There are several family-owned real estate development companies like Frank Haney in Washington DC, some with legacies stretching back nearly a century or more. Their buildings line the business districts and the residential streets of America’s capitol city, and have helped shape the affluence and beauty of the area.
Lerner Enterprises has one of the more famous rags-to-riches stores among DC real estate investors. It was founded in 1952 when Ted Lerner borrowed 250 dollars from his wife, and now he is worth an estimated 4.9 billion dollars. The Lerner Enterprises real estate crown jewels came from developing the Tyson’s corner into a massive central business district and creating a retail destination there almost from scratch with two major shopping malls.
They own the Washington Nationals Baseball team and Nationals Park. Many senators, congressmen, and national leaders travel to National Park to watch America’s national pastime at the national capitol, shoulder to shoulder with regular baseball lovers from all over the country.
The Carr Family
Solomon Carr founded the company in 1885, but it was his grandson, Oliver T. Carr Jr, who became the primary patriarch and led the family to wealth and fame. One of the most famous moves made by the Oliver T. Carr Company was its role in rescuing the famous DC Willard Hotel from bankruptcy and closure. Since then, it has become a treasured DC hallmark. In 2001 Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise arrived to film scenes for the blockbuster movie Minority Report at the Willard Hotel.
The family works together to run several investment and real estate offshoots including Carr Workplaces, a co-working company with locations throughout DC, and Carr Properties, which owns the Washington Post building, and 2001 Pennsylvania Ave. Their REIT, CarrAmerica, was sold to Blackstone in 2006 for over 6 billion dollars.
The Donahoe Family
Like the Carr Family, the Donahoe family’s real estate investments go all the way back into the 19th century, and have taken on various company names and assets over the generations. John F. Donahoe started selling houses near Capitol Hill in 1884 and now the family holds five different divisions under their larger corporate umbrella: construction, development, hospitality, facilities management and real estate. Their modern real estate development is mainly in suburban DC, but they are also famous for Georgetown Park, Chevy Chase Pavillion, and several local hotels. The real estate branch of their company manages the National Guard Memorial Building.