How to Spot 4 Commercial Real Estate Billionaires: Vision (A 4-part Series)

Photo Credit: Pelican Hill

Of Forbes 100 Richest People in America, we spotted six commercial real estate tycoons, and rich means billions.  So what do we know about a Commercial Real Estate Billionaire?

When the first Commercial Real Estate Billionaire rounds out his wealth at $12B and lives openly in Newport Beach, he’s likely easy to spot.  Heck, if you live in Orange County, there’s a decent chance he built your home.  Following on the wealth-heels of Bill Gates , Warren Buffett, the Walmart Heirs, Bloomberg, and the Google Founders (to name a few), the 21st Richest Person in America is Real Estate Developer Donald Bren.

And yes, he’s had some publicity.  As the Los Angeles Times put it, “Billionaire Donald L. Bren might have lost some privacy, but he won’t be losing any more of his fortune.”  It’s an astonishing consistency apparent in the research of Real Estate Billionaires, they cherish privacy.

So it was unusual that nearly six months ago a verdict was reached concerning a lawsuit brought against Donald Bren by his two adult children.

“Many observers had expected Bren to settle and thus avoid the media attention,” the LA Times insisted, but Bren felt confident in his case and refused to retroactively pay his children an astonishing $400,000 a month in child support, having provided more than $9 million in support already – and the jury sided with him.

So avoiding all but one super-publicized ‘blemish’, how did Bren acquire his astounding wealth without stooping to the commercial endeavors of present public-eye pop-stars or twitter-dramatic athletes?

Let’s hear it from Bren:

“I learned the importance of large-scale, comprehensive community planning ahead of construction, and the public appeal of these true “master planned” communities. If you plan them well and build them to high standards, people will come and stay and love where they live.” (OC Register)

“As master builders, we are blending architectural and planning skills, plus business and financial disciplines, to produce superbly balanced communities.” (Donald Bren’s Executive Bio)

So what’s it take to be the richest Commercial Real Estate Mogul in America?  Vision.

To Bren, Commercial Real Estate isn’t property, but philosophy.

Architect-at-heart, as you’ll learn in our other Billionaire spotlights, is a superbly successful Real Estate trait.  But it doesn’t stand alone, and requires a very specific complement.

Find out what it takes next week in the second installment of “How to Spot 4 Commercial Real Estate Billionaires.”

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