- Strategic counsel, negotiations, project management
- Land use entitlements and real estate development
- Forward planning for non-profits and public agencies
- Training and capacity building in transitional countries
- Support of international elections observation missions
As an independent consultant, I can join a team or assemble one. I’ve managed people and projects in the private, public and non-profit sectors, successfully advancing high profile and often complex and contentious projects for businesses, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, non-profits and public agencies, mostly in the U. S.
For a partial list of clients, please scroll to the bottom. For case histories go to the Highlights page, and click on the images there under “Milestones.”
Focus on: Real Estate Development
Note. Real estate development has been a staple of my consulting practice. Below describes some of the dynamics, and how I approach a new situation.
Nature of the Beast. There are three dimensions in this realm, and only one is reliably rational — planning. One can be rational — dealing with partners, buyers, underwriters, builders, tenants and other stakeholders. One is halfway rational, if you’re lucky — the public process of obtaining land use entitlements and the other approvals necessary from multiple government agencies.
Experience & Capabilities. I have worked on residential, resort, commercial and mixed-use projects in southern California, some up to 90 acres in size, for firms and families like the Segerstroms, owners of South Coast Plaza and nearby residential and commercial properties in Costa Mesa, California. I am working now for a family-owned real estate partnership in LA County.
First Steps. We assess the market and political context and in that light your goals. We consider trends, existing leases, and other factors such as debt and property conditions. We meet with neighbors and local leaders so that our plans reflect their sensibilities and priorities. We settle on a strategy and assemble the team, with an appropriate business arrangement.
Particular Expertise. I know how to work with owners, sellers, buyers, investors, technical consultants, and all stakeholders. That includes city staff, appointed and elected officials, the media, and public at large. I understand politics, having worked on Capitol Hill and presidential campaigns, and on observation and training missions in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Additionally I was a planning commissioner and served two terms as mayor in Laguna Beach, California — where, as it is most anywhere, citizens expect a lot and are reflexively suspicious of anything new. I’m always mindful of the inherent virtue and also the political utility of tailoring and talking about projects in ways that help address community concerns. It’s a common pitfall in promoting anything new: an undue reliance on the language of feature, when people are more concerned with benefit.
Performance of Specific Tasks. I have managed market and valuation analyses, architectural massing studies, preliminary design, and production of engineering, environmental and fiscal impact reports. I have relevant relationships to leverage, having worked for years with many of the same professionals. I have solicited buyers and helped negotiate real estate purchase and sale agreements. I have directed community outreach, been the chief project advocate, and served as media spokesman. I have coordinated the work of attorneys and consultants in support of environmental clearance by, entitlements from, and development agreements with cities and other public agencies.
If you have a project you’re working on, or considering, maybe I can help. Go to the Contact page, and let me hear from you.