April 24, 2014

Rich Floridians

Richest Floridians: The Top 25

Mike Vogel | 4/1/2013

6 Edward Lampert, 50
$3.5 billion - Indian Creek Village, hedge fund

Lampert set a record last year, since broken, for the most expensive home purchase in Miami-Dade, a $38-million home in Indian Creek. The community is gated and has a marine patrol, no doubt a comfort to Lampert, who was kidnapped in 2003 in Connecticut at gunpoint. He escaped after promising to pay his captors, who were caught after they used his credit card to order pizza. Lampert is a major shareholder in Fort Lauderdale-based AutoNation, though he has cut his stake. He bought a sizable chunk of his holdings from fellow billionaire and AutoNation founder H. Wayne Huizenga.

7 Terrenc Pegula, 62
$3.3 billion - Boca Raton, fossil fuels

Founder of a Pennsylvania oil and gas company he sold to Royal Dutch Shell, he donated $88 million to alma mater Penn State to build the hockey program.

8 Phillip Frost, 76
$2.9 billion - Star Island, pharmaceuticals and health care

The French literature major who went on to medicine and a gold mine in generic pharmaceuticals (Ivax, founded by Frost, sold in 2006 to Teva) remains an investor and builder of Florida companies. His vehicle at present is Opko Health. He and wife, Patricia, are generous donors. The art museum at Florida International University bears their names, as will the new science museum opening in 2015 in Miami, to which he donated $35 million.

9 Shahid Khan, 62
$2.8 billion - Naples/Jacksonville, Flex-N-Gate

Khan bought the Jacksonville Jaguars from Wayne Weaver for $760 million [“First Down,” June 2012].

10 Jeff Greene, 58
$2.6 billion - Palm Beach, real estate/investments

A summer visitor to Florida as a kid and briefly a Breakers busboy after the family moved to Florida in the 1970s, Jeff Greene didn’t get the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in 2010 to go up against eventual winner, Republican Marco Rubio. But the man who made it big betting against subprime mortgages has invested in Florida since relocating from California. Recently, he’s invested in the financially distressed Omphoy Ocean Resort, a 134-room hotel on the barrier island south of the Palm Beach; in bulk buys of 402 condo units in the West Palm Beach area; a Comfort Inn; and a suburban site that has been approved for 548 apartments.

11 Igor Olenicoff, 70
$2.5 billion - Lighthouse Point, Olen Properties

Olenicoff made his fortune in real estate in California, where Olen Properties is based. Olen lists 11 apartment developments in Florida, a couple of commercial properties and the Walkabout Golf & Country Club in Mims. A felon — for filing
a false tax return — he paid $52 million in back taxes, interest and penalties to
make good.

12 H. Wayne Huizenga, 75
$2.4 billion - Fort Lauderdale, company building

Florida’s most successful company builder of the modern era, Huizenga now appears to have reached his personal estate-planning era. He sold the Marlins in 1998, the Florida Panthers in 2001 and hasn’t been a majority owner of the Miami Dolphins since 2008. Never finishing college, he holds the distinction of being the only person to found three Fortune 500 companies — Waste Management, Blockbuster and AutoNation — and have six companies listed on the NYSE. He’s a philanthropist (Nova Southeastern University and the homeless, to name just two causes) and remains an investor. His accolades include being a Horatio Alger winner and Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year winner. The sweet life includes a private 737, formerly owning a personal golf course — the Floridian in Palm City — and golfing with Dan Marino in Ireland.

13 Richard Schulze, 72
$2.4 billion - Bonita Springs, Best Buy

Like a lot of Midwesterners — the Schulze-founded Best Buy is based in Minnesota — Schulze settled on the Gulf Coast. The bulk of his philanthropy, at least publicly, goes to Minnesota. Schulze is trying to regain control of Best Buy.

14 Edward DeBartolo Jr., 66
$2.3 billion - Tampa, real estate

When DeBartolo and his sister divided the family assets, she got the San Francisco 49ers, which won five Super Bowls under him, and he got the real estate. His Florida interests include indirect ownership, through his shares in Simon Property, and directly held real estate through his DeBartolo Holdings. DeBartolo spent plenty of time here before moving to Florida full time in 2000. Former Tampa Mayor Dick Greco worked for DeBartolo between terms. DeBartolo’s family foundation gives more than $500,000 a year to Tampa Bay area non-profits.

15 William Wrigley Jr., 49
$2.2 billion - North Palm Beach, William Wrigley Co.

Sold the company his great-grandfather built on chewing gum to Mars in 2008 for $23 billion.

16 Robert Rich Jr., 72
$2.1 billion - Islamorada, Rich Products

The leader of the Buffalo, N.Y.-based frozen-food company founded on non-dairy creamer has written books about fishing in Florida. The family-owned company owns the Green Turtle Inn and Kaiyo Grill in Islamorada and Palm Beach National Golf & Country Club in Lake Worth. His philanthropic activity is concentrated in the Buffalo area.

Tags: Trendsetters, Lifestyle, Rich Floridians

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