the City Council.

Pirtle informed city officials that he and his partners would begin construction in three months, in contrast to the competitors who wanted to begin under the condition that 65% of the office spaces had been preleased.

According to Harney, “Mark and his associates got the agreement to build it.”

What came next was the 92,000 square foot StoneGate Corporate Center, the first and initially the biggest structure in the Gateway area created specifically to draw in white-collar employees. The building was frequently referred to as the “Pirtle Building.” According to Harney, the property was sold to a medical investment firm in December.

Shane McFarland, the mayor of Murfreesboro, also lauded Mark Pirtle for his “vital” work in redeveloping the Gateway neighborhood next to the hospital.

“You can see where Mark was a visionary to go out and try something in that region that had never been done,” McFarland said. “You can look around the neighborhood, especially the Gateway area.” He was able to take charge of a task or a concept, and Mark was tenacious in his pursuit of success.

The mayor admires Pirtle for encouraging others to be successful in business.

McFarland, who owns a home-building company but has never partnered with Pirtle, said that Pirtle was always willing to meet with any young business owner or entrepreneur to exchange expertise and ideas.

McFarland continued, “The nice thing about Mark was Mark was always recognized as a deal maker.

The mayor remarked that Pirtle had consistently remained devoted to McMinnville, where he had grown up and had served alongside McFarland on a bank board.

According to McFarland, “He was really true to his hometown.” Mark, at his core, was a small-town guy who cherished the prosperity of his native McMinnville.

Before being elected to the Murfreesboro City Council in 2006 and becoming mayor in 2014, McFarland already knew Pirtle.

Twenty years ago, McFarland recalled, “Mark was the first person to ever push me to run for city council.” Mark was dedicated to making Murfreesboro a terrific place to live in addition to a great place to run a business.

The mayor stated that Mark Pirtle was renowned for being a kind and humble provider of time and money to non-profit groups, including charities and medical services.

According to McFarland, “He was really an advocate for a number of various organizations around the city.”

For instance, Pirtle and his wife Anita gave land for the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce’s former office, which is located close to the northeast corner of Northwest Broad Street and Memorial Boulevard. Off Medical Center Parkway and Interstate 24, the chamber moved to the Gateway neighborhood. The American Red Cross office at 501 Memorial Blvd. currently operates out of the former building. Before Pirtle redeveloped the major crossroads corner location for commercial offices and retail areas, including for restaurant and banking applications, the property had been a component of an earlier State Farm regional headquarters, according to Harney.

According to Harney, “Mark and Anita were always looking for ways to help the lives of the individuals in their immediate vicinity and deserving organizations, as well as promote our town.” “Mark and Anita were extremely giving to many people and deserving causes.”

Pirtle and Harney met with representatives of a corporate office relocation prospect at a historic log home in the city’s Cannonsburgh Village, a public leisure area that includes a variety of structures from the 1830s through the 1930s. This meeting gave rise to the chamber of commerce idea.

Harney remembers Pirtle remarking, following the discussion, that the community needed to portray a different image in order to draw a company than a log cabin—where the chamber of commerce office was at the time.

Harney said that Pirtle would suggest that we do certain actions and that “he had foresight like that on a lot of times,” adding that Pirtle “would follow through with it.”

The chamber of business has given Mark Pirtle honor that is well-deserved. Before the group presented him a businessman of the year honor and a business legends award, he had served as a past chamber chairman, according to Harney.

By reserving Mark Pirtle’s name for its economic development center, the chamber is paying tribute to him today.

Pirtle was occasionally made fun of for being a small man.

Mark may have been small in stature, but Harney remarked that he had a huge personality. He was among the most upbeat individuals I have ever met.






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