Jorge M. Pérez – Wikipedia

Jorge M. Pérez (born October 17, 1949)[1] is an Argentine American billionaire real estate developer, art collector, and philanthropist.[2] He is best known as the chairman and CEO of The Related Group.[3] He is ranked 316th on the Forbes 400 list with a net worth of US$ 2.6 billion as of October, 2018, and 1,833rd on Forbes Billionaires list with US$1.7 billion as of November, 2021.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Pérez was born October 17, 1949 in Buenos Aires, Argentina to Cuban parents of Spanish origin.[5][6] He lived in Colombia before moving to Miami in 1968.[7] His father was the head of a pharmaceutical company that was nationalized by the Cuban government.[8] He has a bachelor’s degree in economics[9] from Long Island University C.W. Post Campus,[10] and a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Michigan.[3]

Pérez was an economic development director with the city of Miami before he entered the real estate business and became a developer.[9][11] In 1979, he founded Related Group[12] 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.[9] 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”.[13] During his career, Pérez has developed or managed more than 90,000 residences, most of which are located in South Florida.[citation needed] He has worked with many well-known designers, architects, and firms, including Philippe Starck, Cesar Pelli, Arquitectonica, David Rockwell, Rem Koolhaas and Karim Rashid.[14][15][16]

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.[17]

On November 18, 2007, Related Group demolished the Sheraton at Bal Harbour to make way for a new project.[18] 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— buildings that had inspired Miami Modern Architecture (MiMo).[19]

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.[2]

His firm has built projects in Argentina, Brazil, Panama, Uruguay and Mexico.[20] The company has 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.[21] 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.[20] 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.[22] 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.[23] 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.[24]

Personal life[edit]

Pérez lives in Miami, Florida, with his wife, Darlene Pérez. He has four children.[25][26][27] He is a friend and former business partner of President Donald Trump, who wrote the foreword for Pérez’s 2008 book, Powerhouse Principles,[citation needed] although he has since been publicly critical of Trump’s presidency.[28]

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.[29] The museum was renamed the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM).[30][31] He donated $15 million more to the museum in 2016. The donation included $5 million in Cuban contemporary art.[32] He has pledged to donate his entire collection to the museum after his death.[33]

In 2019, Pérez opened a new art space called El Espacio 23 in Miami’s Allapattah neighborhood. The 28,000-square-foot experimental art space shows curated exhibitions from the Pérez Collection. It is open to the public and admission is free. The building also houses three apartments reserved for artist and curator residency programs.[34][35]

In September 2021, Pérez donated $33 million to The Miami Foundation, an organization committed to building a more prosperous Miami. The donation came from the proceeds of the sale of his 10,000-square-foot waterfront estate, known as “Villa Cristina.” The foundation will use the funds to support causes associated with arts, culture, education, and social justice.[36]

Selected works[edit]

  • 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


  1. ^ “The Closing: Jorge M. Perez”. 2008-02-08. Retrieved 2016-07-31.
  2. ^ a b “Jorge Perez – Forbes”. Forbes. 2012-03-13.
  3. ^ a b “Real Estate Billionaire Jorge Perez’s Immigrant Roots Are Helping Him In A Slowing Miami Market,” Forbes. Retrieved 15 January 2017
  4. ^ [1] Forbes,” November 7, 2021
  5. ^ “He built four Trump towers in South Florida, now billionaire Jorge M. Perez eyes Tampa Bay”. 2017-08-24. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  6. ^ 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 News Mundo. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  7. ^ DDC. “Jorge Pérez: De inmigrante cubano a uno de los hombres más ricos del mundo”. Diario de Cuba. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  8. ^ Fusion TV: “Show Me Something – Miami developer Jorge Perez says he hasn’t heard from Trump after rejecting the border wall” March 31, 2017
  9. ^ a b c “Related’s Jorge Pérez puts his stamp on the skyline”. The Real Deal. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  10. ^ “Alumni List | LIU”. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  11. ^ Levinjlevin, Jordan (2016-04-15). “Jorge Pérez — building a cultural legacy”. Miami Herald. Retrieved 2017-10-01.
  12. ^ related
  13. ^ “25 Most Influential Hispanics in America – Jorge Perez” Time,” August 22, 2005
  14. ^ “Jorge Perez to get SFBJ Lifetime Achievement Award” South Florida Business Journal,” March 29, 2013
  15. ^ “Real-Estate Magnate Jorge Perez’s Beachfront Home in Florida” “Architectural Digest,” December 22, 2016
  16. ^ “Cesar Pelli’s Nonchalant Architecture” “Surface,” May 10, 2016
  17. ^ “Bush Poaches a Longtime Clinton Backer”, “Mother Jones”, Aug. 17, 2015
  18. ^ “Sheraton Bal Harbour Imploded To Make Way For St. Regis” “Hotel Business, November 21, 2007”
  19. ^ “Morris Lapidus, an Architect Who Built Flamboyance Into Hotels, Is Dead at 98”, “New York Times”, Jan. 19, 2001
  20. ^ a b “Condo king goes west: Related’s Jorge Perez opens office in Dallas”. The Real Deal. 2017-12-17.
  21. ^ “He built four Trump towers in South Florida, now billionaire Jorge M. Perez eyes Tampa Bay”, “Tampa Bay Times”, Aug. 24, 2017
  22. ^ “Related, partner to close $33M loan for Lenny Kravitz-designed Wynwood project”, “The Real Deal”, April 23, 2018
  23. ^ “The Related Group Unveils Atlanta High Rise”, “Multi-Housing News”, April 13, 2018
  24. ^ “How small can you go? These new Miami apartments want you to downsize and live large”, “Miami Herald”, April 23, 2018
  25. ^ “Real-Estate Magnate Jorge Perez’s Beachfront Home in Florida” Architectural Digest. Retrieved 15 January 2017
  26. ^ “Miami Condo King Perez Prepares to Hand Over Empire to Sons.” Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  27. ^ “Jorge Pérez — building a cultural legacy,” Miami Herald. Retrieved 15 January 2017
  28. ^ “Miami Billionaire Perez Rejects His Friend Trump’s Wall Overture”. Bloomberg. 31 January 2017.
  29. ^ “Family Affair”. W Magazine. Retrieved 2021-07-16.
  30. ^ Cindy Y. Rodriguez (2014-02-08). “Meet the billionaire behind Miami’s artistic rebirth”. CNN. Retrieved 2021-07-16.
  31. ^ “Want to Donate Your Collection to a Museum? Read This First”. Observer. 2016-12-23. Retrieved 2021-07-16.
  32. ^ Frias, Carlos (November 29, 2016). “Art museum gets $15 million donation from a name you already know”. The Miami Herald. Retrieved July 16, 2021.
  33. ^ Levin, Jordan (April 6, 2016). “Jorge Pérez — building a cultural legacy”. The Miami Herald. Retrieved July 16, 2021.
  34. ^ Ogletree, Kelsey (2019-12-04). “Entrepreneur and Art-World Patron Jorge Pérez Will Showcase His Private Collection in a New Miami Museum”. Robb Report. Retrieved 2022-07-01.
  35. ^ Wooldridge, Jane (November 12, 2019). “At Jorge Pérez’s new ‘El Espacio,’ art tells a troubling story of our times”. The Miami Herald. Retrieved July 1, 2022.
  36. ^ Wile, Rob (September 10, 2021). “Jorge Perez of Related Group donates $33M to Miami Foundation”. The Miami Herald. Retrieved September 10, 2021.