Geoffrey Palmer (real estate developer)

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Geoffrey H. Palmer
Residence Beverly Hills, California, U.S.
Alma mater University of Colorado at Boulder
Pepperdine School of Law
Occupation Businessman
Spouse(s) Anne Palmer

Geoffrey H. Palmer is an American real estate developer and Republican donor.

Personal life and education[edit]

Palmer is the son of architect and developer Daniel Saxon Palmer, who was born as Dan Weissinger in Budapest, Hungary in 1920.[1][2] The younger Palmer grew up in Malibu, California.[3] Palmer attended Santa Monica College before transferring to the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he earned a degree in finance.[4] Palmer then earned a law degree from Pepperdine School of Law, receiving his juris doctorate.[4]


After clerking for a California superior court judge, Palmer decided to pursue real estate development of multifamily housing instead of law as a profession, founding GH Palmer Associates in 1978.[4] Palmer opened his first major development in Santa Clarita, California in 1985.[3] During the 1990s, Palmer focused on building the much needed housing in downtown Los Angeles and its suburbs.

In 2001, Palmer completed the 632-unit Medici, the first of a series of downtown Italian-inspired apartment blocks situated beside freeways,[5][6] which coincided with a revival of downtown Los Angeles.[7] Other buildings in the "Renaissance Collection" built by Palmer include the Orsini, Visconti, Piero, Da Vinci, and Lorenzo.[6]

The city of Los Angeles later sued Palmer for negligence after another development, the Da Vinci, intentionally set fire by an arsonist currently in jail, damaged the adjacent freeway and a nearby city government building, eventually settling the case for $400,000.[8]

Palmer's most recent building, Broadway Palace Apartments, was completed in early 2017. Broadway Palace Apartments is designed in the Beaux-Arts style with a plaster and cast concrete ground level and top story, separated from the terracotta brick middle stories by string courses[clarification needed], moldings and changes in materials. Notable features include arched openings along the top story, dentils, brackets, pilasters and capitals. The facade fenestration and articulation resembles the historic 1920s-era buildings located on Broadway but different enough to appear new.

Palmer has clashed with local government officials and activists, in part due to criticism of the style of his apartment buildings.[6][9] Councilman Ed Reyes also criticized Palmer for the accidental destruction of an 1887 Victorian-style building.[6] The building was a known lodging for drug dealers and homeless men and women often visited by the L A Police Department for disturbance. In 2015, Eddie Kim of the Los Angeles Downtown News described Palmer as both the "most prolific" and "most controversial" developer in downtown Los Angeles.[10]

Palmer, a strong opponent of mandatory affordable housing requirements for real estate development, appears in the Paradise Papers in connection with a Bermuda offshore to hold the registration for his private jet, which is done for security and maintenance reasons, yet he still pays the required California assesses property taxes on aircraft, which Bermuda does not.[11]

Palmer is worth an estimated US$3 billion.[12]

Political activities[edit]

In 1991, Palmer paid an administrative $30,000 fine after being accused of money-laundering campaign contributions in order to prevent the incorporation of Santa Clarita.[3] Palmer donated $500,000 to Mitt Romney's 2012 presidential campaign, and $2 million to Rebuilding America Now PAC during Donald Trump's presidential campaign.[3] Palmer has also donated to American Crossroads, the Republican National Committee, and the National Republican Congressional Committee.[3] GH Palmer & Associates contribued $5,005,400 to the 2016 Trump campaign. [13]

Personal life[edit]

Palmer is married to Anne, who was born in Paris, France.[14] They have a son.[14] They reside in Burton E. Green's former residence in Beverly Hills, California, with a secondary property in Saint-Tropez, France.[14] He plays polo.[15]


He serves as trustee of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). He is also an active contributor to the Pepperdine School of Law and has endowed The Geoffrey H. Palmer Center for Entrepreneurship and the Law.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Artsy, Avishay (17 February 2016). "How architect William Krisel built a desert oasis". KRCW. Retrieved 9 August 2016. 
  2. ^ Noland, Claire (29 January 2007). "Dan Saxon Palmer, 86; architect of 1950s' Modernist tract homes". LA Times. Retrieved 9 August 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Tinoco, Matt (4 August 2016). "Trump's Los Angeles Money Man". Politico. Retrieved 9 August 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c Gibson, Rick (Spring 2006). "Los Angeles Renaissance" (PDF). Pepperdine People. Retrieved 9 August 2016. 
  5. ^ Newman, Morris (4 June 2000). "Apartments, Finally, for Downtown Los Angeles". New York Times. Retrieved 13 August 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c d Zahniser, David; Vincent, Roger (8 December 2014). "Geoffrey Palmer seen as both downtown L.A. trailblazer, steamroller". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 August 2016. 
  7. ^ Anderton, Frances (25 January 2001). "Swank Plans In Skid Row Los Angeles". New York Times. Retrieved 9 August 2016. 
  8. ^ Bianca Barragan (June 6, 2017). "City settles suit with developer Geoff Palmer over burned DaVinci complex for $400K: Hundreds of fire department windows shattered and the heat-melted city computers". Retrieved November 25, 2017. 
  9. ^ Adrian Glick Kudler (November 25, 2014). "7 Awful Stories About the Man Destroying Downtown LA". Retrieved November 25, 2017. 
  10. ^ Kim, Eddie (23 October 2015). "Geoff Palmer Speaks Out". Los Angeles Downtown News. Retrieved 9 August 2016. 
  11. ^ Geoffrey Palmer's Offshore Story, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists 
  12. ^ Carroll, Rory (July 22, 2016). "Meet Donald Trump's biggest donor (he also loves to build walls)". The Guardian. Retrieved August 22, 2016. Palmer, estimated to be worth $3bn, is not well known in donor circles and has not previously made donations of that size, according to Bloomberg, which first reported the donation. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ a b c Haldeman, Peter (March 31, 2005). "Affinity for Opulence: Paying Tribute to a Founder of Beverly Hills With a Remake of His Former Estate". Architectural Digest. Retrieved August 22, 2016. 
  15. ^ Stovall, Susan (August 2010). "Polo on the French Riviera @ St. Tropez Polo Club". Retrieved August 22, 2016. From California Geoff Palmer had his Antelope shirts on his team with another winter California player, Caroline Anier(2), and Martin Garrahan(7) and Fati Reynot (6) rounding out his team. Both in the International Cup and the Open de Gassin, Geoff Palmer was the leading amateur scorer – one game making 7 goals. Fergus Gould, another Southern California import, is the head umpire for the season.