Leadership Luncheon – Urban Revitalization
RESCHEDULED – Original Date Aug. 29
As Houston’s population continues to grow, underused and underperforming land in inner-city neighborhoods has grown in importance to those who seek space in the city. In response to the need, developers have started interesting infill projects in these evolving neighborhoods throughout the city. Join our expert panel of developers as they discuss best practices, challenges, and opportunities for developing in these communities. What will these neighborhoods look like in 2027?
Josh Jacobs, EDGE Realty Partners
Josh serves as the co-manager and Principal of the Houston Office of EDGE Realty Partners and EDGE Capital Markets. He began his career in 1996 and has since sold over $1 billion in assets. Throughout the years Josh has represented several nationally recognized tenants including PDQ (People Dedicated to Quality), Relax the Back, and the Vitamin Shoppe, among others.
What sets Josh apart is his fundamental understanding of retail what it takes to have a successful project. Over the last 20 years, Josh has built a career and developed trust with his clients through longterm relationships.
These relationships are very important to Josh, and his clients’ well-being always comes first. Josh is highly respected by his clients and peers for his creativity, professionalism and dedication to excellence. Every year since 2007, Josh has been featured as one of Houston Business Journal’s Heavy Hitters. Additionally, since 2005 he has been recognized as the Top Producer of his company each year.
Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, Josh moved to Texas in 1987 for high school. He later returned to Massachusetts and received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Babson College.
He is heavily involved with Entrepreneurial Organization (EO) where he has served on the board for the past 4 years and is the incoming 2017 President for EO Houston. When he isn’t in the office, Josh enjoys an active lifestyle playing any and every sport, skiing, and racing cars in the SCCA. Most importantly, Josh loves spending time and traveling with his wife, Rachel, and their three children – Charlie, Jack and Vera.
Dan Braun, Braun Enterprises
Dan Braun joined Braun Enterprises in 2003 after working for several years in the New York financial sector. Under Dan’s leadership, Braun Enterprises has evolved from a small, successful company that operated several light industrial projects into one of the most active and dynamic developers in the Houston real estate market. Since 2010, Braun Enterprises has purchased over 65 properties containing more than 2,000,000 square feet of rentable space, and has sold over 20 properties with more than 1,500,000 rentable square feet.
Beginning in 2013, Braun Enterprises began selling its office and industrial holdings, and shifted the company’s acquisition strategy to focus towards inner-city property that was suitable for retail development and redevelopment. Consistent with Gabriel and Dan’s contrarian philosophy, and beginning early in the current cycle, Dan has spearheaded an acquisition program that focuses on sites and buildings that the market generally views as tear downs, but that are actually well suited for experience oriented retail repurposing. Braun Enterprises continues to acquire many property types in different locations, but has concentrated most of its recent activity in the urban infill neighborhoods. It is the development and redevelopment in these inner city areas that has brought the company much of its recognition, and it is this set of projects that is most responsible for its reputation—for thoughtful developments that preserve the character of communities and improve the lives of the people that live in them. Since 2013, the company has acquired and repositioned over 35 properties Houston’s Inner Loop.
Dan graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.B.A. degree in Finance. He is involved in various charitable and community non-profit organizations. Most of all, he enjoys time spent with his wife, Taryn and four young sons.
George Levan, Crosspoint Properties
George Levan is Chairman and CEO of the Levan Group and co-founder of High Fashion Home. He has been actively involved in urban retail and mixed use development as the founder of Crosspoint Properties. Mr. Levan previously served on the boards of the HISD Foundation, Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston, and the Gulf States Chapter of the Young Presidents Organization. He currently serves on the board of Asia Society Texas Center and the advisory board of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research. Mr. Levan graduated with a BBA in Business Honors and Finance from The University of Texas at Austin and received his MBA from Harvard Business School.
Michael Sperandio, Ancorian
Michael Sperandio is a founding partner of Ancorian. In his 10 years of real estate experience Michael has participated in a number of successful investment and development projects and has partnered with firms ranging in size from small family offices to Fortune 500 companies. Michael is currently involved in a number of real estate development pursuits in a variety of product types that range from industrial manufacturing facilities to high profile urban infill redevelopment opportunities.
Michael previously founded Finial Development & Construction overseeing the firm’s development and investment activities. In this capacity he was involved in sourcing, acquiring, and developing over $125 MM in real estate assets. Michael began his real estate career by serving in a number of capacities for AVERA Capital Partners, a Houston based real estate development firm. During his tenure at AVERA, he was involved in the development, construction, leasing, and management of over 1MM SF of institutional industrial assets. His responsibilities included site acquisitions, market analysis, financial analysis, capital structuring, and project management in the greater Houston area. In addition to local development projects, Michael also directed remote location development and construction activities in many of the major oil & gas shale plays throughout the United States, including the Eagle Ford, Marcellus, Haynesville, Utica, and Bakken shale regions.
Michael is involved in a number of local philanthropic endeavors which include serving as a founding board member of People Against Leigh’s Syndrome (PALS) PALS, as a committee member of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and volunteering his time coaching numerous youth teams in the Spring Branch Memorial Sports Association.
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