Rick Caruso

Founder and CEO

Rick J. Caruso is a renowned business innovator, dedicated civic leader and actively involved philanthropist. As its founder and Chief Executive Officer, he has developed Caruso® to be one of the largest and most admired privately held real estate companies in the United States.

Caruso started his career as a real-estate lawyer in the corporate finance department of one of the nation’s largest law firms. Thereafter, he transitioned from law to pursue his lifelong passion for development, establishing Caruso Affiliated Holdings in 1987. Ignoring the traditional “shopping mall” approach to retail, he adopted a fresh, new strategy for development and revolutionized the industry with imaginative retail and mixed-use destinations that serve as timeless and beloved centers of town.



Caruso’s world-class portfolio of properties continues to expand and include more than a dozen internationally renowned and award-winning retail, residential, mixed-use, and resort destinations. Among these are the recently opened Palisades Village and Rosewood Miramar Beach Montecito.

Our Properties

  • RMB
  • GAF
  • AAB
  • PV
  • PAW
  • CAC
  • LTO
  • WTS
  • EMP
  • village-1
  • 8500
  • MT

At a Glance

    than industry average
    caruso’s properties consistently outperform traditional shopping destinations with results three times higher than the industry average.
  • TOP 5
    Caruso’s flagship property, The grove, was ranked second highest sales-generating shopping centers in the country.
  • TOP 15
    ranking on shopping center today
    caruso is the only development company to have two of its properties ranked on Shopping Center Today’s list of the top 15 shopping centers in the world.


Caruso’s deeply held personal philosophy and commitment to giving back have further solidified his reputation as a compassionate member of the community. In 1991, he and his wife, Tina, founded The Caruso Family Foundation. The foundation is dedicated to supporting children living in areas of high crime and extreme poverty through educational opportunities.  Through faith-based universities of the highest academic excellence, environmental awareness, and quality healthcare programs for disadvantaged communities – The Caruso Family Foundation works with the most disenfranchised youth within the Los Angeles community to change their life’s trajectory.

Among the many non-profit organizations that he supports, Caruso is actively involved with Operation Progress LA, St. Lawrence of Brindisi School, St. Mary’s Academy and Verbum Dei High School—all located in the Watts area of Los Angeles—as well as Para Los Niños, which serves at-risk families in downtown Los Angeles.

In 2019, Caruso announced a $50 million commitment to the Pepperdine School of Law, which will be renamed the Rick J. Caruso School of Law in recognition of the historic gift. The contribution, made through the Caruso Family Foundation, will expand educational access to exceptional, historically underserved student populations—a hallmark of the Caruso family’s philanthropic efforts in the Los Angeles area and beyond—as well as fuel several initiatives to strengthen the School of Law’s academic programming.

civic responsibility

Early in his career, he served as the youngest Commissioner in the city’s history when Mayor Tom Bradley appointed him Commissioner for the L.A. Department of Water and Power. In that role, he brought a 25-year-old lawsuit to resolution that provided more clean water to Los Angeles while protecting the environment. Following this success, Caruso was selected as President of the L.A. Police Commission where he led the effort to overhaul the Los Angeles Police Department and recruited William Bratton as Chief of Police. Together, they reduced the city’s crime rate to the lowest levels in 50 years.

Caruso, a long-serving member of the USC community, also endowed the USC Caruso Department of Otolaryngology at the Keck School of Medicine and the USC Catholic Center, which provides spiritual connection for faculty and students of all faiths.

Caruso was elected as Chair of the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee of the University of Southern California. He also serves as the Chair of the Board of Loyola High School, and is on the Board of Advisors of Pepperdine School of Law. He maintains roles on the Boards for The Irvine Company, St. John’s Hospital and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Foundation. In April of 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Caruso became part of both a federal and state level task force, providing expertise on reopening the economy safely.

  • LAPD
  • USC
  • Keck
  • catholic center (1)
  • Loyola
  • pepperdine
  • irvine
  • HSHS (1)
  • RR

Awards & recognition

The Man Who Could Save Retail

The Walt Disney
of Retail

A developer who defines not just his city but his time

Improving the lives of L.A.’s neediest