Beloved and with a bigger-than-life personality, Marvin “Buzz” Oates was known for his deep faith, patriotism, genius business acumen, unwavering integrity, and commitment to community.
A Sacramentan through and through, he was born, raised and educated here. He earned honors for his bravery and accomplishments in the Air Force, a prelude to his lifelong commitment to giving his all — in business, philanthropy and his personal life.
Oates’s vast business career began with his 1946 launch of A&A Key Shop and its 1951 retail expansion. In the 1960s, Oates found his love for construction, taking particular interest in the tilt-up method that became his signature and that revolutionized the industry. He began in residential construction and moved on to commercial development with Buzz Oates Enterprises, which ultimately became the company Buzz Oates, offering a full range of commercial real estate investment services.
Oates’s indelible mark on Sacramento’s landscape is clear in many notable and iconic projects. Today, his company services a consolidated commercial real estate portfolio of more than 30 million square feet operating throughout the western United States. Oates also partnered to found Five Star Bank, a nationally top-ranked community bank.
Guided by his Christian faith and love of community, Oates’s philanthropy spanned causes from education and homelessness to faith-based organizations and youth and women’s services, with Mercy Multiplied and the Marvin “Buzz” Oates Charitable Foundation continuing his charitable work.
Oates mentored several individuals who continue to lead Buzz Oates today. The company — which has developed more than 1,000 commercial real estate projects over the years — now adds roughly 2 million square feet and $250 million to its portfolio each year. As one of the nation’s largest privately held commercial real estate investment management companies with fully integrated real estate, asset management, property management, development and construction services, Buzz Oates the company is a successful and fitting tribute to Buzz Oates the man.