The Cox Family Trusts own 18.8 acres on the south shore of Lady Bird Lake. The property is located at 305 Congress, where the Austin-American Statesman operated for years. The Cox Family Trusts and their developer, Endeavor Real Estate Group, are proposing to build out 3.5 million square feet, with 2 high-end office skyscrapers, 3 opulent condominium towers and a plush hotel. When the Cox Family sold the Austin-American Statesman newspaper in 2018, it retained the Statesman’s property on South Congress.
The Cox Family is one of the world’s wealthiest families with approximately $34.5 billion in assets. “We live in an era of truly incredible wealth and vast inequality between the richest billionaires and every day middle class people…The Cox family is the 14th-wealthiest family in the world with a combined $33.6 billion net worth [in 2020].”
According to Forbes in 2021, the Cox Family heirs are now worth $34.5 billion through their ownership of Cox Enterprises. Cox Enterprises is a massive, global conglomerate that owns media (television and radio stations, newspapers, and cable) and automotive companies with $21.1 billion in annual revenues in 2019.
The Cox Family are members of the world’s most exclusive inheritance club: “the world’s 25 richest clans, who control $1.1 trillion of wealth, according to data compiled by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.”
Bloomberg News cautions that the richest families in the world like the Cox Family likely have substantially greater wealth than reported: “And any calculation is likely to be a lowball figure. The wealth of families like the Rothschilds or Rockefellers is too diffuse to value. The nature of many dynastic fortunes — backed by decades and sometimes centuries of assets and dividends — can obfuscate the true extent of their holdings.”
The Statesman newspaper is but a shell of its former self because the Cox Family sold the paper to GateHouse Media. A so-called media vulture company, GateHouse maximizes short-term profits by slashing media staff. Offering a buyout to all Statesman employees, GateHouse eviscerated the newspaper’s local and state coverage. The Coxes could have sold the newspaper to The Hearst Corp., which also bid on the Statesman. Hearst, which owns the San Antonio Express News and Houston Chronicle, among many other papers, has maintained greater newspaper staff and coverage than GateHouse has.