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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Here’s where California real estate players ranked on Forbes’ billionaires list

Donald Bren topped off the list, which also includes John Sobrato and Rick Caruso
March 22, 2017 11:00AM

From left: Edward Roski, Jr., Rick Caruso, and Donald Bren

No California real estate player landed a top 10 spot on Forbes’ latest billionaires list, but developers with projects on the West Coast held prominent ground.

The richest real estate mogul in the world, in 18th place, is Wang Jianlin of the Wanda Group. Wanda’s U.S. subsidiary is behind the $1.2 billion One Beverly Hills project. With an estimated fortune of $31.3 billion, Jianlin is China’s richest man, and beyond real estate, his company is known for its holdings in entertainment.

The richest real estate mogul in the United States is much closer to home. Donald Bren, of Irvine, California, came in at No. 66. The head of Irvine Company, which boasts ownership of over 115 million square feet of property, was worth an estimated $15.2 billion as of Wednesday.

Next up in California, at No. 224 in the world, is John Sobrato of Sobrato Development Companies. The San Francisco-based developer is worth an estimated $6.4 billion, and owns 7.5 million square feet of commercial space in Silicon Valley.

In 324th place, Edward Roski, Jr. has a fortune estimated at $4.9 billion. His Majestic Realty Company has a portfolio of over 76 million square feet of commercial real estate in Los Angeles, Denver, Las Vegas, and Atlanta. Also a minority owner of the Lakers, Roski played a major role in the development of the Staples Center in Downtown Los Angeles.

Rick Caruso, the developer behind the Grove, came in at No. 474 with an estimated $3.8 billion fortune. He’s followed by landlord Donald Sterling, the controversial former owner of the L.A. Clippers, with a $3.5 billion fortune in 544th place. Bay Area developers Jay Paul and Richard Peery tie for 814th place, each worth $2.5 billion.

East Coast notables who made the list include Blackstone Group’s CEO Stephen Schwarzman, at 112 with a $11.7 billion net worth, Stephen Ross at 186 with $7.4 billion, and Richard LeFrak at 219 with $6.5 billion. [Forbes]Cathaleen Chen