Top Five Wealthiest Real Estate People in US
1. Donald Bren, chairman of Irvine Company, is worth $14B, far outpacing other real estate billionaires on Forbes annual list of the wealthiest people. His real estate development company is focused in California and has a portfolio of over 100m sf of 480 office buildings, 41 retail centers, 125 apartment communities, three hotels, marinas, and golf clubs. The former Marine Corps officer also does a lot of charity focused on land preservation and conservation and education and research.
2. Richard LeFrak and his family, which have a net worth of $5.6B, run LeFrak Organization, a real estate firm launched in 1901 by Richard’s grandfather. The New York-based company and its affiliates have a portfolio of over 400 buildings in New York, Los Angeles, and the London metro areas. Big projects include LeFrak City in Queens, renovation of the Gansevoort Hotel in Miami, Battery Park City in Manhattan, and Newport.
3. Stephen Ross, with net worth of $4.8B, is chairman and founder of New York-based Related Companies. The former lawyer launched the company in 1972 and developed over $22B in real estate. Some of the company’s big projects include the $15B Hudson Yards and Hunter’s Point South, the largest affordable housing complex in NY since the 70s. He’s also the owner of the Miami Dolphins and Sun Life Stadium.
4. Leonard Stern, whose net worth is $3.8B, joined the family’s Hartz Mountain Pet Products in 1959 and began buying up land. He sold the pet business in 2000 but kept the real estate. The company owns over 38M sf of commercial and residential property in NY, NJ, and Chicago. The active philanthropist has given $30M to NYU; helped publish a book on the history of anti-semitism; and founded Homes for the Homeless. He’s also building culinary schools at shelters for homeless women.
5. Ted Lerner has net worth of $4B that all started with $250 he borrowed from his wife to start he real estate company. He built shopping malls in the DC suburbs; and now owns 20M sf of commercial and retail space, plus hotels and 7,000 apartments. His family and the team foundation have given millions to Children’s National Hospital in DC, a health and wellness center at GW, and a sports center at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He’s also majority owner of the Washington Nationals.