Jorge Perez is probably the biggest condo developer in South Florida. He rode the wave really high in the bubble years and all that came crashing down with the market. This is a great article that describes his past and how he faced a ballroom full of lenders that he owed $2 billion dollars. The presentation he gave at that ballroom saved his company and everything he worked for his whole life and now he is back in the driver seat developing a bunch of new projects. Its a great article coming from The Real Deal…enjoy.
Related’s Jorge Pérez puts his stamp on the skyline
If you follow real estate, it’s hard to miss Jorge Pérez.
In just the past couple of months, the Related Group chairman and CEO has announced plans to collaborate on the $300 million SLS Brickell, a cutting-edge condominium-hotel project in Downtown Miami, with famed hotelier Sam Nazarian. And he cut the ribbon in Boynton Beach on a 14-story condo-hotel called Casa Costa. In Broward County’s Hallandale Beach, he unveiled plans for another condo-hotel.
All told, Pérez estimates he is tied in some way to at least 40 projects — not counting a myriad of international ones. Right now, Related is the region’s most active condo developer, with nine in the works.
“I’m very bullish,” he told The Real Deal. “At the same time, I don’t want to sound like an idiot. I know that if we keep with the exuberance like we’re having right this second, the market will at some point say, ‘Enough.’ And you just have to be measuring that all the time in order not to get overextended.”
It’s a lesson Pérez learned from the financial crisis. In the crush of the current activity, it’s easy to forget that just a few years ago Pérez was caught in the maw of the great South Florida real estate crash. In January 2009, he stood before a ballroom full of lenders representing Related’s almost $2 billion in unpaid loans and made a presentation that may well have saved his 30-year-old company.
“We all partook in this great, great big party, in which we overdrank and overate, and then at the end, somebody had to pay for the broken dishes, right?” says Pérez, who has estimated that Related projects lost about $3 billion in value during the downturn. “We went from being the golden company to being the one with the biggest issues. I mean the bigger they are, the harder they fall, right?”
REST OF ARTICLE HERE