Romney’s real estate W
hen it comes to business, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is primarily known for his time as CEO of the private equity firm Bain Capital. But he and his family also own a variety of real estate in both the U.S. and Canada. Ac-
La Jolla beach house
Mitt and Ann Romney regularly visit the vacation home in tony La Jolla, Calif., that they bought four years ago for $12 million, according to published reports. But some of the Romneys’ neighbors there have complained about their plans for extensive renovations. To accommodate their five children and 18 grandchildren, the Romneys want to expand the home from 3,000 square feet to 11,000.
cording to Forbes, Romney’s net worth of around $230 million includes an estimated $18 million in real estate. This month, The Real Deal took a closer look at Romney’s property investments and his connections to the industry. B y Guelda Voien
Of Romney’s five sons, three followed him to Harvard Business School. One of those sons, Matt Romney, is currently senior vice president of capital markets for Excel Trust, a San Diego–based, retail-focused REIT formed in 2009. He previously worked for Excel Realty Holdings, a subsidiary of the company. Excel recently purchased malls in Arizona and California, for $42 and $24 million, respectively. Another son, Josh Romney, formed the real estate development company Romney Ventures in 2005. The company is focused on developing properties in the west, but doesn’t appear to have closed a notable deal yet.
Romney’s La Jolla home
Lakeside New Hampshire house
Oaktree real estate venture
Mitt and Ann have another vacation home on Lake Winnipesaukee, in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. They bought the three-story, six-bedroom home for about $3 million in 1997, according to Zillow, which estimates that the 11-acre estate is now worth about $10 million.
In 2010, Bain Capital formed a $1 billion investment fund with Oaktree Capital Management, a Los Angeles–based investment manager. The fund was formed to invest in furniture showrooms, which Bain and Oaktree reportedly believe are depressed due to the downturn, and thus ripe for opportunistic investment. So far, the fund has bought 18 furniture display properties in Las Vegas and North Carolina, according to reports.
Romney’s Wolfeboro home
Bain’s real estate partnership
Romney left Bain in 1999 (or 2002, depending on which presidential campaign you believe). But Mitt and Ann still reportedly receive income from Bain funds. While it’s unclear which funds the Romneys have a stake in, Bain has recently partnered with several notable real estate players. In 2005, it joined forces with Vornado Realty Trust on a $5.7 billion deal to buy out Toys “R” Us. The same year, it teamed up with the Carlyle Group on a $2.4 billion deal to buy Dunkin’ Donuts. And in 2007, it paired with Carlyle again to buy out Home Depot for $8.5 billion, in one of the largest private equity transactions in history. Bain Capital did not respond to requests for comment.
For years, the Romneys’ primary residence was a seven-bedroom estate in Belmont, Mass., a quiet Boston suburb near the local temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The colonial home, which the couple purchased for $890,000 in 1989, sits on 2.44 acres. But with their children grown, they decided to downsize in 2009, selling the house for a tidy profit of $3.5 million. The next year, they paid $895,000 for a 2,000-square-foot, twobedroom townhouse in the same town.
Real estate donors
Several high-profile real estate players are backing Romney’s White House bid. According to campaign finance records, Related Companies CEO Stephen Ross gave $100,000 to Restore Our Future, the PAC supporting Romney. Meanwhile, Starwood Capital Group CEO Barry Sternlicht hosted a fund-raiser for the GOP candidate at his Nantucket residence last month. Manhattan attorney Philip Rosen, cochair of the real estate practice at Weil, Gotshal & Manges, is currently on a trip to the United Kingdom, Israel and Poland with Romney’s finance committee. And Donald Trump endorsed Romney in May.
28 August 2012 www.TheRealDeal.com
Romney grew up in Michigan, but his family regularly spent summers in Ontario, Canada. The family’s cottage on Lake Huron is inside the gated Beach O’ Pines community, and was the destination of the infamous 1983 trip during which Romney strapped the family dog to the roof of his car. Mitt’s father, George Romney — the one-time governor of Michigan — purchased the cottage in 1950 for $31,900, published reports say, and the real estate remains in the Romney family.
Park City ski cabin
In 1999, Mitt and Ann bought a seven-bedroom ski cabin on 11 acres in Park City, Utah. At the time, Romney was head of the organizing committee for the 2002 Winter Olympics in nearby Salt Lake City. In 2009, Romney sold the house for slightly under the $5.25 million ask, according to Zillow.
Published on Jul 31, 2012