Jorge Pérez's Related group throttling down in US but reving up residential projects in Latin America
The United States is in a housing slump, but that hasn't stopped Jorge M. Pérez. Mr. Pérez confidently talks about the direction he's taking The Related Group, whose residential portfolio includes development projects valued at more than $10.7 billion.
He said he expects the market here to pick up within the next two years, and he has no regrets about his firm's current construction of high-rise luxury condominiums in Miami. Mr. Pérez, born of Cuban parents in Argentina, ventured into the real estate market last year in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with subsequent plans to build upscale condos and hotels in other cities such as Acapulco, Cabo San Lucas and Playa del Carmen. With eyes on the future, The Related Group has its sights set on Panama, Argentina, Uruguay and the Caribbean. The Related Group, started in 1979, has 450 employees in South Florida, and reported revenues of more than $1.4 billion in 2006 — a long and successful climb from where Mr. Pérez started as a builder in Little Havana, Homestead and elsewhere in the region. Most people would expect a man of his means to conduct business from a perch in a penthouse office suite overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and Miami. Not so.
Mr. Pérez was interviewed by staff writer Lou Ortiz at his office at the One Miami Building, a modest fourth-floor space overlooking the Miami River.
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