America’s five richest real estate moguls

America’s five richest real estate moguls

Donald Trump

No one could accuse Mr. Trump of not being prepared to blow his own horn, in fact, he even took a stand against Forbes magazine when they included him on their Forbes 400, claiming that Forbes had underestimated his wealth by $4 billion. We hesitate to call it class, but it has a certain flair. Despite nearly losing his shirt in the 1990’s real estate crash, “The Donald,” managed number 117 of this years Forbes 400 with an estimated wealth of $3 billion, although according to the man himself, “I’m worth $7 billion.”

Richard LeFrak

Whilst not showing the same love of the limelight as Mr Trump, Mr. LeFrak ranks alongside him at number 117. His property portfolio includes 5,000 apartments at LeFrak City in Queens, N.Y., 7-million-square-foot-commercial, residential, retail complex in Newport, N.J, the 429-room Westin hotel and 4,500 more apartments and condos. On the board of the American Museum of Natural History.

Brad Kelly

One of the few self made men on the list, publicity shy Brad Kelly is reputed to be buying up Texas as fast as he can lay his hands on it. Number 297 with a net worth of $1.6 billion. The farmers’ son founded Commonwealth Brands 1990, manufactured discount cigarettes USA Gold, Bull Durham, Malibu. Outperformed Big Tobacco keeping advertising costs low. Sold out for $1 billion cash in 2001. Reinvested proceeds in real estate: owns 1.7 million acres in New Mexico, Florida, Texas. Also holds small stake in Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby. Kelly is so camera shy, we were unable to find a photo.

B. Francis Saul II

The B.F. Saul Real Estate Investment Trust has holdings in hotels, office buildings, and land, primarily in the Mid-Atlantic region and the Southeast. In 2004, the B.F. Saul REIT had $1.04 billion in revenue. The Saul Centers, a second REIT that owns and operates shopping centers and office buildings, earned $127 million in 2005. The B.F. Saul Hotel division owns 14 hotels in the Washington area all but two in Virginia.

Harry Macklowe

Runs Macklowe properties with his son William. In 2003, he paid the Trump Organization and Conseco (nyse: CNOPRB – news – people ) $1.4 billion for Manhattan’s General Motors Building. It’s worth $2.9 billion today.

Whether any or all of these billionaire remain on the list next year as the subprime motgage crisis begins to take it’s toll remains to be seen. Our best bet for a likely flop? Macklowe. There is widespread talk in the industry that Mr. Macklowe is in deep trouble – so much so that he could lose control not only of the newly acquired portfolio but also of the G.M. Building and other properties that were used as collateral for short-term debt that must be repaid six months from now.