James Winfrey Wilson III, an Alabama business leader whose firm, Jim Wilson & Associates, led some of the state’s most notable commercial real estate developments, has died at age 59.
Wilson died March 11 at his home in Montgomery, according to the company. The cause of death was not disclosed.
Wilson and his brother Will expanded JWA, a company founded by their father, Jim Wilson Jr., who died in 2006.
In the year Founded in 1975, the company began building an average of four shopping centers per year. In the year In 1986, the $300 million Riverchase Galleria, billed as the largest shopping center in the Southeast, came after JWA purchased 58 acres and the Herbert Corporation purchased the 78 acres where the mall now stands.
JWA also developed the Louisiana Mall in Baton Rouge; Eastchaz in Montgomery; and Redstone Gateway Business Park in Huntsville.
The firm has invested in startups and established operating companies, including A&W Enterprises and 42 Equity. JWA also developed two residential communities in Montgomery – Winlax, a 1,000-acre golf course community, and New Park, a 1,000-acre mixed-use development.
Wilson also served on the University of Alabama Board of Trustees, where he was chairman of the athletic committee, and as president of the Alabama Birmingham Hospital Authority.
Wilson graduated from Montgomery Academy and earned a degree in business administration from the University of Alabama, where he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.
In the year After graduating college in 1985, Wilson moved to New York City, worked in commercial real estate at Manufacturers Hanover, and met his wife, Susie Forst. The couple got married in 1987 in Bull, New York.
After the wedding, Wilson went to work for his father.
“Jim was a dynamic leader and influential philanthropist. He has used his time and resources to make life better for many,” the company statement read.
“Jim will be remembered for his unmatched kindness, unfiltered sense of humor and boundless love for his family and friends. Jim was kind, fun, flamboyant and, like his father, an expert in the art of celebration. If you were with Jim Wilson III, you were in for a good time.
Wilson is survived by his wife of 35 years, Susie; two daughters, Lillian Pascale and Wesley Clingman; mother Wynona Wilson; brothers, Elizabeth Hunter, Winston Reese and Will Wilson; son-in-law, Matthew V. Pascal and James F. Klinman IV; and five grandchildren, JW and Nate Pascale, Lucy, Wyn and Fully Clingman.
The funeral will be March 15 in Montgomery.