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Immigrant Entrepreneur Hall of Fame: Jorge M. Pérez 

Portofino Tower, Related Group's first entry into the luxury condominium market in 1994.

Portofino Tower, Related Group’s first entry into the luxury condominium market in 1994.

Country of origin: Argentina

Year came to U.S.: 1968

Education:  C. W. Post College; MS in Urban Planning,
University of Michigan

Business: Related Group of Florida (1979)

Headquarters: Miami, FL

2015 revenue:  $1.1 billion

U.S. employment: > 350

 

  • The Related Group is the leading developer of multi-family residences in the United States
  • TIME named Jorge Pérez one of the most influential Hispanics in the country.

 

“I never saw myself as a businessman; it was more about my desire to do things on my own and to create.”
Jorge Pérez

Those are unexpected words from the man who TIME magazine named “the Donald Trump of the Tropics.” Jorge Pérez was born in Argentina to Cuban-exiled parents. His family later relocated to Colombia where his parents ran a pharmaceutical company.  Instead of joining the family business, Pérez moved to the United States where he studied at C.W. Post College and later received a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Michigan.

Pérez worked for the city of Miami for three years as an urban planner and development consultant. In 1979, he co-founded The Related Group of Florida with investor and fellow University of Michigan alumni, Steven M. Ross.

Since the beginning, The Related Group has been at the forefront of South Florida’s development, often being the first to enter emerging or undiscovered neighborhoods.  Pérez started by building affordable, multi-family apartments in low-income neighborhoods such as Miami’s Little Havana and Homestead. In the early 1990s, he began developing condominiums, which revitalized the formerly run-down neighborhoods of Miami Beach and West Palm Beach.

The Related Group is now the leading developer of multi-family residences in the United States. The firm has built and managed more than 90,000 apartments and condominiums and is the largest Hispanic-owned business in the United States with a development portfolio of projects worth $20 billion, and Forbes estimates his personal net worth at $3.5 billion.

Pérez has been showered with awards and recognition including being named one of the country’s top 25 most influential Hispanics by TIME magazine. In 2006, he became the first American developer to receive the prestigious “Icon in Real Estate Award of Excellence” at the industry event MIPIM.

Pérez shared his real estate expertise in the book Powerhouse Principles: The Ultimate Blueprint for Real Estate Success in an Ever-Changing Market.

An avid art collector, in 2011 he pledged $35 million in cash and artwork over ten years to the Miami Art Museum, which then agreed to rename it the Perez Art Museum of Miami-Dade County. The museum, nicknamed PAMM, opened in December 2013.

 Updated September 2016

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