Prominent SoCal Developer J.H. Snyder Has Died at 90

Snyder’s 70-year career included developing LA’s Wilshire Courtyard offices 


Jerome “Jerry” H. Snyder, founder of the prominent development firm J.H. Snyder Company, has died.

The 90-year-old Snyder was battling cancer, and died on May 9 in his home in Bel Air, according to media representatives.

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The executive led a number of development projects that have left a lasting mark on Los Angeles, ranging from the SAG-AFTRA Plaza to the Wilshire Courtyard offices

“My favorite project is the next one,” Snyder was known to say. 

Snyder was born in Brooklyn, and moved to Los Angeles in 1944. His family lived in Boyle Heights, and Snyder graduated from Roosevelt High School. He briefly attended UCLA and served in the U.S. Navy

Then Snyder bought a truck and started a home remodeling business when he was 19 years old. That led to the creation of a development company, and by the time he was 22 years old, Snyder’s company — then named Signature Homes — was completing 2,000 homes per year.

He then established J.H. Snyder Company, and expanded to building homes around the country. In the 1970s, he transitioned the homebuilding firm into a commercial property development company that was behind several L.A. landmarks, including office buildings, retail centers, and multifamily projects. 

In 1978 Snyder acquired what was then the Prudential Insurance headquarters at 5757 Wilshire Boulevard in partnership with Samuel Oschin, Irving Oschin and William Glikbarg, and they developed what is now known as the SAG-AFTRA Plaza. Across the street, the firm developed the one-million-square-foot Wilshire Courtyard offices that traded for $624 million last year. 

The firm is currently building the 285-unit luxury Residences at Wilshire Curson adjacent to the SAG-AFTRA Plaza. 

Snyder’s company has completed thousands of homes and millions of square feet of commercial development, including the Water Garden and Ocean Towers in Santa Monica, Beverly Glen Park in the hills near Bel Air, The River at Rancho Mirage near Palm Springs, and Coronado Shores in San Diego.

Snyder is survived by his wife, three children, and three grandchildren. A memorial service is planned at a later date. To honor Snyder’s memory, contributions can be sent to the UCLA Stein Eye Institute.