I am sharing my background as one of several paths that can equip you to make and manage commercial real estate investments. I was born and raised in sunny San Diego where I first learned about real estate development from my Mom, who founded an architectural design firm specializing in commercial tenant improvements and high-end home renovations for developer clients.
I moved to L.A. in ’98 to attend UCLA with young 17-year old ambitions of becoming the sports doctor for the L.A. Lakers and perform orthopedic surgery as a ‘side hustle’, as soon as possible. After 2 years of pre-medicine and two finance internships, I found I much prefer real-life working experiences over the 12+ year academic path to practicing medicine. I graduated with a business economics degree and entered a tough job market frozen by the September 11th terrorist attack.
I opted to stay in LA and work in corporate finance/valuation consulting at PriceWaterhouse Coopers which was immediately spun off to Standard & Poors in reaction to the Enron audit-consulting scandal in 2002. After two years conducting valuations for companies of all types, I looked back at my Mom’s clients as inspiration to pursue a career in commercial real estate development.
I applied to LOWE, a 48-year old, investment-development company, as a real estate analyst and to the USC Master of Real Estate Development program. I was miraculously accepted to both and opted to complete my master’s work part-time after 12-14 hour days as an analyst. I then spent over a decade and an entire real estate cycle at LOWE where I ran acquisitions for the Western US, built the mixed-use development business in Southern California, and basically threw myself at every possible opportunity to learn how to acquire, develop, manage, restructure and operate complicated mixed-use, multi-phase commercial real estate properties.
I’ll share what I’ve learned from my experiences at the “confluences” of things – between office, retail, apartment and industrial buildings, between large scale institutional investment, operating practices and small company entrepreneurship, between the boardroom and street-level front lines and much, much more…