By LESLIE COLLINS
October 31, 2012
In 1952, when a young Ross Cascio left his brother Ben’s grocery business for the burgeoning Kansas City real estate market, Northeast Kansas City was a very different place. While things may have changed in the surrounding community, the Victor-Ross commercial real estate name has remained a mainstay not only in Northeast, but also throughout the greater Kansas City area.
Founded in a storefront in the 4600 block of St. John Ave., Victor Ross and Company concentrated on the sale of residential real estate in the Northeast area as well as the Northland, an area that was growing exponentially during the mid 1950s. Sales were good and the company expanded over the years. In 1959, the company relocated to a new building at 6001 Independence Ave., the site of the present day Family Dollar store.
Commercial real estate and insurance became part of the services offered by the growing company. It was during this time that Ross, intrigued by an ad campaign for Dodge cars in which potential buyers were encouraged to buy from the “guys in the white hats,” adopted what was to become his trademark for almost 50 years. Cascio’s trademark? A white necktie that signified a personal touch the company dubbed “white tie service”, signifying the company’s commitment to personal service in which every deal is good for both the buyer and the seller.
Cascio’s son Victor G. Cascio joined the business in 1971, and in 1973, the company moved to their present location at 6618 Independence Ave. Victor oversaw the company’s transition from residential real estate to offering only commercial real estate properties for lease or sale beginning in 1978. Since that time, the Victor Ross name has been associated with some of the biggest real estate transactions in Northeast.
“Take a drive down the Avenue between The Paseo and the old Sheffield Steel works and you’d be hard-pressed to point to a building the company hadn’t had a hand in moving or leasing at one point in time or another,” said Victor, president of the company.
Victor will be merging his company with Zimmer Real Estate Services effective Nov. 15 of this year. Victor will assume the position of vice president of sales and leasing. Angela Brassfield, who has been with the company for 13 years serving as closing secretary for five of the last 13 years, will also be making the move to Zimmer where she will serve as a senior administrative assistant. Ross Cascio along with his wife Clarene, who served as comptroller for over 30 years, will officially retire from the business, thus closing one of the longest chapters in Kansas City real estate history. Clarene also served as resident chef, often cooking up stuffed pork chops, her famous tacos or Northeast’s own NuWay burgers for the agents and office staff.
As Victor helped Brassfield clean out the family-owned offices on the Avenue, he said, “This is going to be a great move for the company and it will finally give my mom and dad the chance to officially retire and spend more time relaxing instead of worrying about the day-to-day operation of the company they built from scratch.”