Rick Caruso

KNIGHTED: Real estate developer Rick Caruso was recognized recently for his work in the community.

The chief executive officer and founder of real estate firm Caruso — owner of the Grove and The Americana at Brand shopping centers — was honored with the Knight Commander designation in the Order of the Knights of St. Gregory from Pope Francis.

“I am overwhelmed and honored to be recognized by our Holy Father, Pope Francis. Joining such a distinguished order, that counts so many esteemed community members in its ranks has been a truly humbling experience,” Caruso said. “I have always considered giving back to my community, to the church and to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles a great privilege and I look forward to continuing this work as a Knight of the Order of the Knights of St. Gregory the Great.”

The honor was bestowed on Caruso at a ceremony over the weekend at Cathedral of our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles. Caruso’s work and involvement in the local community and dedication to the Catholic Church were factored into his receiving the award.

The developer, whose firm late last year underwent a re-brand and made the subtle name change from Caruso Affiliated to Caruso, is juggling a number of projects in the Los Angeles area. Among them is the buildout of the redevelopment project Palisades Village, the resort Rosewood Miramar Beach Montecito and mixed-use project 333 La Cienega.

Caruso in 1991 established the charity Caruso Family Foundation, which is focused on helping at-risk kids in Los Angeles. He is also involved in a number of organizations, including Operation Progress, Para Los Ninos, St. Lawrence of Brindisi School and Verbum Dei High School. The developer and his wife Tina in 2015 donated $25 million to what was named the USC Tina and Rick Caruso Department of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery.