Founder & History

Raymond A. Watt

(February 26, 1919 – July 7, 2009)
Ray Watt founded his first construction company in 1947, and under his watchful guidance the company successfully grew from a small building business to a large real estate development organization, credited with more than $6 billion in completed projects.

Throughout the years, Ray was honored by numerous civic and business organizations for his commitment to the community and leadership in the industry. He was named “Builder of the Year” on several occasions and was a member of the Housing Hall of Fame of the National Association of Home Builders. He was a recipient of the American Lung Association’s National Humanitarian Award, the Los Angeles Business Council Lifetime Achievement Award, and the National Association of Home Builders award for major contributions to the National Housing Endowment.

Ray spent time as Assistant Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and President of the National Corporation of Housing Partnerships, a corporation established by Congress to accelerate development of middle and low income housing. He was Director of the Corporate Fund for Housing, a non-profit corporation dedicated to providing low-income housing in Southern California, and also served as Chairman of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco from 1972 to 1979.

Ray was an active supporter of the University of Southern California where he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Law Degree and served on the Board of Trustees from 1968 to 2009. He also served on the Board of Directors of several civic organizations, including Los Angeles public television station KCET, the Los Angeles Area Council of the Boy Scouts, and Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Organization (HOBY).

Ray Watt was an innovator, builder, visionary, and family man. His life is an inspiration to us all.


In 1947, Ray Watt founded Watt Companies to build homes for veterans returning from World War II. Throughout his career, Watt went on to manage developments that have come to define the California lifestyle, including strip-style shopping malls and residential communities combining housing with amenities such as golf courses, tennis courts, swimming pools and lakes. A visionary in his industry, Watt also pioneered the development of condominium and timeshare projects on the West Coast.

Over the years, Watt built more than 100,000 single family homes, office buildings, mobile home parks, motels, and industrial and retail centers. Among his best known projects include Watt Plaza, a 920,000-square-foot, Class-A office complex that recently became the building in Century City to receive Platinum LEED certification, and Fairbanks Ranch, a luxury housing development in Rancho Santa Fe with an equestrian center that was used during the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. He held the same high standards of design and construction for the thousands of moderate income properties he developed in Torrance, Hawthorne, Covina and other Southern California cities.

Watt Companies proudly continues in in the prudent management philosophy of its founder, always placing the highest priority on customer service and partnership. Watt Companies’ team of visionary real estate professionals provide a full range of development, asset management, investment and advisory services for homebuyers, tenants, partners and investors across the nation.

Watt Companies looks confidently into the future with a commitment to maintaining the strong relationships that have solidified its reputation as one the nation’s premier real estate companies.

Broadway Lofts

San Diego, CA



Fairbanks Ranch

Host of Equestrian Competition




Sheraton Plaza La Reina

Los Angeles International Airport

Los Angeles, CA

Completed 1981 – Renovated 1996


Copyright © 2014 Watt Companies, Inc.
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