Net Worth: $570 million
Source of Wealth: Real estate
Residence: Southern California area
The history of the Watson family in the Los Angeles real estate market reaches back generations to 1784, when King Carlos III of Spain gave Juan Jos & #233; Dominguez 76,000 acres of land for his service as a soldier in the Spanish Colonial Army.
Descendant Marie Dolores Dominguez married Yankee gunslinger James Alexander Watson in 1855. From their holdings grew Carson-based Watson Land Co., which was first incorporated as Watson Estate Co. in 1912. Their great-granddaughter Susana married William T. Huston, now chairman of Watson Land.
Over the last 30 years, the company has developed more than 1,000 acres of property for industrial centers, business parks, office buildings and warehouses. In business centers alone, Watson Land owns, manages and leases more than 9 million square feet of buildings.
Watson Land is a privately held corporation partially owned by some 100 family members, including distant cousins and relatives by marriage. Family members own just over half the company.
The only family members involved in running the company on a day-to-day basis are William T. Huston and two sons Tom Huston, a leasing manager, and Bob Huston, a member of Watson Land’s board of directors.