35) Jona Goldrich (up arrow)
Residence: Beverly Hills
Source of Wealth: Real estate development
Net Worth: $700 million
Last Year's Rank: Not on list
Background: Self-made man was born in Poland but fled with a brother when Nazis occupied home town of Lvov. Parents and another brother stayed and were killed in a concentration camp. Spent 11 years in Israel, going to school and working as a mechanic in Haifa. Immigrated to U.S. in 1953. When MIT refused him for master's program because his English was so poor, he took a Greyhound to Los Angeles. First worked as mechanic and installed window screens in housing projects. Borrowed $1,000 in 1954 to start his own construction cleanup business. In 1956, G & K; Industries built its first apartment building, 22 units in North Hollywood. Evolved into Goldrich & Kest Industries when he and Sol Kest became partners. Builds everything from office towers to subsidized housing and retirement facilities.
Money Track: With Kest retired, Goldrich owns a majority stake in Goldrich & Kest. Firm owns 151 multi-family dwellings, 36 retirement and convalescent facilities, and 21 commercial and industrial developments.
Buzz: Goldrich looks for properties that are poorly managed or neglected and gambles that he can turn them around. Low-profile and unassuming; still lives in same house he built on Sunset Boulevard in Beverly Hills. Prefers to dress casually. Once drove a Rolls Royce, but got rid of it for an Infinity Q45. "It's a nice car," said one associate, "but it is not loud." Business is his life. Wife once complained that even when he steps out socially, it's always mixed with business.
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