America’s richest real estate barons

America's richest real estate barons

Irvine Company Chairman Donald Bren is the richest real estate baron in America, with an estimated net worth of $17 billion, nearly six times President Donald Trump’s fortune, according to the Forbes 400 list, which ranks America’s wealthiest people.

President Trump, with a net worth of $3.1 billion, dropped from No. 259 in 2018 to 275 this year in the Forbes 400 list. Donald Trump became the first billionaire president of the United States in January 2017.

The annual Forbes list tracks the 400 richest people in the United States by net worth. ”Amid a year of big gains and big losses, The Forbes 400 richest Americans are worth a record-breaking $2.96 trillion, up 2.2% from 2018,” Forbes said.


SEE ALSO : World’s richest real estate tycoons


The richest real estate barons in America;

1. Donald Bren, 82, California, #32 on Forbes 400 list with $17 billion;

Donald Bren is the United States’ richest real estate baron. Donald Bren’s Irvine Company owns over 115 million square feet of real estate, mostly in Southern California. His empire includes more than 550 office buildings, 125 apartment communities, 40 retail centers, one coastal resort, two hotels, three golf courses, and five marinas.

2. Stephen Ross, 79, New York, #66 on Forbes 400 list with #7.6 billion;

Stephen M. Ross is the Chairman and Founder of Related Companies and formed Related in 1972 and today the company includes approximately 4,000 professionals. Related is one of the largest owners of affordable housing, and has over $60 billion in real estate assets owned or under development, including mixed-use, residential, retail and office properties in premier high-barrier-to-entry markets. Ross is also the owner of the Miami Dolphins. After a decade of planning and construction, a portion of Related Co.’s Hudson Yards on Manhattan’s west side opened to the public in March 2019.

3. John A. Sobrato & family, 80, California, #85 on Forbes 400 list with $6.7 billion;

As founder and principal of The Sobrato Organization, Mr. Sobrato heads one of the most successful real estate development organizations in California. Mr. Sobrato’s career in real estate dates to 1957, when he began selling homes in Palo Alto while attending Santa Clara University.

Sobrato owns more than 75 commercial properties in Silicon Valley and hundreds of acres of land throughout Santa Clara and Alameda counties. We have developed more than 15 million square feet of office and R&D properties, and currently own 7.5 million square feet in commercial space — mostly Class A, mid-rise office buildings. Having developed or purchased more than 10,000 units since our founding, our firm now owns 30 apartment communities totaling 6,700 units along the West Coast.

4. Edward Roski, Jr., 80, California, #119 on Forbes 400 list with $5.3 billion;

President and Chairman of Majestic Realty, Co. and he also is co-owner of the Los Angeles Kings, Los Angeles Lakers, and Staples Center. Founded in 1948 by Edward P. Roski, Sr., Majestic Realty Co. is the largest, privately-held developer and owner of master-planned business parks in the United States.

Majestic has a 83-million square-foot portfolio that includes industrial, office, and retail space, as well as sports, entertainment and hospitality projects.  Headquartered in Southern California, Majestic has regional offices in Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Fort Worth, Las Vegas, Laredo, Phoenix, Portland and Bethlehem, Penn.

5. Sam Zell, 78, Illinois, #119 on Forbes 400 list with $5.5 billion;

Founder and Chairman of Equity Group Investments. The private investment firm he founded more than 45 years ago. He also chairs five companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange: Equity Residential, the largest apartment REIT in the country; Equity LifeStyle Properties, a manufactured home community and resort REIT; Equity Commonwealth, an office REIT; Covanta Holding Corporation, an international owner/operator of energy-from-waste and power generation facilities; and Anixter International Inc., a leading global provider of communications, security, and wire and cable products.

Sam Zell also founded and chaired Equity Office Properties Trust, the largest office REIT until its 2007 sale for $39 billion in the largest leveraged buyout at the time. In addition, he introduced the first Brazilian and Mexican real estate companies, respectively, to the New York Stock Exchange through Equity International, a second private investment firm he founded to focus on real estate-related businesses in emerging markets.

6. Ted Lerner & family, 94, Maryland, #128 on Forbes 400 list with $5.1 billion;

Founder of Lerner Enterprises. Lerner has been at the forefront of commercial real estate in the Washington area for over 60 years. Founded by Theodore N. Lerner in 1952, Lerner is a best-in-class real estate developer and property manager, with a diverse, award-winning portfolio of office, residential, retail, hospitality and mixed-use properties.

7. Leonard Stern, 81, New York, #144 on Forbes 400 list with $4.8 billion;

Chairman and CEO of Hartz Mountain Industries, Inc. Hartz Mountain Industries, Inc. is one of the largest private owners of commercial real estate in the U.S.

His Hartz Mountain firm operates a portfolio of more than 260 properties primarily in the New York/Northern New Jersey area, representing more than 45 million square feet of residential, office, hotel and industrial properties.

8. Sheldon Solow, 91, New York, #148 on Forbes 400 list with $4.6 billion;

Sheldon Solow risked everything in 1972 to build 9 West 57 Street in New York City, the tower that’s known for its unobstructed views of Central Park. Its current tenants include KKR, Apollo Global Management, Tiger Global Management and Chanel. His son Stefan Soloviev (who uses an older spelling of the family name) now runs Solow Building Co. alongside his dad and is in line to take over.

9. Igor Olenicoff, 77, Florida, #159 on Forbes 400 list with $4.3 billion;

Founder of Olen Properties. Olen Properties owns and manages over 8 million square feet of commercial space in California, Florida and Illinois, from high-rise office buildings to industrial warehouse suites and 15,000 residential units in California and four other U.S. states.

10.  Rick Caruso, 60, California, #168 on Forbes 400 list with $4.2 billion;

Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Caruso. Caruso started his career as a real-estate lawyer in the corporate finance department of one of the nation’s largest law firms.

Caruso is a privately owned, industry-renowned company that blends best-in-class real estate with five-star hospitality to create a timeless collection of luxury destinations, featuring town centers, residences, offices, street-front retail, and a world-class resort.

Rosewood Miramar Beach, Caruso’s five-star beachfront resort, opened in Montecito

11. Richard LeFrak & family, 74, New York, #179 on Forbes 400 list with $4.1 billion;

Richard LeFrak became CEO of the LeFrak Organization in 2003 when his father Sam died.The father-son team transformed the business, which started in France in 1883, into one of the largest real estate developers in the New York area.

LeFrak affiliates own and manage an extensive portfolio of real property concentrated in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area, as well as South Florida, Los Angeles and throughout the West Coast. Although the compay focuses on the residential and office sectors, LeFrak affiliates also invest in numerous hospitality and retail assets.

12. Jeff Sutton, 59, New York, #179 on Forbes 400 list with $4.1 billion;

Jeff Sutton is the Founder and president of Wharton Properties, a commercial real estate company. Wharton Properties has successfully procured and re-positioned various marquee properties throughout New York City.

As a major force in the real estate community, Wharton has changed the landscape of many of the major streets in New York including the gold coast of Fifth Avenue, Times Square, 34th Street, SOHO and the Fulton Street Mall in Brooklyn to name a few.

13. Jerry Speyer, 79, New York, #187 on Forbes 400 list with $4.0 billion;

Jerry Speyer is chairman of Tishman Speyer. Robert V. Tishman and Jerry Speyer founded Tishman Speyer Properties, a privately held limited partnership in 1978.

Tishman Speyer has acquired, developed and operated 406 projects. These projects total over 167 million square feet and form the backbone of our global real estate portfolio of US $88 billion in total value across the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia.

14. Neil Bluhm, 81, Illinois, #195 on Forbes 400 list with $3,9 billion;

Real estate tycoon Neil Bluhm is the owner of marquee Chicago properties like 900 North Michigan and the Ritz Carlton. Bluhm also owns successful casinos like the Rivers Casinos near Chicago and Philadelphia’s SugarHouse Casino. He co-founded JMB Realty and is a managing director for Walton Street Capital.

15. Jeff Greene, 64, Florida, #195 on Forbes 400 list with $3,9 billion;

President,CEO and founder of Florida Sunshine Investments. Florida Sunshine Investments was founded in 2010. The Company invests in commodity contracts, tax liens, venture capital companies, and other miscellaneous investing. The company also manages apartment buildings and commercial properties throughout the United States.

Jeff Greene became a billionaire by buying credit default swaps on subprime mortgage-backed bonds as housing crashed. Most of his fortune is now held in equities and other investments plus real estate in Los Angeles and Palm Beach.

16.  Ben Ashkenazy, 50, New York, #207 on Forbes 400 list with $3,8 billion;

CEO and Chairman of Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation. Headquartered in New York City, Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation is a private real estate investment firm focusing on retail, hotel and office assets. Ashkenazy Acquisition has acquired over 15 million square feet of real estate, located throughout the United States and Canada . With a portfolio containing more than 100 buildings valued at $12 billion, Ashkenazy Acquisition has a superior performance history in purchasing and managing premier assets.

17. Donald Sterling, 85, California, #207 on Forbes 400 list with $3,8 billion;

Donald Sterling, born Donald Tokowitz to Jewish immigrants, built a fortune largely by buying down-at-the-heels apartment buildings in Los Angeles. Sterling owned the Los Angeles Clippers for 33 years; his wife Shelly sold in 2014 after a tape of his racist remarks to then-mistress surfaced. The Chicago-born billionaire bought the Clippers in 1981 for $12.5 million when the team was based in San Diego. It was sold for $2 billion.

18. Charles Cohen, 67, New York, #239 on Forbes 400 list with $3,5 billion;

Cohen Brothers Realty Corporation operates as a private real estate development and management firm. The Firm provides architecture and design services to the properties they manage.

19. Jay Paul, 72, California, #239 on Forbes 400 list with $3,5 billion;

Silicon Valley real estate developer Jay Paul builds and leases office space to big tech firms, including Hewlett-Packard, Amazon and Apple. His privately held Jay Paul Co. developed some 11 million square feet of office space and is planning 6 million more, mostly in Sunnyvale, California.

20. Allan Goldman, 76, New York, #250 on Forbes 400 list with $3,4 billion;

Real estate investor and co-Chairman of the real estate investment company Solil Management. A family owned and operated real estate investment company has a substantial portfolio of residential buildings and commercial properties in prime locations of NYC. Solil Management owns at least 400 properties across New York City, from retail and office space near Madison Avenue to uptown co-ops.

21. Jane Goldman, 64, New York, #250 on Forbes 400 list with $3,4 billion;

22. Amy Goldman Fowler, 65, New York, #250 on Forbes 400 list with $3,4 billion;

23. Diane Kemper, 74, New York, #250 on Forbes 400 list with $3,4 billion;

24. Herb Simon, 85, Indiana, #250 on Forbes 400 list with $3,4 billion;

25. Donald Trump, 73, District of Columbia, #275 on Forbes 400 list with $3,41 billion;

26. Ty Warner, 75, Illinois, #296 on Forbes 400 list with $2,9 billion;

27. Mortimer Zuckerman, 82, New York, #296 on Forbes 400 list with $2,9 billion;

28. Richard Peery, 81, California, #306 on Forbes 400 list with $2,8 billion;

29. Edward DeBartolo, Jr., 72, Florida, #319 on Forbes 400 list with $2,7 billion;

30. George Argyros & family, Chairman and CEO, Arnel & Affiliates ,82, California #319 on Forbes 400 list with $2,7 billion;

31. John Arrillaga, 82, California, #342 on Forbes 400 list with $2,5 billion;

32. David Walentas, 81, New York, #342 on Forbes 400 list with $2,5 billion;

33. Brad Kelley, 62, Tennessee, #355 on Forbes 400 list with $2,4 billion;

34. H.Ross Perot,Jr, 60, Texas, #355 on Forbes 400 list with $2,2 billion;