Real estate’s richest get richer on Forbes’ billionaire list

Donald Bren, Stan Kroenke, Andrew Beal crack top 100, Trump left off for first time in 25 years

(Getty Images, iStock)
(Getty Images, iStock)

Despite a pandemic that caused general havoc for the rest of us, the world’s richest grew $500 billion richer over the past year, upping the ante for a spot on Forbes’ annual ranking of the 400 wealthiest Americans.

Those who made the list included tech titans, hedge funders, retail giants and, of course, real estate moguls.

Warren Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices is just one part of his vast investing empire, led the pack in 8th place, with a net worth of $102 billion, up from $73.5 billion last year.

Blackstone’s Stephen Schwarzman was next, with a net worth of $37.4 billion, up from $19.1 billion. That secured him 19th place on the list. Carl Icahn, who made part of his fortune shorting malls, took 43rd place, with a net worth of $16.6 billion.

Donald Bren, the first strictly real estate mogul to come up on the list, was once again crowned America’s richest property baron. His $16.2 billion fortune was up from last year’s $15.3.

Stan Kroenke, credited as both a real estate and sports mogul, ranked 70th with a net worth of $10.7 billion, up from $8.3 billion last year. Kroenke founded Kroenke Group in 1983, a real estate development firm that has built shopping centers and apartment buildings. He’s also married to Walmart heiress Ann Walton-Kroenke (83rd on the list).

AirBnB CEO and co-founder Brian Chesky also saw his net worth jump from $3.1 billion last year to $12.5 billion. That secured Chesky 57th place on the list. AirBnB’s other co-founders, Joe Gebbia and Nathan Blecharczyk, also made the list, though a bit further down, with net worths of $10.8 billion and $10 billion, respectively.

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Philip Anschutz, who partially built his fortune investing in oil, railroads and real estate, scored 66th place on the list with a net worth of $10.8 billion.

Beal Financial Corporation founder Andrew Beal, who made part of his wealth investing in distressed assets, also saw his net worth increase from $7.6 billion to $9.9 billion.

Mat Ishbia, president and CEO of Michigan-based mortgage lender United Wholesale Mortgage, now UWM Holdings, is new to the list. With a net worth of $8.3 billion, he claimed the 102nd spot. Ishbia was tied with, among a few other billionaires, Related Companies chairman Stephen Ross. Ross’ $8.3 billion net worth was up from $7.2 billion last year.

Sun Hongbin, the founder and chairman of Sunac China Holdings — one of China’s largest real estate developers — was also new to the list. His $6.9 billion earned him the 134th spot.

Blackstone’s Jonathan Gray’s $7.4 billion claimed him the 120th spot on the list. His net worth nearly doubled from $3.9 billion last year. Neil Bluhm, who owns 900 North Michigan Avenue and the Ritz Carlton in Chicago, saw his net worth increase from $4 billion last year to $6.4 billion this year.

Not everyone saw an influx of cash this year. Donald Trump, whose net worth was assessed by Forbes at $2.5 billion, fell $400 million short, failing to make the list for the first time in 25 years.

Other real estate tycoons who did make the list were Leonard Stern (6.2 billion); Edward Roski Jr. ($6.1 billion); John A. Sobrato ($6.1 billion); Sam Zell ($6 billion); Ray Lee Hunt ($5.7 billion); Karen Pritzker ($5.7 billion); Jeff Greene ($5.1 billion); Ted Lerner ($4.7 billion); Igor Olenicoff ($4.7 billion); Tom Pritzker ($4.5 billion); Barry Sternlicht ($4.5 billion); Rick Caruso ($4.3 billion); Robert Rowling ($4.3 billion); Ty Warner ($4.3 billion); Richard LeFrak ($3.9 billion); Donald Sterling ($3.9 billion); Bernard Francis Saul II ($3.8 billion); Roger Wang ($3.8 billion); John Catsimatidis ($3.7 billion); Charles Cohen ($3.6 billion); Jay Paul ($3.6 billion); Jerry Speyer ($3.6 billion); Herb Simon ($3.4 billion); Steve Wynn ($3.3 billion); Ross Perot Jr. ($3.2 billion); Jeff Sutton ($3.1 billion); Mortimer Zuckerman ($3 billion); Jane Goldman ($2.9 billion).

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