Daniel Klein, 33, President, Klein Enterprises
Daniel (snapped with wife Anna) never expected to return to Baltimore once he left for Boston U (where he attended the same communications school as Bill O’Reilly and Howard Stern). Raised in Mt. Washington by his grandparents, who sent him to the private Park School, he also did a post-graduate year at Pennsylvania’s Mercersburg Academy boarding school, so he has two high school diplomas.
In college, he moved off campus during his freshman year, and a bad experience with the broker motivated him to get a real estate license and do better. He had a ready-made customer base once the rest of his friends were ready to move off campus after their freshman years. He rented more than 50 apartments by the time he graduated in ’04, including one to Anna, with whom he now has two kids. He even rented three in one building in one day after stuffing eight freshmen into the hunter green Lincoln Town Car his grandfather, local developer Phil Klein, had handed down to him.
Having witnessed his grandson’s enjoyment of the real estate industry, Phil recruited Daniel back to the family biz, which Phil had launched almost 50 years earlier. Considering all his grandfather had done for him and the fact that Phil was 86, it was hard to say no, Daniel says. The company had been known for building grocery-anchored centers and some office but branched out while Daniel was in college to work on the 200-unit Village at Odenton Station apartments. Klein Enterprises did all the paperwork but sold the TOD site to Dolben before breaking ground.
Still, that project proved that the company could diversify, Daniel tells us, and 10 years after he returned to Baltimore, he runs the company with his uncle, CEO Michael Klein, who, with 40 years of experience, has taught Daniel the business. They’ve grown the portfolio from 1.7M SF of commercial space to 3M SF, plus 1,000 apartments. It includes a 540k SF build-to-suit for the Social Security Administration (with JBG), the Marketplace at Fells Point (with Dolben), and the 108-unit Townes at Mill Run.
Klein also is breaking ground on another 350 units within 30 days: Winters Run in Harford County and Phase 2 of Pasadena, Md.’s Reserve at Stony Creek, which Klein and Dolben acquired a month ago. And in six months, the company will break ground on a grocery store at its St. Mary’s Marketplace in California, Md.
Above, Daniel and Anna were snapped at a friend’s wedding in Israel earlier this summer—his 15th visit. He tells us he ate hummus and chicken schnitzel every day: “the breakfast of champions.”