Rick J. Caruso
Bachelor of Science, 1980
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Caruso Affiliated
Rick J. Caruso is the chief executive officer of Caruso Affiliated, the Los Angeles-based real estate development company he founded in 1992. Caruso Affiliated owns and manages a portfolio of upscale outdoor retail/entertainment properties that attract over 40-million people annually and are designed to reflect the unique character of the communities they serve. The company also owns a portfolio of industrial properties located in cities across the United States.
Caruso Affiliated leads the industry in innovation with its award-winning retail developments, including The Grove, The Commons at Calabasas and The Promenade at Westlake, to name a few. Its current development slate exceeds $1-billion in new construction.
Caruso Affiliated is also focused on mixed-use retail/residential developments with its inaugural venture, The Americana at Brand, scheduled to open in spring 2008. In addition, the company has committed to revolutionize the hospitality industry with the purchase of The Miramar Hotel in Montecito, which will be redeveloped into a 5-star beach resort.
The Caruso organization has continuously outperformed its competitors with sales at its properties averaging 75% higher than conventional industry averages. Caruso Affiliated’s growth is approximately two times that of the largest publicly traded REITs. Tenant sales growth at Caruso properties is as much as three times that of traditional malls, with trade areas encompassing as many as 79 zip codes. The average length of stay on a Caruso property is three times that of a regular mall.
As CEO, Mr. Caruso works closely with his team of seasoned professionals to continue the company’s leadership and innovation. His focus is on meeting the company’s mission to exceed the expectation of his guests.
Mr. Caruso believes strongly in public service and civic responsibility, and as past president of the Los Angeles Police Commission and the youngest commissioner in the history of the City of Los Angeles for its Department of Water and Power, his reputation as an extraordinary businessman and civic leader is evident.
It is his deeply held personal philosophy and philanthropic commitment to giving-back, especially in the areas of education, healthcare and underprivileged youth, however, that has solidified Mr. Caruso’s reputation as a compassionate member of the community.
Mr. Caruso’s other philanthropic commitments include his service on the boards of Para Los Niños, the National Institute of Transplantation, Saint John’s Health Center Foundation and the California Hospital Medical Center.
Southern California’s leading public television station, KCET, honored Mr. Caruso with its prestigious “2006 Visionary Award,” recognizing him as a creative leader dedicated to positive change in Southern California through philanthropic, business and civic leadership. He was also recently named one of L.A.’s most influential leaders by the Los Angeles Times.
Mr. Caruso is a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Southern California and the Board of Visitors of Pepperdine University School of Law.
A sought-after speaker on real estate, retail and industry trends, Mr. Caruso has been a keynote speaker at the Urban Land Institute, the International Council of Shopping Centers, the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of Southern California. He has also lectured at the Kennedy School of Public Administration and Harvard University.
Mr. Caruso earned a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Southern California and a Juris Doctor Degree from Pepperdine University School of Law, where he was a Brock Scholar. He was “of counsel” with a national law firm in corporate finance until 1987, when he decided to devote his energies full time to real estate development.
Mr. Caruso’s commitment, first and foremost, has always been to his family, and the family sensitive environments he creates are a direct reflection of that personal priority. He resides in the Los Angeles area with his wife Tina and their three sons and a daughter.