FLORIDA'S 350 BIGGEST COMPANIES 2018
Profile: Jorge Perez and his Related Group
“I want to do other things I think are important,” he says. “I want to travel to places I haven’t been — I want to bike in the Himalayas while I still can — and I want to devote a lot more time to philanthropy.”
About Related Group
Founded in 1979, Miami-based Related has revenue exceeding $1.4 billion. From the early 1980s to the late 2000s, the company built more than 60,000 apartment units and condos. Since 2010, Related has completed more than 10,000 units. It now has 72 projects underway or about to get underway in the U.S., Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.
Projects under construction or due to start soon:
- Project Type Projects Units Value
- Affordable housing 16 2,431 $456 million
- Condominiums 6 2,108 3.4 billion
- International 8 2,533 790.2 million
- Market rental 42 11,250 1.4 billion
Total 72 18,322 6.0 billion
Today’s high-end condo buildings typically have resort-like features, including poolside cabanas, spas, tennis courts, well-equipped gyms, trendy restaurants and concierge services. Other amenities include movie rooms with stadium seating, billiards rooms, rock-climbing walls and bowling alleys. Niche, communal spaces tailored to residents’ interests, such as cigar and wine-tasting rooms, also are common. “We want to create a complete environment so that going out and getting into your car becomes less necessary,” Perez says.
Those amenities come at a hefty cost to buyers. Related’s high-end condos typically carry monthly HOA fees of 70 cents a square foot, or $840 for a 1,200-sq.-ft. unit.
Early Love of Art
When Perez was a child, his mother liked to take him and his younger brother, José, a Miami immigration lawyer, to visit art museums. Decades later, art became a way of reconnecting with his Latin roots.
“When I was able to save my first few dollars, I bought a limitededition lithograph, and I wanted to have my walls filled with that. I felt really good looking at art,” Perez says. “At first, I only collected Latin American art, and I went overboard,” he adds, laughing.
In 2011, he donated $20 million worth of Latin American art and another $20 million in cash to the Miami Art Museum, which has since changed its name to Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM). In 2013, PAMM moved to a new Herzog & de Meuron-designed building near Biscayne Bay.
Perez says he wanted to elevate Miami’s reputation to a “more serious city as opposed to one that’s just sun and fun.” He also saw the museum’s naming rights as a point of Hispanic pride. “There were museums named after Carnegie, Guggenheim and Whitney, but Hispanics, who had played a large role in the development of the country, did not have their name on any major public cultural institution,” he says.
Perez sees art as a component of his buildings as well.
Related paid $3 million for this sculpture by Colombian artist Fernando Botero. The sculpture, called Male Torso, stands near the entrance of SLS LUX, a new condo tower in Miami.
Related employs two full-time art curators who commission paintings, sculptures, murals and other art for each project.
“The art that we pick is not left to a designer who says, ‘Ooh, we have a blue couch, so we’re going to put up a blue painting,’ ” says Perez.
Related recently began the first phase of a $307-million, 50-acre overhaul of Miami’s oldest public-housing site, Liberty Square. The project, when completed in five years, will bring 1,572 mixedincome housing units, a grocery store and social services to Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood.
“Rarely do you have an opportunity to redevelop nine city blocks in the urban core of Miami,” says Albert Milo, principal of Related Urban Development Group, the firm’s affordable-housing arm. “It’s a very well-located property. It’s just that the area has been depressed.”
Related also has won a public bid to rebuild a large public-housing site in Tampa’s West River area. Plans call for 1,636 mixed-income housing units and 177,000 square feet of commercial space. At least 820 rental units will be for families who make less than 80% of the area’s median income, and about 60 for-sale units will be for workforce and market-rate housing residents.
“Lower-income people will live in the same complexes” as middle-income residents, Milo says. “A diverse economic base will allow these projects to thrive long term.”