The Lone Star State has weathered the Great Recession and financial meltdown better than most others, and its job growth prospects are bright. As a result, Texas is at the top of many developers' and investors' wish lists. But then there are the state's commercial real estate stalwarts; the men and women who have been through the booms and busts of the Texas economy for the past several decades. These household names have all helped to shape the local commercial real estate market into what it is today.


In addition to serving as Weingarten Realty Investors' chairman, Stanford Alexander is also on the Houston-based firm's board of trustees. Weingarten acquires, develops, redevelops and manages neighborhood and community shopping centers in major metro markets. Alexander joined the firm in the early 1950s and, following several promotions throughout the company's expansion, was named president of its real estate arm in 1962. In 1997, Weingarten became chairman and CEO. (He stepped down from the latter position at the end of 2000.) In 1987, Alexander was named one of the 25 people who changed Houston from a sprawling prairie to the nation's then-seventh-largest metropolitan area. He's also made the BusinessWeek Corporate CEO List three times: in 1988, 1989 and 1992.

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