Haute 100 San Francisco Update: John Arrillaga

Our Haute 100 list details the accomplishments of the most influential people in each of our markets—Miami, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. These people continue to make moves, so rather than waiting for the next Haute 100 issue to come out, we thought we’d provide you with regular updates on those Haute 100 members who are making headlines. Real estate billionaire and philanthropist John Arrillaga receives a Golden Acorn Award from the city of Menlo Park for his gymnasium donation.

John Arrillaga

Category: Billionaires

Company: Peery-Arrillaga

Industry: Real Estate

What Makes Him Haute: John Arrillaga is one of the biggest real estate power players in the history of Silicon Valley. He and his partner Richard Peery made office space out of farmlands back in the ’60s and gave birth to entire cities like Mountain View and Sunnyvale. Today, tech titans at Google have him and Peery to thank for the headquarters (aka Googleplex) that hundreds of staff members so famously call home. In 2006, Peery-Arrillaga sold 119 Silicon Valley buildings for $1.1 billion to RREEF, owned by Deutsche Bank. He is also one of Stanford’s major benefactors.

What Makes Him Now: At Menlo Park acorns aren’t just for squirrels. Real estate billionaire John Arrillaga was the headline recipient of the 2010 Golden Acorn Awards, honoring organizations and individuals for community service, business excellence, public service, innovation and nonprofit work. The Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce selected Arrillaga to receive the Gary T. and Elissa Williams Memorial Award for Community Service because he is the major private donor to the city of Menlo Park’s new gymnasium. Arrillaga donated most of the $11.5 million construction cost, with the city contributing $5.62 million. He is also the main contributor of the gymnastics center that is being built in the city’s Civic Center.

Arrillaga was a basketball player at Stanford University in the 1950s and he has been an active player and coach in Menlo Park’s Burgess Gym basket ball program for 30 years. “I probably scored more points in that gym than any player in its history because I retired at almost age 60,” said Arrillaga. And thanks to him, many more will enjoy the new facilities for years to come.

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