The reclusive billionaire Amancio Ortega Gaona of Spain has added to his considerable fortune an entire block of shops in Miami Beach that set him back $370 million. The property is located on Lincoln Road – the principal commercial artery of Miami Beach – which had already opened a local outlet of his flagship clothing store: Zara.
Other retail shops on the block include Apple and Gap, to which a Nike store is also expected. The purchase amounts to the second most expensive real estate acquisition made in the history of Miami-Dade County. The deal amounted to approximately 48,000 square feet of land and about 75,000 square feet of buildings. The price was set at about $4,933 per square foot. The purchase of Hotel Fontainebleu in Miami Beach by a firm controlled by the government of Dubai, at $375 million, still retains primacy.
The buildings involved bear the numbers 1001, 1003, 1005, 1019, 1021, 1029, 1031 and 1035 Lincoln Road. The Miami-Dade property appraiser’s office lists them has having 51,708 square feet combined. However, two of the properties were under construction early this year: their square footage was not counted on 2015 tax rolls. Construction on the expected two-storey Nike store is to commence within the next two weeks following the demolition of other buildings. The Nike store will have a rooftop basketball court.
Forbes ranks Ortega Gaona as fourth among the richest people in the world. He is said to have a net worth of $70.2 billion, making him by far the richest man in Spain. By way of contrast, presidential contender Donald Trump has a much more modest fortune in comparison. While Trump himself estimates his worth at $9 billion, Forbes Magazine puts the figure at $4.1 billion.
The sellers of the properties were Jonathan Fryd and Michael Comras, who had managed leases there. According to the Miami Herald, Comras said of the property, “It’s become one of the top retail streets in the world by virtue of the fact that it’s on the beach and attracts people from all over the world.” “It was the right time to sell,” he said.
By other measures, Ortega Gaona may actually be the second-most wealthy inhabitant of the Earth. According to Bloomberg, the 79-year-old eclipsed Warren Buffet’s $70.2 billion stake. Bill Gates, however, remains the richest man in the world.
Ortega Gaona is known to eat lunch regularly with his personnel in the company cafeteria, and is well-known in his hometown in Spain. He grants few interviews, however. Currently, Ortega Gaona owns 59 percent of Inditex, the world's biggest clothing retailer, which is the umbrella over Zara, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, and Pull and Bear. Bloomberg pegs his fortune at $71.5 billion. Despite his success with Indetex, which first went public in 2001, most of his fortune comes from real estate properties.
Ortega Gaona owns properties through his companies, Partler and Pontegadea Inmobiliaria, that include the Picasso Tower in Madrid, as well as properties in London and New York.
His ex-wife, Rosalia Mera Goyenechea, remains his business partner. Their only son, Marcos, was born with a significant disability. Ortega Gaona founded Paideia: a nonprofit dedicated to assisting disabled children, which is managed by his ex-wife.
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