Jon Hempel, founder of Minneapolis development company Hempel Cos., has died.

Hempel, 47, passed away Thursday, after a three-year battle with brain cancer.

In 2001, Hempel started the real estate company, which has grown to acquire and develop more than $750 million worth of office, retail, hotel and residential properties including the former Macy’s in downtown St. Paul that reopened earlier this year as the Treasure Island Center.

In 2013, Hempel stepped down from operation of Hempel Cos., and his business partner Josh Krsnak took operational control and later acquired the company.

“Jon accomplished an incredible amount in his short 47 years,” Krsnak, Hempel Cos.’ chief executive, said in a statement Monday. “He started five companies and acquired, developed, or redeveloped over 80 properties. He left his mark wherever he went. Jon defined optimism and was the most courageous person I knew. To honor Jon’s wishes and to commemorate his vision and tenacity that made Hempel Companies what it is today, we will continue to proudly operate as Hempel Companies and develop meaningful projects throughout the communities that we touch.”

Hempel is survived by his wife Heidi, sons Jack and Eli, and daughter Della. Services will be held at 1 pm on April 18 at Mount Olivet Church in Minneapolis.

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