City Ventures is a rapidly-growing California homebuilder focused on repositioning underutilized real estate into residential housing in supply constrained coastal urban infill areas, as well as high demand suburban locations. City Ventures is based in San Francisco and Newport Beach, California. It focuses on the construction of town homes, condominiums, lofts, mixed use, live-work and single family detached homes in the Southern and Northern California coastal urban infill neighborhoods from Santa Barbara to San Diego and from the San Francisco peninsula through Silicon Valley and the East Bay, City Ventures currently owns and controls over 14,000 lots in California.
Craig Atkins - Chairman
Craig Atkins has been passionately involved in real estate development for over 25 years. His involvement in hundreds of transactions has provided him incredible insight into future opportunities. Mr. Atkins is chairman and co-founder of City Ventures, a real estate development company that focuses on urban housing in California. Prior to starting City Ventures, Mr. Atkins was Chairman, CEO and founder of O'Donnell/Atkins, California's largest land brokerage firm, averaging over $1 billion in annual land transactions. Mr. Atkins co-founded O'Donnell/Atkins in 1992 to capitalize on the need for advanced land brokerage services, focusing solely on development projects. Mr. Atkins has personally been involved with over $3 billion worth of real estate transactions. O'Donnell/Atkins had six offices spread throughout California, thus providing Mr. Atkins with a depth of knowledge in every major real estate market in the state.
Mr. Atkins was also co-founder and president of O/A homes. During its operation, O/A homes built golf course frontage homes in La Quinta, CA. Prior to founding O'Donnell/Atkins, Mr. Atkins was a project manager for the Warmington Company. His projects ranged in size up to 13,000 lots and included ancillary uses such as hospitals, retail shopping centers, golf courses, K-12 schools and community colleges.
Mr. Atkins is a member of the Young Presidents Organization. He graduated cum laude from the University of Colorado, Boulder with two degrees; Architecture and a B.S. in Business Administration.
Mark Buckland - Chief Executive Officer
For more than 30 years, Mark Buckland has made urban housing development his driving concern. In recognition of this passion, Professional Builder magazine named him America's Builder of the Year in 2000, while various governmental agencies have awarded him commendations for his ongoing contributions to homebuilding. Today he is widely recognized as a leading industry authority on urban housing issues.
Mr. Buckland is President and co-founder of City Ventures, which focuses on urban housing opportunities in California. Prior to forming City Ventures, in 1988, he co-founded The Olson Company, a leading developer of for-sale urban housing. Mr. Buckland held the position of President and COO of The Olson Company. Under his leadership the company worked with more than 80 of California's leading cities and redevelopment agencies, including the cities of Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, Oakland, Long Beach, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Pasadena, Brea, Garden Grove, Ventura, Oxnard, Hayward, Richmond, Pittsburg, Fullerton, and Compton. The Company successfully entitled more than 150 communities, totaling more than 10,000 homes valued at $4.5 billion.
Prior to co-founding the Olson Company, Mr. Buckland held a variety of real estate-related posts. He was Development Manager for the Bixby Ranch Company, responsible for both residential and commercial projects. Mr. Buckland also served as a Project Manager for the Office of Planning at the University of California at Irvine where he worked closely on the University's master plan and housing developments.
After graduating cum laude from the University of California at Irvine with Bachelors Degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Mr. Buckland received his Masters of Science in Construction Management from Stanford University. Recently, Buckland completed the Owner President Management program at Harvard Business School. He is a member of the Young Presidents Organization, an alumni member of University California Irvine, Stanford University and Harvard Business School.
Scott Homan - Chief Financial Officer
Scott Homan is Chief Financial Officer of City Ventures. He joined the company in 2009. Before City Ventures Mr. Homan was Chief Financial Officer for The Olson Company. Mr. Homan is responsible for the company’s capital markets, corporate finance, financial reporting, accounting, taxes, legal, risk management, information systems and project finance.
Prior to joining City Ventures, Mr. Homan was the Chief Financial Officer of The Olson Company since 1998. Previously, Mr. Homan was the Vice President of Finance for Greystone - Orange County Division of the publicly traded homebuilder, Lennar. Mr. Homan joined Greystone at the initial formation of the company in 1992, and managed the financial challenges in growing the company to $150 Million.
His business experience of enhancing systems and financial infrastructure in a rapidly growing company adds great value to City Ventures. Prior to joining Greystone, Mr. Homan's career started as a CPA with Fox and Company. Scott has also held several financial positions with Arnel Development, Kaufman & Broad, and Birtcher Real Estate, Inc.
Mr. Homan received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Accounting from California State University, Fullerton.
Phil Kerr - Chief Executive Officer, Homebuilding
Mr. Kerr has a successful track record of leading the development process for residential and mixed use developments in Bay Area communities. Mr. Kerr actively works with land owners, communities, agencies and cities to develop high quality multi-family infill communities. He was in charge of acquisition, design, entitlement, and construction for the bay area townhome and mid-rise division of Intracorp. Prior to Intracorp, Mr. Kerr was with The Olson Company where he managed the development team for the East and South Bay markets and was responsible for all entitlement and development projects in those markets.
Mr. Kerr got involved with urban development as a means to preserve open space with smarter more dense infill growth. At City Ventures, Mr. Kerr is responsible for land acquisition, asset management, project design and entitlement for new infill communities throughout Northern California.
Mr. Kerr has an MBA from Harvard University and a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College.
Herb Gardner - President, Homebuilding
Mr. Gardner has 30 years of homebuilding experience managing the building, selling, and closing of residential Real Estate in over 75 municipalities in 3 different states. After starting in 1985 as a customer service representative for a national homebuilder in Dallas, Texas, he spent the next five years rising through the ranks, eventually ending up as the Division President for the company's Oklahoma City Division. In 1990, he co-founded his own homebuilding company in Southern California, primarily building in the Inland Empire. Over 15 years, Gardner Construction, built, sold and closed over 1,000 homes in 12 in-fill communities.
In 2005, Mr. Gardner accepted a position with an urban infill builder as Regional President for the Central Coast Region in Ventura and Santa Barbara County, as well as the San Fernando Valley. As the Company, transitioned into the new economy, Mr. Gardner took over statewide homebuilding operations of the consolidated company. In the four years that Mr. Gardner was with the Company, he closed out over 20 communities and delivered 650 homes in the most challenging economic times of the last 70 years.
Mr Gardner joined City Ventures as the company’s third employee and has grown the Homebuilding Group as its President from nothing to 50 employees in five years, managing projects from San Diego to San Francisco. Although he has extensive experience in all aspects of residential homebuilding, ranging from land acquisition to warranty management, he specializes in managing teams of people in building, selling and closing communities on time, on budget and to the quality standards the marketplace demands. Mr. Gardner holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from California State University, San Bernardino.
Ben Besley - Vice President of Development
Mr. Besley brings more than twelve years of residential and commercial real estate experience to the City Ventures team. He joined the company in December 2009 and is responsible for acquisitions, entitlements, permitting and asset management for new infill communities throughout San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles and Ventura Counties.
Prior to joining City Ventures, Mr. Besley served as Regional Vice President for The Olson Company, managing acquisition, design and entitlement for over 500 homes in residential and mixed-use projects throughout Los Angeles County. His accomplishments there included the successful development of high-density, mixed-use, public-private partnerships and affordable housing communities. Mr. Besley then then spent two years at Big Rock Partners, a Los Angeles-based commercial real estate private equity fund, where he managed development, construction and operations for office, retail, hotel and residential assets.
Mr. Besley discovered his affinity for infill development while earning his undergraduate degree in Urban Studies at Columbia University. A proponent of the urban environment, Mr. Besley has also enjoyed living in New York City, Washington, D.C., Boston, San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles. Mr. Besley holds an MBA from Harvard University and serves on the Board of the Westside Urban Forum.
Kim Prijatel - Vice President of Development
Ms. Prijatel joined the City Ventures in August 2012 and is responsible for all aspects of the design and entitlement process for new infill communities across Orange County. She has over eighteen years of real estate experience specializing in entitlements for complex residential and mixed-use developments throughout Southern California.
Previously, she served as Vice President of Development for The Olson Company and successfully entitled more than 15 complex infill projects which accounted for thousands of new residential units. Her experience includes single family, multi-family, mixed-use, public-private partnerships and affordable housing developments. Ms. Prijatel earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo.
Ryan Aeh - Vice President of Land Acquisition
Since joining City Ventures in 2010, Mr. Aeh has led the acquisition efforts of over 25 projects contributing over 1,600 lots to the company’s land pipeline.
He brings experience in residential and retail real estate development and works closely with local public agencies and private landowners to transform underutilized sites into vibrant new home and mixed use communities throughout Southern California. In his day-to-day role, Mr. Aeh manages all aspects of site acquisition, including opportunity identification, qualification, concept land planning, financial analysis, transaction structuring and contract negotiations.
Previously, Mr. Aeh was a Project Director for LAB Holding, a boutique retail development firm, where he was responsible for land acquisition, leasing and project management.
Prior to LAB Holding, Mr. Aeh was a Director of Acquisitions for The Olson Company, where he focused on transit oriented locations in Orange County. During his tenure, he secured nearly 500 lots, including over 225 homes directly adjacent to commuter train stations.
Mr. Aeh is a graduate from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Planning and Development.
Patrick W. Hendry - Vice President of Land Acquisition, Northern California
Mr. Hendry has spent almost a decade acquiring and entitling mixed-use developments across California. At City Ventures Mr. Hendry leads the Land Acquisition efforts for the Northern California Division. He has been instrumental in growing the Northern California Pipeline from 5 projects in 2012 to over 30 projects in 2015. City Ventures now owns or controls approximately 2,500 residential units in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area. Mr. Hendry began his career working for Pacer Communities in Southern California developing large-scale master plan communities in a Land Acquisition and Project Management capacity. Following Pacer he was acquiring multi-family assets in Brooklyn, New York for Madison Realty Capital, a bridge-lender and private equity fund based in New York City.
Mr. Hendry is passionate about Smart Growth development and is an active member of the Urban Land Institute, SPUR, and the U.S. Green Building Council with designations as LEED AP, Building Energy Professional, and Green Point Rater.
Mr. Hendry has a Master of Science in Real Estate Development (MSRED) from Columbia University, an MBA from University of San Francisco, and a Bachelor's Degree from UCLA.
Michelle Thrakulchavee - Vice President of Land Acquisition
Ms. Thrakulchavee brings nearly ten years of residential and mixed-use development and homebuilding experience to the City Ventures team. At a very early age, she discovered her passion for architecture, urban design, thoughtful land planning, and real estate development and has been pursuing land acquisition opportunities for residential homebuilding and mixed-use development projects since the very start of her career.
Since joining City Ventures in 2011, Ms. Thrakulchavee has been responsible for sourcing, underwriting and managing land acquisitions for future residential and mixed-use development projects in infill areas of California and has successfully acquired over 1,500 lots for the company. As the Vice President of Land Acquisition, she is focused on identifying underutilized infill properties in supply constrained urban markets throughout California. Working closely with landowners, the brokerage community, lenders, consultants, and City officials, Ms. Thrakulchavee manages all aspects of site acquisition including identifying the development opportunity, analyzing the financial viability of the potential project, structuring the deal, negotiating the contract, analyzing the feasibility of the future community, and consummating the transaction.
Prior to City Ventures, Ms. Thrakulchavee was an Acquisitions and Development Associate with Province Group, a private entrepreneurial real estate development and investment company. Working directly with both the Principal and Vice President of Province Group, she was responsible for sourcing and underwriting residential development and investment opportunities for both land development and multifamily investment properties. She began her career with Newhall Land and Farming Company before joining Richmond American Homes, a publicly traded homebuilder, as a Land Acquisition Specialist, where her responsibilities included conducting the financial analysis of acquisition opportunities and due diligence analysis for project feasibility.
Ms. Thrakulchavee is a Board Member for the Orange County Chapter of the Building Industry Association (BIA) Orange County and is the Chair of the BIAOC Next Gen Committee. She has been an active Urban Land Institute (ULI) Member for the past eight years and is actively involved in the ULI Orange County Young Leaders Group (YLG). She previously served on the Capital Markets Initiative Council and as the Community Outreach Co-Chair on the Orange County ULI YLG’s Executive Committee and led three different Technical Assistance Panels (TAP) for local non-profit organizations.
Ms. Thrakulchavee graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration after changing majors from Architecture.
August Belmont - President, CV Communities
Mr. Belmont is President of CV Communities, a subsidiary of City Ventures. He started CV Communities in September 2010 as the suburban complement to the urban efforts of City Ventures. CV Communities acquires, entitles, and engineers residential land in the high demand areas of the Inland Empire and Antelope Valley for ultimate sale to production home builders. Mr. Belmont oversees a team of four experienced managers who function in land acquisition and project management capacities. As of 2014, CV Communities has acquired two dozen properties that will yield over 6,000 conventional residential lots.
Prior to City Ventures, Mr. Belmont joined Standard Pacific Homes in November 1996 as Director of Land Acquisition for the company's Orange County Division. In June 1997, he was promoted to Vice President of Land Acquisition. In November 1999, he was promoted to Division Manager and charged with launching the company's Inland Empire Division. After the new division became profitable, Mr. Belmont was promoted to Division President in January 2002. By 2005, the Inland Empire Division had become the most profitable among the company's twenty-five geographic divisions.
In 2006, the division was both the largest and most profitable in the company with revenue exceeding $500 million. After surviving the subsequent housing downturn, the division was again the most profitable in the company for 2009 and through Mr. Belmont's departure in mid-2010. During almost fourteen years with Standard Pacific, he completed over 50 land purchases totaling over $1.0 billion in transaction value and comprising over 16,300 residential lots.
During ten years running the Inland Empire Division, Mr. Belmont and his team built over 5,200 homes which produced over $2.3 billion of revenue. A twenty-one year industry veteran, he had worked with three other homebuilders in land acquisition and finance capacities prior his employment with Standard Pacific. Mr. Belmont earned his M.B.A. from the Anderson Graduate School of Business at U.C.L.A. in 1989 and his B.A. in Economics from Georgetown University in 1985.
Adam C. Smith - Vice President, CV Communities
Mr. Smith joined CV Communities as Vice President in October 2010 . He brings over 13 years of experience to the team and is responsible for land acquisition and project management.
Previously, Mr. Smith worked with Standard Pacific Homes in April 2002 as an Assistant Project Manager for the new Inland Empire Division. In January 2005, he was promoted to Project Manager. Mr. Smith has extensive experience with large-scale projects, having managed all of the entitlement processing and infrastructure development for the master planned communities of Victoria Arbors in Rancho Cucamonga and Wolf Creek in Temecula. More recently, he was involved in the negotiation and evaluation of multiple land purchases for the Inland Empire Division.
Prior to his employment with Standard Pacific Homes, Mr. Smith worked for the Phantom Works advanced space research group of the Boeing Company where he was, literally, a rocket scientist. Mr. Smith earned his M.S. Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 1998 and his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from U.C. Santa Barbara in 1997.
Michael J. White - Vice President, CV Communities
Mr. White joined CV Communities in November 2010 as Vice President in charge of project management. He generally oversees the entitlement process, participates in land acquisition due diligence, and manages the project management team. Mr. White brings 27 years of entitlement and development experience to CV Communities.
Prior City Ventures, Mr. White joined Standard Pacific Homes in April 1990 as a young Project Manager with the company's Orange County Division. In late 1999, he teamed with August Belmont to start the Inland Empire Division and help it become the largest and most profitable division in the company. As Vice President of Project Management for the division, he oversaw the project management team and personally managed the development of Heritage Lake, a 2,600 unit master planned community in Menifee.
During his twenty year history with Standard Pacific, Mr. White accumulated an immense entitlement and development experience, especially with large-scale and complex projects in the Inland Empire. He started his career with T&B Planning, a Southern California based land planning firm. Mr. White earned his M.B.A. from the University of Redlands in 2009 and his B.A. in Geography from the University of Northern Iowa in 1986.