The Richest Real Estate Billionaires On The 2021 Forbes 400 List

Donald Trump may have fallen off The Forbes 400 list of richest Americans this year, but his fellow real estate tycoons have boosted their wealth—both in hot markets (Palm Beach) and those still recovering (New York).

The group of real estate tycoons on this year’s Forbes 400 list of richest Americans is as notable for those who didn’t make the cut as for those who did: Donald Trump, with an estimated net worth of $2.5 billion, fell short of the $2.9 billion cut off to make it into the 400 richest Americans. The former president isn’t the only one to have fallen from the ranks in 2021. Five fellow New York real estate billionaires as well as Silicon Valley developers Richard Peery and John Arrillaga also dropped off The Forbes 400 list. Collectively, the 24 real estate tycoons on this year’s list are worth $122 billion, nearly $4 billion less than the 32 in real estate were worth in 2020.

Despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the delay in workers returning to offices in many cities across the country, America’s real estate barons have gotten wealthier as their prized assets and diversified portfolios recovered from 2020 lows. Outside of Washington, D.C.—where the sole real estate billionaire residing in the capital, Washington Nationals owner Ted Lerner, is $100 million poorer this year—real estate magnates based in cities ranging from New York and Chicago to Los Angeles and Palm Beach have seen their fortunes grow since the 2020 Forbes 400 list.

At the top, Orange County, California-based Donald Bren remains the wealthiest real estate billionaire in the country with an estimated $16.2 billion net worth, nearly $1 billion higher than last year. The biggest gainer is Chicago-based gambling and real estate mogul Neil Bluhm, whose net worth grew by $2.4 billion to $6.4 billion—but that was largely thanks to his shares in publicly traded online gaming outfit Rush Street Interactive. (His luxury retail real assets in Chicago have also done well despite the pandemic.) Click to read more at www.forbes.com.

Here’s Why The Leverage That We Can’t Track Matters

Despite all we hear about asset classes increasing in value across the board and the unprecedented strength of the U.S. economy, as a real estate entrepreneur and former professional trader, here’s what keeps me up at night: I believe we only know part of the story and that the piece we’re missing — our current inability to account for “invisible” or “hidden” leverage can have significant implications for our country’s economic health.

The hitch? We likely won’t know until it’s too late.

In a nutshell, “leverage” is the term for funds that are borrowed (outright or against an asset) with a goal of using those funds for further financial gain. Applied wisely, leverage has fueled wealth and economic growth for centuries; however, as with any debt, when things go south, borrowers can find themselves underwater, financially speaking. This is simply the reality of our economic system.

The risk is amplified when investors leverage assets that are inherently more difficult to track — such as cryptocurrencies, fine art, collectible cars and wine collections — and that are likely used far more often than our economic data shows. Trickier still, this kind of borrowing masks the multiplier effects of risk and debt, and it tends to be prevalent during times like these when we’re feeling optimistic and asset valuations “seem” to be on a never-ending upward trajectory. Click to read more at www.forbes.com.

Real Estate Investors Lay Down in Family Homes

Wall Street businesses are more enthusiastic about buying family homes than ever before. They run the risk of killing their latest Golden Goose if they surge existing supplies rather than helping them build new homes.

Last week, Blackstone Real Estate Investment Trust purchased a portfolio of apartments from insurer American International Group for $ 5.1 billion. In June, the investment company spent $ 6 billion on the Home Partners of America, which owns more than 17,000 homes nationwide and offers lessors purchasing options. Bloomberg reported that private equity giant KKR has launched a new division to buy and rent homes.

Meanwhile, in Europe, real estate investors are increasing their share of the portfolio of investing in residential real estate, and German landlord Vonovia recently launched a € 18 billion acquisition of competitor Deutsche Wohnen. That’s $ 21.2 billion. Click to read more at www.texasnewstoday.com.

REDnews 2021 Houston Commercial Real Estate Forecast Summit

Office Market Update Moderator: Gil Staley-The Woodlands Area Economic
Development Speakers: Robert Cromwell-Moody Rambin; Stephanie Burritt-Gensler; Ryan Barbles-Stream Realty Partners

Takeaway: The pandemic layered more pain on the office market in Houston, following as it did the slump in oil prices and the resulting employee layoffs. The flight to the suburbs from the CBD and indecision regarding co-working space has further muddled the picture and has added to landlord anxiety.

• Houston leads the country in office vacancy rate; hopefully, this year will see a bottoming out and a slow return to absorption
• There is a flight to newness, as most Houston office product was built in the ‘80s to serve that boom in oil
• The CBD and Energy Corridor have suffered the highest vacancy rates, with Uptown Houston also feeling pressure; employees working from home are enjoying freedom from long commutes; elevator and park and drive anxiety has driven the work from home phenomenon mini-boutique spaces in the suburbs as well
• There is a new term spawned by remote working: FOMO, or “fear of missing out” on what is happening within the company; collaboration is a big part of forming resilient company cultures and it is much weaker when working via Zoom
• Landlords are considering increasing ventilation even as Covid fades, but there is only so much humid air one can bring in from the outside in Houston
Click to read more at www.rednews.com.

Tech Adoption Is Key To Organizational Resilience For Property Management Teams

For an industry that relied heavily on in-person interactions, the property management world had to adapt quickly to remote pandemic realities over the past year. The shift to remote work, virtual leasing and the types of communications needed to relay messages to residents all created an urgency in the property management world to find technology solutions that would best help them navigate business disruption caused by the pandemic.

However, the acceleration of tech adoption in property management is not something that starts and stops with a remote reality. Technology was gaining traction before the pandemic, and the acceleration of tech adoption is going to continue to rise, even when our environment starts to feel a little more “back to normal.”

Mineral royalty interests do not possess any liabilities which are present in traditional real estate. These are assumed by the OpCo including environmental, mechanical, and maintenance. Ultimately, if a well is drilled and there is a cost overrun, it is completely irrelevant to the mineral holder and 100% the operator’s responsibility. Click to read more at www.forbes.com.

Real Estate Icon, Gerald D. Hines, Dies at 95

Gerald D. Hines, founder and chairman of Hines, passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, August 23, 2020. The news was announced by his son, Jeffrey C. Hines, who has been running the firm as president, and now assumes the role of chairman and CEO of Hines. Born in Gary, Indiana on August 15, 1925, Hines recently celebrated his 95th birthday. He was widely regarded and regularly honored as a leading CRE visionary. He transformed an entrepreneurial startup, established in Houston in 1957, into an international powerhouse, renowned for developing, owning and managing some of the world’s most recognizable architectural landmarks across five continents. Hines was revered for his ability to enhance urban landscapes and add lasting value to communities through innovative design concepts, intelligent planning, unmatched efficiency, trendsetting features and the highest possible standard of quality. His careful attention to every detail and insistence on integrating the very best materials, systems and operational procedures, set the benchmark for excellence throughout the industry. Most notable was Hines’ belief that memorable design by prominent architects could garner commercial success. This prevailing tenet revolutionized the building industry as well as the quality of commercial building stock in major U.S. cities, and reshaped skylines around the world. Throughout his career, Hines teamed with such renowned architects as Lord Norman Foster; Bruce Graham and David M. Childs of SOM; Gyo Obata; Philip Johnson and John Burgee (15 projects total); I.M. Pei and Harry N. Cobb; Cesar Pelli; Kevin Roche; Robert A.M. Stern; A. Eugene Kohn and William E. Pedersen; Charles W. Moore; Frank O. Gehry; Jon Pickard; and Jean Nouvel, among others. The Hines firm—which now comprises 4,800 employees across 225 cities in 25 countries—has developed more than 907 projects around the world, including 100 buildings over 25 stories, and the tallest office towers in Texas, Kentucky, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Italy. After elevating Houston’s built environment to prestigious art with sustainable function, Hines made his mark across the nation, establishing large local offices in major hubs, including New York, San Francisco, Atlanta and Chicago. From 1996 to 2010, Hines made London his home base, having transferred day-to-day operations to his son, Jeff, who became the firm’s CEO and president in 1990. While abroad, Hines expanded into major western and eastern European markets, securing a footprint that is still growing across the continent. The firm also entered into Asia in the mid-1990s. Significant projects include 53rd at Third, known as the Lipstick Building, New York; 101 California, San Francisco; One Ninety One Peachtree, Atlanta; Three First National Plaza, Chicago; Five Hundred Boylston, Boston; DZ Bank, Berlin; Porta Nuova, Milan; and EDF Tower, Paris. In addition are Houston landmarks, One Shell Plaza; The Galleria; Pennzoil Place; Bank of America Plaza; JPMorgan Chase Tower and Williams Tower. In 2007, David Childs, chairman emeritus of Skidmore Owings and Merrill, said, “Hines’ attention to architecture has been good not only for the profession but also for urbanism, as his unwavering concern for the quality of his buildings extends beyond the plot of land and the frame of the site to the community.” Hines’ bold leadership in sustainability has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Green Building Council, Global Green USA, and similar organizations in South America, Europe and Asia. His respect for the integrity of local architecture and native culture, and his ongoing effort to add public spaces, parks, water features, art and other open amenities as extensions of commercial projects have enhanced the quality of life in numerous communities. “Beyond his significant, impactful career and his pioneering contributions to architecture, sustainability and the built environment, Dad felt his greatest achievement is the team of dedicated professionals who have, and will continue to, carry on his legacy of peerless quality, integrity and innovation,” said Jeffrey C. Hines, chairman and CEO, Hines. Hines graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and later received honorary doctorates from both Purdue and the University of Houston. He was a frequent guest lecturer at major universities and an esteemed speaker at industry events. Hines was the 2002 recipient of the Urban Land Institute’s Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development and is an honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. Among his proudest accomplishments are the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture at the University of Houston and the establishment of the Urban Land Institute’s Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition. Hines is survived by his wife, Barbara, four children, 15 grandchildren and one great grandson. Hines will be laid to rest in a private family ceremony in Aspen, Colorado. A celebration of his life will be held at a future date when it is safe to congregate.