About Me

The Remarkable Journey of



Peter H. Paulsen is a distinguished entrepreneur and philanthropist who began his journey in a small town near the German-Danish border and made a remarkable impact in the U.S. construction and real estate sectors.


Peter Paulsen’s journey began near the Danish border in Germany, where he completed a three-year to become a Master Bricklayer. At the age of 17, he took a leap of faith and migrated to the United States, settling in Davenport, Iowa. His invaluable expertise in bricklaying would undoubtedly pave the way for his future success. We’re thrilled to have such a talented and skilled individual as part of our community!

Peter's childhood home in Schardebüll, Germany, built in 1901

After Peter arrived in America, he found a job as a bricklayer for a residential builder in Davenport. Due to his hard work and proficiency, he soon decided to start his own business. He then moved to Moline, Illinois, and established Peter Paulsen Masonry, where he began constructing homes for sale.

3511 15th Street, Moline, IL. I built this home myself, working in the evenings and on theweekends, for myself and my bride, Elke
A rendering of the Villa del Prado apartment complex, which I built in San Jose, CA, in1970.


Peter’s business acumen saw him expanding into high-end apartment buildings, a move that coincided with his growing family life with his wife and three daughters. By age 30, his pursuit of broader opportunities led them to California, where he delved into real estate development in the thriving markets of Palo Alto and San Jose.

The front cover of the Homebuilding’s Apartment Report, June 1970, which included a 5-pagefeature (and front cover photo) about Villa del Prado.


Peter wasn’t satisfied with just constructing homes, so he expanded his business into commercial real estate and built significant office complexes in San Jose and Sacramento. His remarkable accomplishments include the development of a vast 200,000-square-foot office park on Moore Park Avenue and a similar complex in Sacramento. Additionally, he established the Commerce Security Bank in 1985 and served as its Chairman.

A feature piece about my office park on Moorpark Avenue in San Jose, in Today’s Real Estate, April 1979.
The lighthouse at the Hotel Bellwether.


In 1995, Peter attempted to retire and relocated to Bellingham, Washington. He developed a luxury Hotel Bellwether and commercial office space there. However, his retirement didn’t last long as he continued to undertake significant projects. Eventually,
he sold his developments in Bellingham and moved to Phoenix, Arizona, in 2010

Peter and diana


Today, Peter lives with his wife, Diana, in Phoenix, Arizona,enjoying a serene life yet participating in various charitable activities. The foundation they established in 2016, named the Paulsen and Diana Foundation, continues to impact lives by supporting organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club and the Mayo Clinic, among others. His journey from a young apprentice in Germany to a respected developer and philanthropist in the United States is a testament to his enduring spirit of determination and generosity.


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