Beverly Hills real estate magnate, humanitarian and philanthropist Stanley Black, a native of Los Angeles, has managed to combine a dynamic business life with a whole host of charitable endeavors – and to prosper for more than a half-century. Following his stint in the US Navy, Black joined the distinguished L.A. firm of Buckeye Realty & Management. At Buckeye, the top breeding ground for anyone interested in just about every aspect of commercial real estate, Black learned about finance, construction and the overall management of office buildings. Shortly thereafter, Black struck out on his own, joining forces with a partner named Arthur Kaplan to establish KB Management. Within a decade, the firm had constructed some 50 office buildings on spec, spread throughout the LA metropolitan area from Hollywood, Pasadena and Encino to Long Beach, Woodland Hills and the LAX airport area.
Each of these projects ranged in space from 200,000 to 400,000 square feet, with the company employing more than 100 people and having real estate holdings which exceeded $375 million. In the early 1970s, the high cost of construction led the partners to diversify their holdings. Instead of erecting structures from ground up, KB began to purchase existing office buildings, which were deemed as not being put to their best use or potential. KB controlled every facet, including leasing and management. Then, KB began developing distressed properties as regional offices for HUD and other government agencies, as well as creating shopping centers in redevelopment and low-income areas. In the mid 70s, the partners got an offer from the Canadian conglomerate Trizec-Hahn to purchase KB Management. Afterwards they were primarily engaged in developing industrial and retail parcels as well as building “envelope” properties, which were custom-designed for specific customer needs.
Following Arthur Kaplan’s death in 1985, the partners’ families opened their own offices. Black’s son, Jack, joined his father’s business along with a new partner, Bob Barth, moving the headquarters to Beverly Hills and establishing Black Equities Group to invest in income-producing properties, many of which are leased to major retail and industrial users under long-term contracts. Working with Stanley Black and other limited partners, Bob Barth, with an MBA from Harvard Business School, has, over the last 30 years, been responsible for directing the acquisition of deals having an aggregate value in excess of three-hundred fifty million dollars.
Stanley and Bob, continually investing in properties nationwide, have, over the years, invited top acquisition experts to join the Black Equities Group acquisition team. Key players in the world of real estate, like Sam Rosenwald, Rich Lucy and Darren Weinstock, add their diverse expertise to the Black Equities Group team, which now owns more than 350 properties spread over 35 states.
Today, the top notch acquisitions team also includes Stanley’s daughter Jill and her son Zach Zalben. Black Equities Group’s founder Stanley Black, along with his partner Bob Barth, still strive to maintain their time-honored “hands-on” approach of always being available and more than willing to personally consult with a broker, manager, tenant, contractor, city official or employee.
Along with being active and accessible managers, Stan and Bob also insist upon an approachable, relaxed atmosphere at the headquarters office. The entire Black Equities Group team readily welcomes broker partnerships and new submittals of presentations. As Stan puts it, with his usual disarming grin, “our office doors are always open because we never know when the next great deal is coming by”.
* Supplementary materials added; excerpted from an October 29, 2004 article in The Beverly Hills Courier, written by John L. Seitz, Courier Managing Editor. Used with permission.