DFW’s Wealthiest Real Estate Moguls
Dallas-Fort Worth has its share of wealthy residents and momentous real estate assets. Here’s five local tycoons who struck it rich in the real estate world and have the biggest bank accounts to show for it.
1. Andrew Beal
Banker Andy Beal started Beal Bank in 1988, making its mark in numerous areas including commercial real estate loans during the 2008 global credit crisis. His first real estate venture started in ‘76 buying HUD apartments (with the first one in Waco) and he’s been buying distressed assets ever since. Among the big deals include some $600M the bank loaned Donald Trump for casino bankruptcies. He’s also a proponent of science and engineering fairs, is a Texas Hold‘em champ (winning $10M in Vegas over two days), and while he’s not a rocket scientist, he does own an aerospace company.
No 2. Kelcy Warren
Energy Transfer Partners CEO Kelcy Warren (right with KERA’s CEO host Lee Cullum) made his fortune in the energy business, but his real estate claim to fame involves his last name and Big D’s gamechanging five-acre Klyde Warren Park, which connects Uptown and Downtown Dallas. Kelcy contributed a reported $10M to the Woodall Rodgers deck park project, which was named Klyde Warren Park after Kelcy’s grade-school-aged son. Word is that his son even has to help clean the park once a month.
3. Robert Rowling
TRT Holdings top dog Robert Rowling (between his wife, Terry, and Southwestern Medical Foundation president/CEO Kathleen Gibson) made his money in the oil and gas industry before selling off those assets and reinvesting in Omni Hotels. He’s grown that chain (and developed the downtown Fort Worth Omni) and also owns the Gold's Gym chain. His name will also grace the Robert B. Rowling Hall at the University of Texas in Austin. Robert contributed $25M toward the 458k SF graduate business building, which will be the future home for McCombs School of Business' graduate programs, slated to open in 2017.
4. Ray Hunt
Hunt Oil’s Ray Hunt has spread his wealth among multiple investments, including real estate. Hunt Realty Investments’ assets include the Hunt Corporate HQ, Hyatt Regency Dallas at Reunion, Reunion Tower, Union Station, Reunion land, Hyatt Regency DFW and DFW Freeport Business Park. Ray also owns about 190,000 acres of ranch land. He and his wife are active supporters of their alma mater, creating and funding the Hunt Leadership Scholars Programs at SMU. He was appointed by President George W. Bush to the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board and also serves as chairman of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
5. Ross Perot Sr and Ross Perot Jr
Ross Perot Sr is next on the list, but his son, Ross Perot Jr, isn’t too far behind his old man. Sr made his money in the computer industry, but is also credited with the creation of the master-planned Legacy business park in Plano, home to Pizza Hut HQ as well as Toyota’s future HQ. Sr also helped Jr (center between BNSF economic development director Michael Devine and Freese & Nichols CEO Bob Pence) start Hillwood, which led to the 18,000-acre AllianceTexas industrial airport (and intermodal park) in Fort Worth. Sr’s children contributed $50M toward construction of the $185M Perot Museum of Nature & Science in Uptown Dallas in honor or their parents. Sr and Jr were also both recently named co-winners of the Vision Award from the Urban Land Institute North Texas District Council for their outstanding contributions both philanthropically and professionally within the North Texas Region.