Gerald D. Hines, founder and chairman of the Houston-based global real estate firm Hines, passed away at home on August 23. He recently had celebrated his 95th birthday. A ULI Life Trustee and benefactor, Hines was an avid supporter of the Institute for more than 60 years.
The news was announced by his son, Jeffrey C. Hines, who has been running the firm as president and now assumes the role of chairman and chief executive officer. Gerald Hines is survived by his wife, Barbara; four children; 15 grandchildren; and one great-grandson.
Hines was recognized in 2002 as the recipient of the ULI Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development and immediately used that award to endow the ULI Hines Student Competition, which continues to support the development of the next generation of real estate leaders. He also shared his insights by speaking at many product council sessions or Spring and Fall Meetings and by participating in ULI awards juries.
“It is impossible to overstate Gerry’s contribution both to the real estate industry and to ULI,” said ULI Global Chairman Owen D. Thomas, chief executive officer of Boston Properties. “He was a true visionary who shaped our industry over many decades and was an inspiration and role model to me and so many others in building our own careers in commercial real estate. On the important issues of the day, whether they be urban design, placemaking, or sustainability, Gerry was always somebody to whom the industry looked for leadership.”
ULI Global CEO Ed Walter said, “ULI owes a huge debt of gratitude to Gerry for his many decades of service to our Institute and our mission. Our thoughts and condolences are with his wife, Barbara; his children; his grandchildren; and his great-grandson.”
“Gerald Hines was the industry icon,” said ULI Americas Chairman Jonathan Brinsden, CEO of Midway, a real estate investment and development firm also based in Houston. “I had the good fortune to meet with him several times and was always struck by his graciousness, openness, and continued passion for the business. And while he created so many iconic and impactful developments, it is the Hines organization—the premiere global real estate brand—that was his greatest achievement. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. He will be missed by many, both personally and professionally.”
Marilyn Jordan Taylor, a ULI global governing trustee and former global chair, recalled, “I met him when I was a newly minted architect working at SOM on a range of Hines projects across the U.S. He always had time to talk to me and those on our team about the ways in which design enhances value, the importance of vision, and the commitment to environmental policies. He always talked with me, not down to me. What a boost those comments were—and still are to those who got to work with him.”
In addition to being a Life Trustee, a ULI Foundation governor, and a member of the ULI Foundation’s Marcus Vitruvius Society (the highest level of giving), Hines served as a ULI board member for 20 years.
Hines was widely regarded and regularly honored as a visionary in the commercial real estate industry. He transformed an entrepreneurial startup, established in Houston in 1957, into an international powerhouse, renowned for developing, owning, and managing some of the world’s most recognizable architectural landmarks across five continents. With more than 4,800 employees, Hines today is active in 225 cities in 25 countries.
Most notable was Hines’s belief that memorable design by prominent architects could garner commercial success. Throughout his career, Hines teamed with such renowned architects as Lord Norman Foster; Bruce Graham and David M. Childs of SOM; Gyo Obata; Philip Johnson and John Burgee (15 projects total); I.M. Pei and Harry N. Cobb; Cesar Pelli; Kevin Roche; Robert A.M. Stern; A. Eugene Kohn and William E. Pedersen; Charles W. Moore; Frank O. Gehry; Jon Pickard and William Chilton; and Jean Nouvel, among others.
The Hines firm has developed more than 907 projects around the world, including 100 buildings over 25 stories, and the tallest office towers in Texas, Kentucky, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Italy. After elevating Houston’s built environment to prestigious art with sustainable function, Hines made his mark across the nation, establishing large local offices in major hubs, including New York City, San Francisco, Atlanta, and Chicago.
From 1996 to 2010, Hines made London his home base, having transferred day-to-day operations to his son, Jeff, who became the firm’s president in 1990. While abroad, Hines expanded into major western and eastern European markets, securing a footprint that is still growing across the continent. The firm also entered Asia markets in the mid-1990s.
Significant projects include 53rd at Third, known as the Lipstick Building, in New York City; 101 California, San Francisco; One Ninety One Peachtree, Atlanta; Three First National Plaza, Chicago; Five Hundred Boylston, Boston; DZ Bank, Berlin; Porta Nuova, Milan; and EDF Tower, Paris. In addition are Houston landmarks, One Shell Plaza; the Galleria; Pennzoil Place; Bank of America Plaza; JPMorgan Chase Tower, and Williams Tower.