Carson Companies is a developer and long-term owner of industrial real estate with property management, asset management, leasing, construction management and development capabilities. The portfolio of properties owned exceeds 20 million square feet and is located in major labor and distribution hubs throughout California, Texas, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.PLAY COMPANY VIDEO
King Carlos III of Spain (pictured) grants Juan José Domínguez a ±75,000 acre tract of land in the Los Angeles area close to the Bay of San Pedro.
Juan José Domínguez dies naming Manuel Gutiérrez executor of his will. His nephew, Cristóbal Domínguez inherits his property including the cattle and horses.
Cristóbal petitions Spanish Governor Sóla for ownership of the Rancho San Pedro. The Rancho prospers under the management of Gutiérrez who pays Juan José’s debts, resides on the land and attempts to claim the land as his. As administrator, he grants Dolores Sepúlveda permission to graze cattle on the Palos Verdes tract.
Mexican government takes over Spanish control of Alta California. Governor Sóla receives a second request from Cristóbal, a survey of the land is executed, and the re-grant of the Rancho is issued with provisions on December 31, 1822. It was recorded at the City Council of Los Angeles on February 8, 1823
Cristóbal dies leaving a detailed will naming his wife, María de los Reyes Ybaña, executor. She passes away five months later. His first born son, Luis Gonzaga Policarpo Manuel Antonio y Fernando, simply known as Manuel Domínguez, becomes executor. He declares his property, the Rancho San Pedro, and spends his lifetime defending the family’s rights to ownership “with the branding iron”, as emphasized in his father’s will.
Manuel Domínguez builds a home just south of his great uncle, Juan José’s small adobe. The home is on the easterly side of Domínguez Hill and has been enlarged and preserved. It was deeded to the Claretian Missionaries in 1922 and became a museum and State Landmark No.152 in 1976. It is still open to the public today.
Manuel Domínguez moves into the new home on the Rancho, marries María Engracia de Cota in an elaborate ceremony, and as the oldest son and executor of his father’s will, assumes the role of principle manager of the land. It is due to Manuel’s shrewd management and clever guidance that Rancho San Pedro would be granted the first U.S. land patent in California and remain in the hands of the Domínguez heirs to this day
While battling several parties over the use and occupation of the Rancho San Pedro and with the official title of the land still in doubt, Manuel Domínguez also works steadily to expand his political career. He is elected Mayor (Alcalde) and Judge of the First Instance for the City (Pueblo) of Los Angeles at the age of 29.
Manuel Domínguez moves into the new home on the Rancho, marries María Engracia de Cota in an elaborate ceremony, and as the oldest son and executor of his father’s will, assumes the role of principle manager of the land. It is due to Manuel’s shrewd management and clever guidance that Rancho San Pedro would be granted the first U.S. land patent in California and remain in the hands of the Domínguez heirs to this day.
The Battle of Domínguez Hill otherwise known as “The Battle of the Old Woman’s Gun” occurred north of Domínguez Hill. American troops occupied the land for two days and a battle ensued with the Californian natives. Manuel stayed neutral and commanded respect for his years of public service from both the Mexican and American governments
California was acquired by the United States under the terms of the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo following the defeat of Mexico in the Mexican–American War. Manuel Domínguez was one of seven delegates elected from Los Angeles to attend the First Constitutional Convention in California, where he and 47 other delegates from throughout the state signed California’s State Constitution.
George Carson arrives in Los Angeles after completing an expedition from New Mexico to California (well over 1,100 miles) with a large herd of sheep, limited supplies, and overcoming many obstacles. A man with great ambition and determination, only few before him traveled the length and route he did and survived. Born in Jordan, New York, he moved to St. Charles, Chicago at age 12, joined and served in the United States military until the war with Mexico ended in 1848.
Official registration of the brand of Manuel Domínguez is recorded.
After the first survey of the Rancho under American law, divisions of exact ownership are made through a partition suit (case 196) brought to the United States District Supreme Court by Manuel and other parties against his brother Pedro. By final decree, Manuel was adjudged the owner of 28,746.12 acres, or two thirds of the Rancho lands still held by the Domínguez heirs.
George Carson jointly owns a hardware business, becomes actively involved in local politics, being elected to the City Council of Los Angeles at the age of 28. He also meets and marries María Victoria Domínguez, Manuel’s fourth daughter. The following year, he is appointed to the office of Public Administrator for Los Angeles County - a position he holds for eight years consecutively and again from 1870-1873.
A formal U.S. Patent of Title signed by President James Buchanan awards Manuel and eleven other Domínguez heirs official owners of Rancho San Pedro providing a clear confirmation of ownership after many years of legal and family disputes. Preceded by a lengthy and disputed survey, the final amount of land recognized is 43,119.13 acres. The share directly owned by Manuel was slightly less than 26,000 acres. It was the very first patent of title given among over 70 claims of Spanish and Mexican land grants in California.
George sells his local business, devotes his full attention to the management of the Rancho, and moves with Victoria to the Rancho with their first two children. He becomes chief assistant to Manuel overseeing all ranch affairs. His role will continue after the death of Manuel. George fully concurs with his father-in-law’s policy of staying out of debt and holding on to the land for future development. Shortly after their arrival, John Manuel is born. He is the first boy and child of the couple’s to be born on the Rancho.
As the area progresses, the Los Angeles and San Pedro Railroad (LA&SPRR), represented by Phineas Banning, comes to the Rancho. At George’s urging, (seeing the great value it would be to them) Manuel deeds a territory of 100 feet wide, 33,000 feet long, and encompasses 77 acres for the railroad to be built through the Rancho. This originally connected Los Angeles to the San Pedro Harbor. Later, it became the Southern Pacific Railroad and eventually linked to major markets nationwide.
George Carson makes sound business decisions and profits continue on the Rancho. Their livestock decreases significantly due to years of drought, he wisely chooses to replace cattle with sheep. His experience enables him to pick the best breed for dry conditions. He also turns toward dairy farming and agriculture diversification, raising barley, beans, alfalfa, and wheat. He persuades Manuel to invest in newer methods and equipment to prepare the land, harvest, and transport grain. He recognizes the need for water and foresees plans to protect their natural resources.
Manuel Domínguez passes away at home just shy of 80 years old. His wife, María Engracia Cota de Domínguez dies five months later. Bishop Francisco Mora was originally entrusted with the will, however, he had been called back to Spain, therefore, George Carson is appointed executor by a Superior Court Judge. A two-year legal battle ensues over the exact partition of the Rancho San Pedro among the six daughters and a re-appraisal of the land is ordered. Slightly over 24,000 acres remain with a net worth of $167,436.34.
Dividing the Rancho between the six surviving daughters becomes a daunting task due to the different locations, accessibility, and relative value of each type of land within tracts and acres. Referees are hired to help make the fairest decision possible. By final decree in June, each of the Domínguez sisters acquired, in separate ownership, a series of tracts varying in size from a single lot to more than 2,400 acres.
George Carson passes away at his home at the age of 72. Informally, the Carson Estate Company is established. Following in the footsteps of his father, John Manuel Carson (George’s first son) takes control and manages the family’s huge estate. He becomes very successful and well-known as a business man, inventor, civic leader and the most savvy ranch owner of the area until the time of his death in 1928.
After the oldest sister, Ana Josefa de Guyer passes, the family forms and incorporates the Domínguez Estate Company. The corporation allows them to manage the estate which has increased to a market value of over one million dollars. She wills equal shares to her five sisters.
The Carson Estate Company is formally incorporated to hold the Domínguez-Carson family assets intact. Victoria Domínguez de Carson heads up the company as President and her children are Directors, including her son-in- law, H.H. Cotton, who is elected secretary. The primary intention is to raise money through leasing and sale of land to acquire additional real estate. The Carson’s holdings of real property was 3,549 acres at that time.
The Carson Estate Company signs first oil leases in 1916 for exploration and a vast oil field is discovered on Domínguez Hill in 1921. Union Oil Company leased a great portion of land in 1923 and eventually, they are operating over 350 wells spanning over 1,200 acres. As President since his mother’s passing, John Manuel continues to pursue oil and water production. In 1926, the Company sells a portion of land for petroleum refining and industrial development.
The Carson Estate Company began its first active real estate development with the participation in the construction of a 10-story office building at 5410 Wilshire Boulevard in downtown Los Angeles.
Although oil and water production continue to be the business mainstays, the Carson Estate Company owns and operates real estate and becomes more active in developing within a rapidly expanding community. The Company starts the development of a 1,200-acre parcel on Domínguez Hill for business and industrial use.
With the oil wells slow in production, the Domínguez Estate Company liquidates its assets after negotiating the largest real estate transaction in the history of Southern California at this time. The Company sells over 1,600 acres of the original Domínguez land grant for $58,500,000.
The citizens vote between naming the unincorporated area in which they live either Domínguez or Carson. While both names are those of early pioneers that are significant to the history of the area, by a narrow margin of 318 votes, the City of Carson becomes the name of the official 77th incorporated city of Los Angeles County. This city, along with many other surrounding cities, currently were among the original land grant.
Shareholders of the Carson Estate Company decide to liquidate. When the purchaser falls through, the Company changes focus and chooses new leadership. As gas prices began to skyrocket, they devote efforts back into the oil and gas business. In addition, having land within close proximity to the international ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the Company also plans to further utilize the value of their location to increase revenue. This time, with industrial development.
The Carson Estate Company begins its own development of a 438-acre, master- planned industrial business park, Domínguez Technology Center, the last vestige of the Company’s Domínguez Hill properties.
The development of Homestead Business Park commenced with the construction of six industrial buildings on the land where the original Carson Family home stood until 1969.
The Company celebrates its 75th anniversary and adopts a new logo and name, The Carson Companies. It serves as an umbrella name for itself and its other growing affiliated entities established for development. The Domínguez Brand Awards are formed to recognize excellence in the categories of city government, community service and teaching. In 1991, the Company begins presenting scholarships for exceptional students attending CSUDH.
The Carson Estate Company, with 97 percent of its assets now in real estate, reorganizes as a Real Estate Investment Trust, formally changing their name to Carson Estate Trust. This saves them millions of dollars in income taxes. The Company’s strategy is refined to focus primarily on ownership of industrial buildings ideally suited for logistics and manufacturing industries. The Company owns approximately 2.8 million square feet. They embark on the final development phase of Domínguez Technology Center.
The Domínguez Water Company, of which the Carson Estate Trust owns 20 percent of, is merged into California Water Company, the largest water company in the west. The Company receives 424,000 shares of the California Water Company’s stock and retains it to this day.
The Carson Companies expands its capital base by entering into its first joint venture with CIGNA, a large insurance company. By augmenting the Company’s capital with that of its partners, the Company sets off on a rapid expansion program.
The Carson Companies begins development of Chino South Business Park where it builds more than 3.7 million square feet of Class A industrial space with joint venture partners. By 2004, the demand for the Company’s premier industrial buildings are at an all time high. The buildings are architecturally attractive and have state-of-the-art warehousing, distribution and light manufacturing facilities.
The Carson Companies expands into Houston, Texas. Houston appears to be counter cyclical to Southern California and benefits from the resurgence of the energy business in the United States. The Company hires its first employee in Houston and opens an office. Expanding into Houston allows the Company to diversify its risk of being concentrated in one market.
The Carson Companies completes the final building in Domínguez Technology Center. Within the Tech Center, the Company owns 3.5 million square feet. Tenants such as FedEx Ground, General Mills, BE Aerospace, Cintas, and the Los Angeles Times occupy buildings.
The Carson Companies celebrates its 100th Anniversary. The vast majority of the Company is still owned by direct descendants of George and Victoria Carson who, through the Board of Trustees-mostly made up of family descendants-guide the Company into the future. The Company now owns more than 12 million square feet with approximately 8 million square feet in Southern California and 4 million square feet in Houston, TX. The dividend per share in 2013 has increased to $16.10. The gross value of the real estate assets of the Company exceeds $1 billion.
Jim sets the strategic direction of the Company and has hands-on involvement in every activity to ensure that the Company’s goals are achieved. He is a member of Carson’s Board of Trustees. Prior to joining the Company, he was a Managing Director with AEW Capital Management, L.P. where he initiated and managed real estate investment ventures totaling over $3 billion. Prior to AEW, he was with Arthur Young & Company in Boston. Jim has more than 35 years of real estate experience, and joined the Company in 1999 as President. Jim is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a degree in accounting, and is a Certified Public Accountant. Jim is a member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and a Trustee of Simmons College of Boston.
Sr. Vice President, Finance
John is the Company’s Chief Financial Officer and oversees all accounting, financial reporting and risk management activities. In addition, John is involved with structuring our institutional partnerships. He has arranged in excess of $900 million of permanent, construction and revolving debt facilities on behalf of the Company. Prior to joining the Company, he was in the auditing and consulting departments of Kenneth Leventhal & Company in Los Angeles, and with Pacific Atlas Development Company, a Japanese-owned real estate developer. John has more than 35 years of real estate and accounting experience. He joined the Company in 1997 as Vice President, Controller and was promoted to his current position in 2001. John graduated from the University of Southern California, and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Sr. Vice President, Marketing and Development
Todd is involved in development, acquisitions and leasing in Southern California. Before joining the Company, Todd was Vice President and Market Officer for ProLogis, where he was responsible for a broad range of development, marketing and management activities in Southern California and Las Vegas, including site selection, acquisitions and lease negotiations. Prior to ProLogis, he was an Associate Director with Cushman & Wakefield, and a Principal with Parker Properties. Todd has 19 years of real estate experience and joined the Company in 2007. He received a B.A. from University of California, Los Angeles and a J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law. He is a licensed real estate broker in the state of California. Todd is a member of the Board of Directors for Southern California’s Inland Empire chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP).
Vice President of Property Management
Eddie joined the Company in 2001 and has served as Vice President of Property Management since 2009. In his role as Vice President, he leads the property management team and oversees the overall performance and tenant relations for the Company’s wholly owned assets as well as its institutional partners’ real estate portfolio. Eddie was previously with The Merit Companies and has more than two decades of experience in real estate property management. He is a graduate of California State University, Fullerton and is a member of the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM).
Vice President, Controller
Boyd is responsible for the daily accounting operations, financial reporting and budgeting for the Company. Prior to joining Carson Companies in 1999, he was the Controller for Bravante-Curci Investors, L.P., a private real estate investment venture. He began his career in public accounting at Deloitte and Touche and served as the Accounting Manager at Impco Technologies. Boyd graduated from the University of the Pacific in 1993 and earned an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California in 2003. He is a Certified Public Accountant.
Sr. Vice President, Texas
Dan is responsible for the Company’s Houston operations including portfolio management, acquisitions, leasing and development. Dan has been instrumental in growing the Company’s Houston portfolio to more than 6 million square feet. Prior to joining the Company in 2007, he was an industrial real estate broker with Boyd Commercial in Houston. He holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Texas. Dan is a Texas licensed real estate broker and active in both ULI and NAIOP.
Vice President, Asset & Portfolio Management
Dan is involved in acquisitions, development, entitlement, asset management and portfolio management across the Company’s three markets, with particular focus on Southern California. Prior to joining the Company in 2013, he was a Production Associate in the multifamily division of Freddie Mac, where he underwrote, sized and priced loan quotes, with over $2 billion in successfully funded loans. Dan is a graduate of NAIOP’s Young Professional Group and is a member of its Alumni Committee. He holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Southern California.
Managing Director, Philadelphia & New Jersey
Chris is responsible for the Company’s east coast operations including acquisitions, development, portfolio management, leasing, and property management. His acquisition activity is focused on development in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Chris has had 10 years of real estate investing and management experience prior to joining the Company in 2015. Prior to Carson Companies, Chris was Vice President of Investments with KTR Capital Partners where he sourced and acquired development sites in Texas and Pennsylvania. He was with Grosvenor Fund Management as an Acquisitions Officer and with Starwood Capital Group as Lead Portfolio Manager. Chris is a member of NAIOP’s Developing Leaders National Forum. He holds a B.A. in Finance and an M.B.A from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.