Joe Lumer, CEO of WallyPark, Joe’s Auto ParksJoe Lumer, Chief Executive Officer of the L&R Group of Companies in Los Angeles, drowned the last week in December while on a visit to Argentina. He was 62.
Lumer was vacationing with his wife, Esther, in Buenos Aires and did not return from an early morning walk. His body was later found in the Rio de la Plata. Local police said foul play was not involved.
“He was well respected in the industry,” said Charles Bassett, COO of WallyPark, one of the companies that make up the L&R brand. “He will be missed for his leadership skills and vision.”
WallyPark began in 1992 and has grown to 11 locations in seven markets. Most recently it opened a 1,500 car facility at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Lumer was personally involved in the development of the property and the project.
L&R also operates dozens of Joe’s Auto Parks in downtown LA, and recently sold its interests in Network Parking, System Parking and Five Star Parking.
Many thought that “Joe’s” Auto Parks was named after Lumer, but in fact it was named for an uncle who founded the business. The younger Joe Lumer was credited with growing the company from that local business into one of the nation’s largest parking property owners.
After World War II, the family began to purchase vacant lots in downtown LA to create Joe’s Auto Parks. Much of the land has since been developed with offices and condos. There are still 75 Joe’s parking lots in LA.
Beyond his business acumen and his involvement in the parking business, Lumer also had an extreme interest in the Holocaust. He wrote two books on the subject, including “Noah the Water Carrier and Other Stories,” a collection of short stories about Jews and Gentiles living in a small Polish city in the 1930s.
The son of Holocaust survivors, Lumer was born in a displaced persons’ camp in Germany in 1948 and grew up in Berlin. He came to the U.S. when he was 8, first to Detroit and later to California.
After college, he lived in Israel, but returned to Los Angeles and took over the family business when his father became ill.
In addition to his wife, Lumer is survived by three sons, Gilad, Rayee and Nitzan.