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September 22, 2020
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Ronald E. Birtcher Passes Away at the Age of 89


Real estate development icon Ronald E. Birtcher passed away on April 21 at the age of 89. Birtcher, born in the City of Orange, is well known for his accomplishments as an international commercial and industrial real estate developer.

Birtcher’s many accomplishments include the founding of a family partnership with his brother Art that went on to construct, develop, market and manage well over 40 msf of properties from coast to coast, including the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood and the Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Mart, the largest of its kind in the US. He also became one of the pioneers of the now-widespread building technique known as "tilt-up" concrete construction used in the creation of commercial and industrial properties around the world.

In 1969, Ron and Art formed a venture with Southern Pacific Railroad to become their in-house development company where they maximized development opportunities on the railroad’s 2.3 million acres, nationwide. In 1990, Ron and Art sold 50% of their development and construction company to Mitsui & Co. Ltd, at the time the world’s largest trading company.

Birtcher’s leadership earned him a number of honors and recognition from industry peers, including the Medal Of Honor from the Building Industry Association in 1988, the prestigious Developer Of The Year in 1989 awarded by the National Association of Industrial and Office Parks; the Entrepreneur Of The Year honors presented by the United States-Mexico Foundation in 1992; and the UCI Center for Real Estate’s Person of the Year (Sumigarten Award). Ron was inducted into the California Building Industry Foundation's Builder's Hall of Fame in 1995.

Birtcher is survived by his wife, Joanne; his son, Brandon and wife Dorine; his daughter Shelley (McCroskey) and her husband, Brad; his son, Baron and his wife Christina; 9 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, that a donation be made to the Birtcher Foundation by visiting

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