Forbes magazine featured Greensboro developer Roy Carroll in its cover story on Monday, Dec. 5.
Under the headline, “The Guru Of Greensboro: How A College Dropout Built A $2.9 Billion Real Estate Empire,” Forbes provides quite a bit of background on Carroll, who is the owner and publisher of the Rhino Times, and how he became “the city’s richest resident.” Carroll is the founder, president and CEO of The Carroll Companies, headquartered in downtown Greensboro.
Forbes compares Carroll’s investment philosophy in real estate to that of Warren Buffett in stocks. “Like the Oracle of Omaha, Roy Carroll has made a fortune buying low and rarely selling. His sweet spot: cheap land that he’s turned into lucrative apartment complexes across the Southeast. Now Greensboro’s richest resident is biding his time, waiting for the coming real estate market collapse.”
Forbes notes that Carroll bought his first house when he was 14, fixed it up and sold it for a profit that he used to buy a Ford Mustang, even though he wasn’t old enough to drive, and that his fascination with cars resulted in a collection of limited-edition Ferraris.
Forbes states that Carroll’s “$2.9 billion fortune is largely made up of real estate, including more than 13,000 apartments and 29 self-storage facilities, as well as industrial land and mixed-use projects.”
According to the article, three-fourths of Carroll’s net worth is tied up in apartment complexes and 80 percent of those apartments are outside the Greensboro area, spread across 26 cities and communities in the Southeast, including Nashville, Tennessee and Austin, Texas.
Carroll told Forbes that currently he was pausing on new investment and construction to keep money available if real estate prices come down. He said, “I’m trying to keep every dollar I can on the sidelines today.”
The article notes that Carroll has recently entered into industrial development, where his clients include personal hygiene firm Ontex and the supermarket chain Publix. It states, “the latest addition to his empire is a $160 million mixed-use project in Bozeman, Montana.”
As the article notes, Carroll has come a long way from when he dropped out of college in 1983 to build a house with his father.