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Posted March 18, 2016 by Editorial Staff in Photo
 
 

[PROFILE] In 25 Words or Less: Michael Johnson (Real Estate Development)

Michael Johnson
Michael Johnson

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In 25 Words or Less

Posted: March 14, 2016

THE BASICS

Editor’s Note: Michael was the first African American to graduate from the University of Maryland’s School of Architecture, and is currently developing LakeHouse Commons (360 residential units, $195 million), one of the largest projects in Oakland’s downtown area.

Name: Michael Johnson
Age: 60+ • Status: Married • Kids: Yes
Place of Birth: Philadelphia, PA • Place Raised: Philadelphia, PA
Professional Background: Mr. Johnson is President of UrbanCore Development, LLC, an Oakland based real estate development company specializing in urban infill new construction projects including affordable, mixed-income and market rate housing, and mixed use projects. Mr. Johnson’s firm has completed over 32 projects throughout the country, including over 3,000 housing units.
Most known for: Development of the Fillmore Heritage Center Project (perhaps the largest completed by an African American in San Francisco), the North Beach Place redevelopment (San Francisco), and the current LakeHouse project (Oakland).
Contact/Follow: Website Email
25 WORDS OR LESS: WORK
Job(s) held that is most unlike what I currently do now: Dishwasher and bus boy in Italian Restaurant in Philly.
Field: Real Estate
Yrs of Experience: 38
Title: President
Company/Organization: UrbanCore Development, LLC – Oakland, CA
What it does and what I do: Real Estate Development; President overseeing all project development transactions. Over 25 years, I have completed $800 million in real estate development activity, including 3,000 housing units.
Current Big Project: LakeHouse Commons Mixed Use Project in Oakland, CA
Staffing/Resource Needs: N/A
25 WORDS OR LESS: PROFESSIONAL PERSPECTIVE
Significant Challenge: Raising capital for large real estate development projects.
Significant Mistake/Regret: Investing in the business – Yoshi’s San Francisco, which was not managed well by the management team, and closed in 2014.
Significant Accomplishment: Building the Fillmore Heritage Center project, a mixed income project at at cost of over $85 million, which received numerous awards.
Biggest Strength(s): Creative vision for the redevelopment of urban infill projects.
Biggest Weakness(es): Too generous, and not conservative enough.
Career Advice: Work hard, never give up, and you can accomplish anything you set out to do.
25 WORDS OR LESS: PERSONAL PERSPECTIVE
Significant Challenge: Balancing work responsibilities with family responsibilities.
Significant Accomplishment: Having a son…most important thing in my life.
Life Advice: Stay focused and committed, and strive for black economic empowerment in business.
25 WORDS OR LESS: OFF THE TOP
Trait(s) most admired in others: Dependable
Some causes/organizations I support: My son’s school and its diversity.
Hours of “personal” downtime/week: 20
Favorite activity(s) in my personal downtime: Movies
Some of my favorite local hangouts: Lake Chalet Restaurant, local movie theaters, park with son.
Some of my favorite TV shows: Blackish, SVU, Sports Center.
What news outlets or media sources do I most rely on?: CNN, Sports Center
Favorite Vacation Spot(s): Jamaica
Place(s) I would like to visit: South Africa
Favorite Pastime/Hobby(s): Hanging with family.
Favorite Book(s): Miles Davis
Some of my most-admired people (excluding parents): Barack, Willie Mays, Oprah
Something about me that may surprise you: I hated my high school years.

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