Jorge M. Pérez
Jorge M. Pérez
Photo of Jorge Pérez
|Born||October 17, 1949|
Buenos Aires, Argentina
|Alma mater||Long Island University C.W. Post Campus|
University of Michigan
|Occupation||Real estate developer|
|Net worth||US$1.9 billion (January 2020)|
|Political party||Democratic Party|
Jorge M. Pérez (born October 17, 1949) is an Argentine American billionaire real estate developer, art collector, and philanthropist. He is best known as the chairman and CEO of The Related Group. He is ranked 316th on the Forbes 400 list with a net worth of US$ 2.6 billion as of October, 2018.
Early life and education
Pérez was born October 17, 1949 in Buenos Aires, Argentina to Cuban parents of Spanish origin. He lived in Colombia before moving to Miami in 1968. His father was the head of a pharmaceutical company that was nationalized by the Cuban government. He has a bachelor's degree in economics from Long Island University C.W. Post Campus, and a master's degree in urban planning from the University of Michigan.
Pérez was an economic development director with the city of Miami before he entered the real estate business and became a developer. In 1979, he founded Related Group with New York builder Stephen M. Ross. Pérez built his fortune by building and operating low-income multifamily apartments across Miami. The firm became the largest affordable housing builder in Florida by the middle of the decade. He then branched off into rental apartments before becoming one of the most prolific high-rise condo builders in the Southern United States. Pérez has owned 50 condo towers in various stages of completion in South Florida, Fort Myers and Las Vegas. He has been called the "Donald Trump of the Tropics". During his career, Pérez has developed or managed more than 90,000 residences, most of which are located in South Florida. He has worked with many well-known designers, architects, and firms, including Philippe Starck, Cesar Pelli, Arquitectonica, David Rockwell, Rem Koolhaas and Karim Rashid.
Related Group had $2.1 billion in revenue in 2004, putting Pérez at the top of the Hispanic Business 500 during this period of time. He is an active Democratic fund raiser; he advised Bill Clinton on Cuba during his presidency and was an active fundraiser for the failed presidential campaign of Senator Hillary Clinton. In 2008, he also hosted and raised money for Barack Obama after he became the Democratic presidential nominee.
On November 18, 2007, Related Group demolished the Sheraton at Bal Harbour to make way for a new project. The Sheraton at Bal Harbour, originally called the Americana, was created by architect Morris Lapidus, who also designed the Fontainebleau Miami Beach and Eden Roc hotels. These buildings inspired Miami Modern Architecture (MiMo).
With the financial crisis of 2007–2010, many of Related Group's projects were in financial strife as buyers, many of whom were speculators, refused to settle on their apartments or banks refused to grant home or property investment loans to the buyers. As a separate business, Pérez set up a hedge fund to buy distressed real estate. Before the financial crisis of 2007, Forbes pegged his wealth at $1.3 billion. As of March 2013, his wealth stood at 1.2 billion with a steady resurgence in Florida real estate prices.
Related Group has built projects in Argentina, Brazil, Panama, Uruguay and Mexico. The company has many completed skyscraper condo projects including 50 Biscayne, Icon Brickell, Icon South Beach, Murano at Portofino and Paraiso Bay, among others.
In 2017, the company broke ground on a 400-unit luxury apartment project in Tampa, Florida and also plans to build more than 700 units in West Florida in coming years. The Related Group opened an office in 2017 in Dallas with plans to build apartments in Denver, Las Vegas, Phoenix and other major Texas markets. In 2018, the Related Group and Block Capital Group broke ground on a mixed-use development called the Bradley, a 175-unit apartment building in Miami. Kravitz Design, musician Lenny Kravitz's firm, will design the project's interior. The Related Group opened Icon Midtown, a high-rise apartment in the Midtown section of Atlanta, in 2018. It is Perez's first completed development in Georgia. Wynwood 25, a partnership between Perez and East End Capital, will deliver 289 rental apartments that will range in size from 400 to 1,200 square feet. Construction is scheduled for completion in 2019.
Philanthropy and art
Pérez's personal and corporate art collection contains 1,000 pieces and includes work from Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Fernando Botero, Roberto Matta, Rubén Torres Llorca, Vhils, Jef Geys, Michael Loew, and Pablo Atchugarry.
In December 2011, Pérez donated $35 million in cash and art to the Miami Art Museum to support the construction of its Herzog & de Meuron designed building. The museum was renamed the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM). He donated $15 million more to the museum in 2016. The donation included $5 million in Cuban contemporary art. He has pledged to donate his entire collection to the museum after his death. Pérez donated over 170 works to PAMM until 2017.
In addition to the Pérez Art Museum Miami he supports the Miami International Film Festival, National YoungArts Foundation, the Frost Art Museum at Florida International University and the University of Miami.
In 2012, he signed the "Giving Pledge," an international effort to address society's pressing problems by inviting the world's wealthiest individuals to commit more than half of their wealth to charitable causes either in their will or during their lifetime.
In 2019, Pérez established the CreARTE Grants Program, to support arts and culture programs in Miami-Dade County. His family foundation will award $1 million in grants per year to various artists and organizations. After a $1 million endowment from Pérez in 2019, Florida International University’s Metropolitan Center will now be known as the Jorge M. Pérez Metropolitan Center.
Honors and awards
Over his career, Pérez has received numerous honors for his business and philanthropic activities. He was named Builder of the Year by Multifamily Executive Magazine, a Great Immigrant Honoree by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and an Ellis Island Medal of Honor recipient. He also received the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Real Estate & Construction Award in the Florida Region, Urban Land Institute Southeast Florida/Caribbean Lifetime Achievement Award and Haute Living’s Lifetime Visionary Award. The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce awarded him its highest honor, the Sand in My Shoes Award, and the United Way of Miami-Dade presented Perez and his wife with the Tocqueville Award for Outstanding Philanthropy.
Pérez lives in Miami, Florida, with his wife, Darlene Pérez. He has four children. He is a member of the Democratic Party and has worked closely with the presidential campaigns for Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama. He is a friend and former business partner of President Donald Trump, who wrote the foreword for Pérez's 2008 book, Powerhouse Principles, although he has since been publicly critical of Trump's presidency.
- Powerhouse Principles: The Ultimate Blueprint for Real Estate Success in an Ever-Changing Market. New York: New American Library. 2008. ISBN 0-451-22705-0
- "The Closing: Jorge M. Perez". Therealdeal.com. 2008-02-08. Retrieved 2016-07-31.
- "Forbes profile: Jorge Perez". Forbes.com. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
- "Jorge Perez - Forbes". Forbes. 2012-03-13.
- "Real Estate Billionaire Jorge Perez's Immigrant Roots Are Helping Him In A Slowing Miami Market," Forbes. Retrieved 15 January 2017
-  Forbes," October 3, 2018
- "He built four Trump towers in South Florida, now billionaire Jorge M. Perez eyes Tampa Bay". tbo.com. 2017-08-24. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
- Redacción BBC Mundo. "Jorge Pérez: cómo un inmigrante cubano se convirtió en Miami en uno de los hombres más ricos de Estados Unidos - BBC Mundo". Bbc.com. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
- DDC. "Jorge Pérez: De inmigrante cubano a uno de los hombres más ricos del mundo". Diario de Cuba. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
- Fusion TV: "Show Me Something - Miami developer Jorge Perez says he hasn't heard from Trump after rejecting the border wall" March 31, 2017
- "Related's Jorge Pérez puts his stamp on the skyline". The Real Deal. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
- "Alumni List | LIU". Liu.edu. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
- Levinjlevin, Jordan (2016-04-15). "Jorge Pérez — building a cultural legacy". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
- related group.com
- “25 Most Influential Hispanics in America – Jorge Perez” Time," August 22, 2005
- “Miami Condo King Jorge Perez, Donald Trump's Latino Billionaire Friend, Expands Into Mexico” Forbes," December 7, 2016
- “Jorge Perez to get SFBJ Lifetime Achievement Award” South Florida Business Journal," March 29, 2013
- “Real-Estate Magnate Jorge Perez’s Beachfront Home in Florida” "Architectural Digest," December 22, 2016
- “Cesar Pelli’s Nonchalant Architecture” "Surface," May 10, 2016
- "Bush Poaches a Longtime Clinton Backer", "Mother Jones", Aug. 17, 2015
- "Sheraton Bal Harbour Imploded To Make Way For St. Regis" "Hotel Business, November 21, 2007"
- "Morris Lapidus, an Architect Who Built Flamboyance Into Hotels, Is Dead at 98", "New York Times", Jan. 19, 2001
- "Condo king goes west: Related's Jorge Perez opens office in Dallas". The Real Deal. 2017-12-17.
- "He built four Trump towers in South Florida, now billionaire Jorge M. Perez eyes Tampa Bay", "Tampa Bay Times", Aug. 24, 2017
- "Related, partner to close $33M loan for Lenny Kravitz-designed Wynwood project", "The Real Deal", April 23, 2018
- "The Related Group Unveils Atlanta High Rise", "Multi-Housing News", April 13, 2018
- "How small can you go? These new Miami apartments want you to downsize and live large", "Miami Herald", April 23, 2018
- Leon Krier. "Images of the Jorge M. Perez Architecture Center, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida". Bluffton.edu. Retrieved 2016-07-31.
- Portico. UM Libraries. 2003. pp. 7–. UOM:39015047969566.
- "Meet the billionaire behind Miami's artistic rebirth". Cindy M. Rodrigeuz, CNN. February 8, 2014. Retrieved August 29, 2017
- "25 Most Influential Hispanics in America". Siobhan Morrissey, Time Magazine. August 22, 2005. Retrieved August 29, 2017
- Solway, Diane. "Family Affair". wmagazine.com. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
- "Meet the billionaire behind Miami's artistic rebirth". Cindy Y. Rodriguez, CNN. February 8, 2014. Retrieved September 2, 2017
- "Want to Donate Your Collection to a Museum? Read This First". observer.com. 23 December 2016. Retrieved 20 February 2018.
- "Art museum gets $15 million donation from a name you already know". Carlos Frias, Miami Herald. November 29, 2016. Retrieved September 2, 2017
- "Jorge Pérez — building a cultural legacy". Jordan Levin, Miami Herald. April 16, 2016. Retrieved September 2, 2017
- "Cuban Art Outshines Politics". The New York Times. 2017-10-24. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-04-28.
- "Megacollector Jorge Perez Steps Back From Real Estate Business". Henri Neuendorf, Artnet News. July 12, 2016. Retrieved September 2, 2017
- “Jorge Perez – Building a Cultural Legacy” "The Miami Herald," April 15, 2016
- Durón, Maximilíano (2019-05-13). "Collector Jorge Pérez Establishes $1 M. Open-Call Grant Program for Miami". ARTnews. Retrieved 2019-06-27.
- "FIU renames think tank for billionaire real estate developer after $1 million gift". Wealth-X. 2019-06-21. Retrieved 2019-06-27.
- "2004 Builder of the Year". multifamilyexecutive.com. Retrieved 2019-07-06.
- "2016 Great Immigrants Honoree". Retrieved July 6, 2019.
- "Congressional Record". congress.gov. Retrieved 2019-07-06.
- "Hall of Fame - EY Entrepreneur Of The Year". eoyhof.ey.com. Retrieved 2019-07-06.
- "Past Awards". ULI Southeast Florida/Caribbean. Retrieved 2019-07-06.
- "Haute 100 Update Miami: Jorge Perez Presented With Tony Goldman Lifetime Visionary Award". Haute Living. 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2019-07-06.
- "Sand in My Shoes Award | Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce". miamichamber.com. Retrieved 2019-07-06.
- Hart, Jacques. "United Way of Miami-Dade presents highest philanthropic honor to Darlene Boytell-Pérez and Jorge M. Pérez". United Way of Miami-Dade. Retrieved 2019-07-06.
- "Real-Estate Magnate Jorge Perez's Beachfront Home in Florida" Architectural Digest. Retrieved 15 January 2017
- "Miami Condo King Perez Prepares to Hand Over Empire to Sons." Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
- "Jorge Pérez — building a cultural legacy," Miami Herald. Retrieved 15 January 2017
- "Miami Condo King Jorge Perez, Donald Trump's Latino Billionaire Friend, Expands Into Mexico." Forbes. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
- "Miami Billionaire Perez Rejects His Friend Trump's Wall Overture". Bloomberg.