Company History

StudebakerAfter Ernie Goble was honorably discharged from service after World War II, he moved back to California with his wife in search of business opportunities. Since car parts were rare just after the war, Ernie began to collect parts from gas stations in the bed of his Studebaker pickup truck. He resold those parts to other gas stations who found some value in other peoples’ junk, and started what was essentially a mobile junkyard.

With a loan from a lifelong friend, Ernie made his first real estate investment with an interest in a San Jose wrecking yard. Before long, he paid back the loan and bought the remaining interest in the junkyard. As time went on, he purchased and sold several junkyards in the San Jose area.

Junkyard officeOne day in the mid 50’s, a good customer came to the junkyard and offered to rent one of Ernie’s metal sheds. The next month, Ernie was standing ankle-deep in grease and oil pulling parts off an old engine that would likely sell for a buck. The new tenant walked up to him and said, “Here’s your first month’s rent,” and handed him a check for $100.

Ernie looked at his greasy coveralls and calloused hands, work that would earn him a few dollars, and then looked at the check. It didn’t take a genius to figure out the best way to make money.

(Ernie is known for his stories and, just like walking to school in the snow uphill both ways, the details here are likely apocryphal, but the lesson he learned is clear.)

Goble LaneNext thing you know, there’s another shed built on the property. Then another, and another. Over time, most of the 7.5 acre junkyard was converted into workshops and mechanics and light industry. Ernie bought the property next door, and started the process all over again.

As time went on, Ernie would grow Goble Properties to develop more warehouse spaces, commercial units, offices, retail businesses, hotels, mobile home parks, and even laundromats, often buying up run-down properties and transforming them into ideal spaces for small businesses. In the early 1980’s, Ernie’s son Roy joined the company full-time, and took over most responsibilities after two years. They worked side by side for nearly 30 years, and old age didn’t stop Ernie from continuing to work until he passed away in 2006 at the age of 84.

San Jose OfficeErnie had a depression-era style for handling expenses and overhead. He was a genius at finding new opportunities, and once Roy brought his knowledge of marketing, accounting, and management, they grew the company over the decades. Today, Goble Properties is proud to continue offering exceptional service and fair prices to our tenants, providing service based on the same ideals, professionalism, and common sense that the company was founded on.