A Commercial Real Estate Dojo

I started this blog as a Dojo for commercial real estate as a practice. A dōjō (道場, Japanese pronunciation: [doꜜː(d)ʑoː]) is a hall or place for immersive learning or meditation. This is traditionally in the field of martial arts, but has been seen increasingly in other fields, such as meditation and software development.

This blog aims to help educate and equip commercial real estate investors of all experience levels on the unexplained “how’s” of value-add investing in commercial real estate and mixed-use redevelopment. I will share with you our approach to value investing, operating, leasing and executing investments. You will learn where there are investing returns, how can you invest better and how to figure things out now amidst so much uncertainty.

I believe now, more than ever, we have to be open with sharing our knowledge in an industry known for its secrecy in only sharing deal closing announcements and accomplishments. I am happy to step outside of these norms to share both sides, reporting to you from the frontlines.

This blog is my way to openly share with you my ‘playbook’ so that you can reap the same rewards I am coming across, whilst avoiding the mistakes. I hope that coming in from an institutional investor, owner, developer and service provider standpoint is not only unique, but extremely valuable to you, and I feel right now during Covid that this is a true call-to-action for me.

Why Blog Now & Why Me?

Call to Action

From all of the disruption, destruction and financial damage caused by the coronavirus, I feel called to share my experiences and to do my part. The demand for mixed-use has been accelerated from the coronavirus and I want to share our attempts and solutions to help everyone get through this.


My goal is to get everybody, both private and institutional investors alike, on a plane where I am operating both institutionally as well as on a small and middle-market scale, to educate as many people as I can about investing and mixed use real estate.

Practical Philosophies

I want this to be a multi-faceted blog where I also share my life philosophies and the bigger picture. Family are important. Love is important and so are spirituality and meditation. I will openly share with you my philosophies across the board.

Why Me?

I am an owner and operator of real estate on behalf of third-party investors and I have my own money in each investment, so there is true skin in the game in everything that I’m sharing, doing, trying, experimenting, and then ultimately sharing. I have skin in terms of my own capital, time and that of my own investors which I view as even more important as people are trusting me with their hard-earned money.

I am out here figuring out what makes the most sense to add value, not only to investors as stakeholders, but also to our community, as whatever you do to your property ends up affecting the neighborhood. There is a congruence between creating value for investors and how that value is also a service to the community in the spaces that we create.

My First Post

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…