October 15, 2014 on 8:24 pm | In Bravo, Fascinating Information, Funny...Money, Historic Properties, Statistics, Uncategorized, Winning Properties, World | 1 Comment

edited by Jodi Summers

Looking at Forbes’ billionaire statistics country-by-country, you’ll be satisfied to know that the United States boasts 29 real estate billionaires > more than any other individual nation. China has the second highest number of the property-rich at 21, followed closely by Hong Kong, with 18 real estate billionaires. We siphoned through the top 1,000 billionaires and found seven property tycoons living in California. Over the next few months, we’ll share them all with you. We start with

#60 Donald Bren

Net Worth: $16 Billion

Chairman, Irvine Company

Age: 82

Source Of Wealth: real estate, Self Made

Residence: Newport Beach, CA

Citizenship: United States

Marital Status: Married

Children: 7

Education: Bachelor of Arts / Science, University of Washington

Donald Bren on Forbes Lists:

  • #69 Billionaires
  • #30 in United States
  • #69 in 2013
  • #27 Forbes 400

Meet Donald Bren, the wealthiest real estate developer in the U.S. If you follow him on the Forbes billionaire list, you’ll notice he continues to get richer thanks to Southern California’s rising property values. His Irvine Co. holds a vast portfolio of commercial and residential properties–including about 50,000 apartments, 40 million square feet of office space, and 8 million square feet of retail in Orange County, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Silicon Valley, plus three golf clubs and five marinas…and Chicago’s Hyatt Center and UBS Tower (of which the Irvine Co. is an investor).

Bren attended the University of Washington on a skiing scholarship, and then joined the Marines. In 1958 he built his first house with a $10,000 loan. In 1977, Bren and several partners bought Irvine Co. – founded in 1864 – for $337 million. He became the firm’s sole shareholder in 1996.

A noteworthy philanthropist, Bren has endowed 87 chairs and contributed millions of dollars to California’s universities. Bren can be attributed to the development of the University of California at Irvine’s law school and its School of Information and Computer Sciences, which bears his name, as well as at Santa Barbara where he helped establish the Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management. He also preserved 52,000 acres of the original 93,000-acre Irvine Ranch as permanent open space.

“My dream is that The Irvine Ranch will be known and celebrated as much for what is not developed here — the sweeping expanse of beautiful and valuable open space — as it is for the outstanding communities we have planned and built offering an unparalleled quality of life.”



September 30, 2014 on 1:59 pm | In Bravo, Fascinating Information, Funny...Money, New Developments, Office Fodder, Uncategorized, Winning Properties | 1 Comment

by Jodi Summers

All totaled, California has 111 billionaires – more than any other state. Indeed, if the Golden State were its own country, it would be tied with Russia for third-most billionaires in the world, behind only the United States and China.

More than one-third of California’s billionaires are in tech, focused in Silicon Valley. San Francisco has 20 billionaires alone, second in U.S. cities only to New York City’s 66. Palo Alto, Calif. ranks eighth among U.S. cities with nine billionaires, and Woodside, Calif. is tied for 10th with eight. In total, California billionaires personally hold assets worth $485 billion, more than the entire GDP of all but 24 countries in the world.

There are seven billion dollar property tycoons living in California, many of them built their portfolio developing business properties. Over the next few months, we’ll share them all with you….but for now, here’s the list…

Rank Name Net Worth Age Source Country of Citizenship
#60 Donald Bren $15.8 B 82 real estate U.S.A.
#328 John A. Sobrato & family $4.8 B 75 real estate U.S.A.
#443 Edward Roski Jr $3.8 B 75 real estate U.S.A.
#755 George Argyros $2.4 B 77 real estate, investments U.S.A.
#820 Richard Peery $2.2 B 75 real estate U.S.A.
#960 John Arrillaga $1.9 B 76 real estate U.S.A.
#996 Donald Sterling $1.9 B 78 real estate U.S.A.




September 15, 2014 on 11:41 am | In Bravo, Fascinating Information, Funny...Money, Lights Camera Transaction, Market Snapshot, New Developments, Winning Properties, World | 2 Comments

Edited by Jodi Summersreal-estate-billionaire

Meet the world’s real estate billionaires. As this writing, there were 135 real estate billionaires on the planet – 15 more than last year – according to the 2014 Forbes Billionaires List.

The top 20 real estate moguls are predominantly men settled Asian-Pacific nations – 12 men and 2 women. Seven are from Hong Kong, four from China, two from Singapore, and one from Australia. Three men each from the U.S. and the U.K. round out the covey. The highest ranking Global-Performance-Aggregate-change-in-global-house-prices-Q1 2014woman is Beijing’ Chan Laiwa & family who comes in at 12, followed by countrywoman Yang Huiyan. Remarkably, three of the 20 richest people in real estate are brothers.

A look at the numbers helps explain where all this wealth is coming from. According to Knight Frank’s Global House Price Index, which tracks prices in 53 countries, more than 30 countries saw positive growth. Dubai, China, and Hong Kong had greatest annual rise in home prices, up 28.5%, 21.6% and 16.1% respectively. Given the numbers, it’s not surprising that Asian-Pacific countries are leading the world in terms of property fortunes, with 72 billionaires counting real estate as a major part of their fortunes.

Worldwide, as of Q3 2013, residential property was up 4% from its 2008 peak – and 12.7% higher from the abyss of the global financial crisis. Commercial properties are also faring better. Global office rents up by 3% overall in 2013 according to Cushman & Wakefield research, though the figures vary widely by country.

Country-by-country, the U.S. boasts 29 real estate billionaires, the greatest number of any individual nation. China has the second highest number of the property-rich at 21, followed closely by Hong Kong, with 18 real estate billionaires. As of this writing, the richest real estate tycoon on the Forbes Billionaires list is Lee Shau KeeHong Kong’s Lee Shau Kee, ranking No. 29 on the master list, with an estimated fortune of $22.4 billion. His Henderson Land Development has a stake in Hong Kong’s International Financial Center, and numerous projects on the mainland, including a waterfront area in Shanghai. Although still the wealthiest real estate billionaire, the Henderson head saw his fortune drop by $132.8 M | -0.6% in past year as the city’s real estate sector softened after a hike in property taxes.

The second-richest real estate billionaire is Donald Bren, an American from California. With a net worth of $15.8 billion, Bren’s fortune continues to grow thanks to rising estate prices in California, where he holds the majority of his vast portfolio. Bren’s Irvine Co. owns about Donald Bren50,000 apartments, 40 million square feet of office space, and 8 million square feet of retail in Orange County, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Silicon Valley, not to mention three golf clubs and five marinas. A noted philanthropist, Bren preserved half of the original 93,000-acre Irvine Ranch as permanent open space.

We’ll get into the California real estate billionaires in our next segment.

China’s wealthiest person, Wang Jianlin, is the third-richest person in real estate (No. 61 with a net worth of $15.8 billion). He owns 75 department stores, 85 shopping plazas, 51 five star hotels, and the United States’ AMC theater chain, which he purchased in 2012 and listed on the New York Wang JianlinStock Exchange in December. Wang is a man from humble beginnings. He entered the military and parlayed the government game to become chairman of China’s largest commercial real estate developer, Dalian Wanda Group.

Remarkably, three of the 20 richest people in real estate are brothers: Hongkongers Thomas, Raymond, and Walter Kwok. Their father, Sun Hung Kai Properties founded Kwok Tak-seng, was an early business partner of Lee Shau Kee, real estate’s richest person.

Here’s the list of real estate billionaires culled from Forbes 1,000 richest people.


Rank Name Net Worth Age Source Country of Citizenship
#29 Lee Shau Kee $22.4 B 86 diversified Hong Kong
#60 Donald Bren $15.8 B 82 real estate U.S.A.
#61 Wang Jianlin $15.8 B 59 real estate China
#73 Thomas & Raymond Kwok & family $14.9 B - real estate Hong Kong
#75 Cheng Yu-tung $14.5 B 89 diversified Hong Kong
#90 Robert & Philip Ng $12.8 B - real estate Singapore
#91 Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor & family $12.8 B 62 real estate United Kingdom
#108 David & Simon Reuben $11.3 B 71 investments, real estate United Kingdom
#145 Joseph Lau $9 B 63 real estate Hong Kong
#159 Peter Woo & family $8.4 B 68 real estate Hong Kong
#210 Charles Cadogan & family $6.9 B 77 real estate United Kingdom
#213 Chan Laiwa & family $6.7 B 73 real estate China
#217 Richard LeFrak & family $6.6 B 69 real estate U.S.A.
#229 Harry Triguboff $6.3 B 81 property Australia
#237 Hui Ka Yan $6.2 B 55 real estate China
#242 Walter Kwok $6.1 B 63 real estate Hong Kong
#254 Lin Yu-lin $6 B 78 real estate Taiwan
#256 Kwee brothers $5.9 B 69 real estate Singapore
#267 Stephen Ross $5.6 B 74 real estate U.S.A.
#271 Hui Wing Mau $5.6 B 64 real estate Hong Kong
#276 Yang Huiyan $5.5 B 32 real estate China
#306 Sam Zell $5.1 B 72 real estate, private equity U.S.A.
#328 John A. Sobrato & family $4.8 B 75 real estate U.S.A.
#346 Majid Al Futtaim $4.6 B - real estate, retail United Arab Emirates
#356 Leonard Stern $4.5 B 76 real estate U.S.A.
#359 Lin Rong San $4.4 B 75 real estate Taiwan
#360 Frank Lowy $4.4 B 83 shopping malls Australia
#361 Ted Lerner $4.4 B 88 real estate U.S.A.
#383 Donald Trump $4.1 B 68 Television, Real Estate U.S.A.
#390 Akira Mori & family $4 B 78 real estate Japan
#403 Kushal Pal Singh $4 B 83 real estate India
#443 Edward Roski Jr $3.8 B 75 real estate U.S.A.
#463 Sheldon Solow $3.6 B 86 real estate U.S.A.
#465 Ian & Richard Livingstone $3.6 B - real estate United Kingdom
#468 John Gandel $3.6 B 80 shopping malls Australia
#473 Jerry Speyer $3.6 B 74 real estate U.S.A.
#492 Fredrik Lundberg $3.4 B 63 real estate, investments Sweden
#502 Wu Yajun & family $3.4 B 50 real estate China
#517 Francis Choi $3.3 B 66 real estate Hong Kong
#534 Igor Olenicoff $3.2 B 71 real estate U.S.A.
#542 God Nisanov $3.2 B 42 real estate Russia
#542 Zarakh Iliev $3.2 B 47 real estate Russia
#562 Huang Rulun $3.1 B 62 real estate China
#578 Yitzhak Tshuva $3.1 B 66 real estate Israel
#591 Edward DeBartolo Jr $3 B 67 shopping centers U.S.A.
#595 Alfred Taubman $3 B 90 real estate U.S.A.
#602 Samuel Tak Lee $3 B 75 real estate Hong Kong
#621 Eddie & Sol Zakay $2.9 B 63 real estate United Kingdom
#626 Alexandra Schorghuber $2.9 B 56 real estate Germany
#661 Ty Warner $2.7 B 69 real estate, plush toys U.S.A.
#669 Tong Jinquan $2.7 B 59 real estate China
#670 Jeff Sutton $2.7 B 54 real estate U.S.A.
#692 Jeff Greene $2.6 B 59 real estate, investments U.S.A.
#713 Neil Bluhm $2.6 B 76 real estate U.S.A.
#722 John Whittaker $2.5 B 72 real estate United Kingdom
#737 Mortimer Zuckerman $2.5 B 77 real estate, media U.S.A.
#755 George Argyros $2.4 B 77 real estate, investments U.S.A.
#760 Raj Kumar & Kishin RK $2.4 B 60 real estate Singapore
#764 Edwin Leong $2.4 B 62 real estate Hong Kong
#774 Henry Fong Yun Wah $2.4 B 89 real estate Hong Kong
#775 Manuel Jove $2.4 B 73 real estate Spain
#785 Herbert Simon $2.3 B 79 real estate U.S.A.
#794 Wang Wenxue $2.3 B 47 real estate China
#812 Bahaa Hariri $2.3 B 48 real estate, investments, logistics Lebanon
#820 Richard Peery $2.2 B 75 real estate U.S.A.
#827 Jorge Perez $2.2 B 64 condos U.S.A.
#865 Mangal Prabhat Lodha $2.2 B 58 real estate India
#874 Brad Kelley $2.1 B 57 tobacco U.S.A.
#884 Cai Kui $2.1 B 51 real estate China
#897 Nadhmi Auchi $2.1 B 77 real estate United Kingdom
#898 Carlo Fidani $2.1 B 59 real estate Canada
#919 Chandru Raheja $2 B 73 real estate India
#927 Or Wai Sheun $2 B 63 real estate Hong Kong
#932 Huang Wei $2 B 54 real estate China
#938 Thongma Vijitpongpun $2 B 56 real estate Thailand
#960 John Arrillaga $1.9 B 76 real estate U.S.A.
#966 Zhang Li $1.9 B 61 real estate China
#980 Mitchell Goldhar $1.9 B 53 real estate Canada
#987 Li Sze Lim $1.9 B 57 real estate Hong Kong
#988 Miloud Chaabi $1.9 B 85 diversified Morocco
#993 Stanley Perron $1.9 B 91 property, retail Australia
#996 Donald Sterling $1.9 B 78 real estate U.S.A.

Billion Dr. Evil



August 29, 2014 on 6:14 pm | In Bravo, Fascinating Information, Funny...Money, Uncategorized, World | 1 Comment

moneybagsEdited by Jodi Summers

These days it seems like becoming a billionaire isn’t as difficult as it used to be. Forbes billionaires list 2014 features 268 newcomers, resulting in a record 1,645 billionaires on earth with an aggregate net worth of $6.4 trillion.

Forbes tallies that roughly two-thirds of the billionaires built their own fortunes, 13% inherited them and 21% have been adding on to fortunes they received.

Thanks to the tech boom, and strong stock market, the U.S. once again leads the world with 492 billionaires, followed by China with 152 and Russia with 111. Algeria, Lithuania, Tanzania and Uganda all debut on the list, and fir the first time an African – Aliko Dangote – of Nigeria, has broken into the top 25. Turkey lost 19 billionaires due to soaring inflation, a sagging stock market and a declining value in its currency. Indonesia, whose currency tumbled 20% Forbes-billionaires - Carlos Slim Heluagainst the dollar, now has 8 fewer ten-figure fortunes. Altogether 100 people dropped out of the ranks, while another 16 passed away.

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is the year’s biggest gainer. His fortune more than doubled growing from $15.2 billion, to $28.5 billion, as shares of his social network soared. New Facebook billionaires include the company’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg, and longtime vice president Jeff Rothschild. Also, thanks to a $19 billion deal (including restricted stock) with Facebook, WhatsApp founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton join the ranks of Silicon Valley’s wealthiest for the first time. In total, 26 newcomers to the list made their fortunes come from technology, 10 of whom are American, including Dropbox CEO Drew Houston and Workday cofounder Aneel Bhusri. Other notable newcomers include World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Vince McMahon, fashion king Michael Kors and Denise Coates of UK online betting firm Bet365.

Here is Forbes 2014 list of the 60 richest people in the world.

Rank Name Net Worth Age Source Country of Citizenship
#1 Carlos Slim Helu & family $82.8 B 74 telecom Mexico
#2 Bill Gates $80.9 B 58 Microsoft U.S.A.
#3 Warren Buffett $67.3 B 83 Berkshire Hathaway U.S.A.
#4 Amancio Ortega $62.2 B 78 retail Spain
#5 Larry Ellison $51.4 B 70 Oracle U.S.A.
#6 Charles Koch $41.9 B 78 diversified U.S.A.
#6 David Koch $41.9 B 74 diversified U.S.A.
#8 Christy Walton & family $37.6 B 59 Wal-Mart U.S.A.
#9 Liliane Bettencourt & family $37 B 91 L’Oreal France
#10 Jim Walton $35.2 B 66 Wal-Mart U.S.A.
  1. Robson Walton
$34.8 B 70 Wal-Mart U.S.A.
#12 Alice Walton $34.8 B 64 Wal-Mart U.S.A.
#13 Li Ka-shing $34.2 B 86 diversified Hong Kong
#14 Sheldon Adelson $33.2 B 81 casinos U.S.A.
#15 Mark Zuckerberg $33 B 30 Facebook U.S.A.
#16 Michael Bloomberg $32.9 B 72 Bloomberg LP U.S.A.
#17 Stefan Persson $32.7 B 66 H&M Sweden
#18 Bernard Arnault & family $31.9 B 65 LVMH France
#19 Larry Page $31.3 B 41 Google U.S.A.
#20 Jeff Bezos $31.2 B 50 U.S.A.
#21 Sergey Brin $31.1 B 41 Google U.S.A.
#22 Michele Ferrero & family $27 B 89 chocolates Italy
#23 Carl Icahn $26.4 B 78 investments U.S.A.
#24 David Thomson & family $24.5 B 57 media Canada
#25 Aliko Dangote $24.4 B 57 cement, sugar, flour Nigeria
#26 Mukesh Ambani $23.2 B 57 petrochemicals, oil & gas India
#27 George Soros $23 B 84 hedge funds U.S.A.
#28 Jorge Paulo Lemann $22.6 B 75 beer Brazil
#29 Lee Shau Kee $22.4 B 86 diversified Hong Kong
#30 Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud $22 B 59 investments Saudi Arabia
#31 Steve Ballmer $22 B 58 Microsoft U.S.A.
#32 Len Blavatnik $21.6 B 57 diversified U.S.A.
#33 Dieter Schwarz $21.1 B 74 retail Germany
#34 Harold Hamm $21 B 68 oil & gas U.S.A.
#35 Forrest Mars Jr $20.4 B 83 candy U.S.A.
#35 Jacqueline Mars $20.4 B 74 candy U.S.A.
#35 John Mars $20.4 B 78 candy U.S.A.
#38 Leonardo Del Vecchio $19.4 B 79 eyeglasses Italy
#39 Phil Knight $19.2 B 76 Nike U.S.A.
#40 Dilip Shanghvi $19.1 B 58 pharmaceuticals India
#41 Michael Dell $19.1 B 49 Dell U.S.A.
#42 Alisher Usmanov $19 B 60 steel & mining, telecom, investments Russia
#43 Theo Albrecht Jr & family $18.5 B 63 Aldi, Trader Joe’s Germany
#44 Michael Otto & family $18.4 B 71 retail, real estate Germany
#45 Abigail Johnson $18.1 B 52 money management U.S.A.
#46 Gina Rinehart $17.8 B 60 mining Australia
#47 Lui Che Woo $17.8 B 84 casinos Hong Kong
#48 Masayoshi Son $17.7 B 57 internet, telecom Japan
#49 Mikhail Fridman $17.2 B 50 oil, banking, telecom Russia
#50 Susanne Klatten $17.2 B 52 BMW, pharmaceuticals Germany
#51 Charles Ergen $16.9 B 61 Dish Network U.S.A.
#52 Luis Carlos Sarmiento $16.8 B 81 banking Colombia
#53 Viktor Vekselberg $16.7 B 57 metals, energy Russia
#54 Laurene Powell Jobs & family $16.6 B 50 Apple, Disney U.S.A.
#55 Paul Allen $16.3 B 61 Microsoft, investments U.S.A.
#56 Azim Premji $16.2 B 69 software India
#57 Anne Cox Chambers $16.2 B 94 media U.S.A.
#58 German Larrea Mota Velasco & family $16.1 B 60 mining Mexico
#59 Joseph Safra $16 B 75 banking Brazil
#60 Donald Bren $15.8 B 82 real estate U.S.A.


Get the full list @

Charlie Chaplin billionaire quote





July 30, 2014 on 8:30 am | In Bravo, Fascinating Information, Investment Opportunities, Market Snapshot, Office Fodder, Trends, Uncategorized | No Comments

by Jodi Summers

Bravo! 2014 is the year that Los Angeles area office vacancy rates drop below the 15% threshold for the first time since the Great Recession. This is absolutely fabulous because the Los Angeles office real estate market has been in neutral for the previous four years. All the experts are predicting better days for the Los Angeles office real estate market…

◆ Employment Forecast: In Los Angeles County, the unemployment rate fell to 8.1% in June, down from 8.2% in May and from the year ago rate of 10.0%. According to the Employment Development Department, in June, Los Angeles County added 4,800 jobs. In 2014 L.A. County has created 88,800 jobs – an increase of 2.2%. Office-using employment will grow 2.6% as 26,000 positions are generated.

Long term prospects are also healthy. The most recent Allen Matkins/UCLA Anderson Forecast Survey concludes that goods movement through California’s ports has resulted in real estate developers continuing to be broadly optimistic on the outlook through 2017.

◆ Vacancy Forecast: According to Marcus and Millichap, nearly 5 million square feet will be absorbed in 2014. Thanks to minimal construction, vacancy rates will drop to 14.2%.

◆ Rent Forecast: After a 3.9% rise in 2013, average full-service rents will climb another 3.9% in 2014 to $30.86 per square foot.

◆ Construction Forecast: This year construction will be minimal – 550,000 square feet of office space will come online in 2014, down from 1.2 million sq.ft. in 2013. Of the new office space, some large office renovations are fully leased prior to coming online.

◆ 2014 Los Angeles National Office Market Rank: 5, Up 3 Places. Strong rent gains and high absolute job growth supported Los Angeles’ three-place rise in the ranking.

◆ Investment Forecast: The potential for rising interest rates and an increase in loans coming due should strengthen the office market. Top-tier properties in West Los Angeles – which have nearly recovered from the recession – will remain among the most attractive targets this year.

In the owner/user market, local buyers will target well-located properties on a price-per-square-foot basis. Investors looking for value will think about the San Fernando Valley and Downtown. Average cap rates for Class A properties range from 6% near the coast to above 7% in secondary areas.

For more information please contact Jodi Summers and the SoCal Investment Real Estate Group @ Sotheby’s International Realty – or 310.392.1211, and let us move forward together.



July 15, 2014 on 9:27 pm | In Bravo, Fascinating Information, Green, Office Fodder, Solutions, Trends, Uncategorized, Winning Properties | 3 Comments

by Jodi Summers

Office space has changed drastically in the past decade. Gone are cubicles and forced air. What’s hot are bright and breezy multiuse open spaces which use less square footage than their predecessors. Allow us to share with you some cutting edge concepts in office design.

Google’s stimulating new workspace in Tel Aviv. Google creates environments to allow creative ideas to easily flow.









92% of young professionals interviewed said they would be more inclined to work for an environmentally-friendly company.







Office space abundant in light with inspiring design.
















Three complementary design firms have joined together to share a loft office space.




Shared office or executive office suites.




The office barns the workspace is completely open, without partitions and without hierarchy. Desks and local storage are mobile and a system of power distribution drops power and network down to the desks from over head. It’s unlike any corporate office space that came before it and in fact has many of the characteristics of smaller businesses.








Open office space circa 1923




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