Banker, Developer Doyle Rogers Dies At 94

by Roby Brock ([email protected]) 185 views 

Doyle Rogers, chairman of the board of Metropolitan National Bank and a highly successful real estate developer and businessman, has died at the age of 94.

Metropolitan Bank CEO Lunsford Bridges said Rogers “died peacefully” in his sleep and was “surrounded by his loved ones.”

“Those of us who have been fortunate enough to know and work with Doyle have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor,” Bridges said. “No words can adequately express our sadness at Doyle’s death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him.”

A Newport native and Batesville resident, Rogers has been the long-time leader of Little Rock-based Metropolitan National Bank and was chairman of the board for the Doyle Rogers Company, a commercial real estate firm. He was renowned for several important skyline contributions to downtown Little Rock. Rogers was the developer for what is now known as the Peabody Hotel and the Stephens Building.

The Peabody was originally the Excelsior Hotel when Rogers developed it. The Stephens Building was previously the Rogers Building before he sold it to the investment group.

In a 2002 Talk Business interview, Rogers described his interest in real estate developments, particularly when exploring out-of-state sites.

“You can tell a lot about a city by its downtown. If it has a vibrant downtown, people care,” he said.  Rogers said that factor was often a big driver in his real estate investment decisions.

Rogers was born in Diaz, Arkansas in 1918. He enrolled at Arkansas State College (now ASU) and was a member of the U.S. Army Air Corps.

In 1941, he married Josephine Raye Jackson and they stayed married for the next 72 years until his death. They had two children – Barbara Rogers Hoover of Little Rock and Doyle W. Rogers, Jr. (Rog) of Little Rock; six grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

In addition to many public service awards and accolades, Rogers was a 2006 inductee in the Arkansas Business Hall of Fame.

Beyond his landmark, visible business contributions, Rogers was involved in many other real estate projects.

His other property holdings include the Colony West shopping center in west Little Rock, the Colony South shopping center in southwest Little Rock and numerous properties throughout the midwestern U.S.  He also owns the seven-story Blass Building in downtown Little Rock. In March 2012, the Doyle Rogers Company and Moses Tucker Real Estate announced a mixed-use $20 million development of the property.

The Doyle Rogers Company has also maintained several long-term business relationships with national companies like Wal-Mart, J.C. Penney, Kroger, Winn-Dixie and Sears.

He bought Metropolitan National Bank, headquartered in Little Rock, in 1983. Today, it is one of Arkansas’ largest banks, with assets of approximately $1 billion and employing more than 430 workers. Rogers is also a stockholder, board member and Director Emeritus of Citizens Bank in Batesville.

Funeral arrangements are pending, according to bank officials.