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Boston's Wealthiest Moguls


Boston's richest people typically have a commercial real estate connection. Using the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans, we tracked down how four of our wealthiest residents have their fingers in the real estate pie.

1. Abigail Johnson


Topping the Massachusetts’ entries on the 400 list is Abigail Johnson, 53, CEO and president of Fidelity Investments, the money management firm started by her grandfather in 1946, and where she’s worked for 27 years. As the nation’s second-largest mutual fund firm (after Vanguard), it has about $1.7T in assets under management. She’s ranked as the 36th wealthiest person (sixth richest woman) in the US with a fortune of $13.3B. Last year, Fidelity sold some of its old buildings near Downtown Crossing to Related-Beal; they'll be renovated to bring more life into the quickly reviving neighborhood. 

2. Ned Johnson


Keeping it all in the family, her father  and Fidelity chairman Edward “Ned” Johnson III, 84, is 63rd wealthiest American with $7.4B in assets. His dad started Fidelity and in ’57 Ned joined as an analyst. Several years later, he took charge of the flagship Magellan fund. By ’77, he was running the firm and grew it into a global powerhouse. The company was Boston’s largest office tenant for many years and a prime mover in remaking the industrial Boston waterfront into a new mixed-use neighborhood. In 2000, it launched the 2.5M SF Seaport Center with The Drew Co -- a convention center, hotel and two office buildings. Now, the redevelopment of its old offices, known as the Block on Congress, will boost downtown’s supply of office and retail space.

3. Bob Kraft


Bob has more to celebrate than the Pats Super Bowl victory. He's No. 130 on Forbes list. Bob, 73, is a self-made mogul with a fortune of $4B from the family-owned Kraft Group’s sports, real estate, and paper and packaging businesses. After graduating from Columbia and Harvard Business School, Bob got his start with his 1972 purchase of paper manufacturer Rand-Whitney. In real estate, Kraft has developed stadiums (including Gillette), airports, housing, offices, labs and mixed-use complexes like the 1.3M SF Patriot Place. If anyone knows a good site for a major league soccer stadium, please let us know. As the owner of the New England Revolution, Bob may be interested.

4. Jim Davis


New Balance CEO Jim Davis, 71, with a fortune of $3.5B is a self-made No. 161 on the 400 list. In 1972, he bought into a traditional New England industry, shoe manufacturing, and grew it into a sports apparel company with an estimated $2.7B per year in revenue. In Brighton, he’s building a new $500M, 14-acre complex: four new city streets, a new 250k SF HQ for New Balance, other offices, restaurants, a hotel and a 300k SF sports facility for everything from ice hockey to tennis. (It's one of several projects transforming the neighborhood.) He’s also developing a hotel in Gloucester.