Cohen Investments is a real estate investment firm based in Memphis, Tennessee specializing in hotel and commercial property development and management. Cohen Investments has over 50 years’ experience, with holdings in seven states across the Mid-South and in the Northeast.
Cohen Investments was initially founded as Cohen Realty, Inc., a real estate brokerage and insurance firm in 1954 by Stanley M. Cohen in Clarksdale, Mississippi. CEO Eliot Cohen, Stanley’s younger brother, joined the firm a few years later as a sales agent. Cohen Realty soon expanded into residential and commercial sales and development and constructed the one-hundred-unit Country Club Apartments as well as the Executive Plaza office complex in Clarksdale. In the 1970s, Cohen Realty added franchising to its activities, developing three Kentucky Fried Chicken® restaurants in Mississippi, a Stuckey’s® store in Kentucky, and six Popeyes® Fried Chicken restaurants in the state of Alabama. Along the way, they also developed three Holiday Inn®Hotels in Grenada and Sardis, Mississippi and brokered the sale of farmland across three Southern states. In the 1980s, the Cohen brothers began developing Hampton®Inn hotels and BLOCKBUSTER®Video stores. In total, they owned and operated 34 BLOCKBUSTER® stores in Mississippi and Alabama as Leisure Entertainment®LLC, before selling them in 1999. Awards presented to Cohen Investments/Leisure Entertainment® for the BLOCKBUSTER stores were “Retailer of the Year” in 1993 by the Video Software Dealers Association, “Merchant of the Year” at the 1993 Blockbuster Annual Convention, and the 1995 “Marketing Award” and 1997 “Developer of the Year” by BLOCKBUSTER®LLC. During this time, Stanley and Eliot Cohen were also involved in the development of commercial properties in the Memphis area as well as a number of hotels throughout the Northeast and Mid-South. Stanley’s son, Stuart Cohen, joined Cohen Investments in 1999 and the company moved its headquarters to Memphis, TN in 2001 after Stanley Cohen ‘s passing. At present, the company is continuing to focus its efforts on hospitality and commercial development and management.