Jim R. Smith Sr. founded "Smith & Company" in 1964 as its sole owner. The company developed and currently owns more than two million square feet of retail and office properties in Houston. ; Some of the shopping centers include Champions Forest Plaza - a lifestyle center anchored by The Container Store, The Gap, and Sur La Table, Centre at Bunker Hill -anchored by Lowe’s, Costco, and Best Buy, Echo Lane Shopping Center -anchored by Kroger, Loehmann’s, and Walgreen’s, and Nottingham Plaza - anchored by Conn’s and Chair King. Other real estate investments include raw land, construction of single tenant assets for retailers such as CVS, Pier 1, and Starbucks, venture capital investments, and oil and gas exploration. All have marked a successful forty-five years in business. In 1998, Champions Forest Plaza won the prestigious Ernst & Young and Houston Business Journal’s Legacy Award for an outstanding architectural retail landmark. In March of 2001, Jim was profiled in a feature article in the Houston Business Journal as one of the largest retail property owners in Houston.
In July of 2008, Jim R. Smith Jr. left his position as top producer for Staubach Retail to join the family business and add new life to his father’s 45-year-old real estate firm. He brought his ten years of experience as a commercial retail broker to take on the responsibilities of new development, leasing the existing portfolio, and rebranding the company as Smithco Development.