Straight Talk with Kofi Bonner
Straight Talk – An Inside Perspective on Real Estate Success
The Straight Talk event series is an exclusive look at ULI Senior Real Estate Leaders, their projects and their path to success. These events are free to both members and nonmembers to allow industry professionals a glimpse of ULI and the members that carry forward our mission to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. ULI San Francisco hosts the series on the first Monday of each month (excluding holidays) at the Holding Company. These ULI members and Bay Area executives speak candidly on their latest deals, outlook on the current market, and how ULI has played a crucial part in their road to success.
The Straight Talk featured speaker will begin speaking at 5:30 p.m. ULIsf provides appetizers from 5:00-7:00 p.m. and happy hour drink specials are available until 7:00 p.m. There is no need to pre-register for this event.
Join ULI San Francisco on Monday, April 15 at the Holding Company, to hear Kofi Bonner, Regional Vice President of Lennar Urban.
About the Speaker:
Kofi Bonner serves as Regional Vice President of Lennar Urban. In this role, Bonner oversees all land acquisition and urban development activities in Northern California, including the Hunters Point Shipyard, Candlestick Point and Treasure Island developments.
The Hunters Point Shipyard-Candlestick Point revitalization project is possibly the largest urban redevelopment project in the country with over 800 acres, 12,000 homes, 3,000,000 square feet of Business and Industrial space, and 800,000 sq. ft. of retail. This project has received numerous awards, including the Grand Award from the Pacific Coast Building Council, the Best Land Plan 2010, San Francisco, and recently has been named a finalist for the World Architecture Festival Award.
Located in the middle of the San Francisco Bay, the Treasure Island development includes 8000 homes, 200,000 sq. ft. of retail and commercial space and 300 acres of parkland. The sustainable aspects of the development plan have been widely acclaimed and have received the Clinton Global Initiative Sustainable Development Award. The Development received approval from the City of San Francisco in June 2011.
Born in Ghana, Bonner began his career as an affordable housing developer for Oakland Community Housing Inc., and then in 1989 served as head of redevelopment in Emeryville. In this capacity, he played a crucial role in planning and developing the public financing and infrastructure, and attracting key businesses that led to the successful transformation of Emeryville from an aging industrial city to a mixed use mecca for technology companies and high end retail and housing.
Bonner later held the positions Deputy Executive Director of the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency and Director of Community and Economic Development for the City of Oakland. In 1995, he became the Interim City Manager for the City of Oakland where he helped lead efforts to revitalize the city’s downtown neighborhood.
During his term as Mayor, the Honorable Willie L. Brown appointed Bonner to serve as his Chief Economic Policy Advisor. Bonner was in charge of leading the major redevelopment projects and economic growth in San Francisco, including planning and implementing the redevelopment of the City’s Mission Bay neighborhood.
From 1998 through 2004, Bonner was the Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer for the Cleveland Browns where he was responsible for the business affairs of the team. Additionally, he directed the construction of the $400 million Cleveland Browns Stadium. Later, Bonner became the Regional Director and Executive Vice President of MBNA.
Bonner is a 2011 UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design Distinguished Fellow and a Member of the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Leadership Council, a non-profit public Policy “think tank” organization based in Washington, DC. He is also a member of Lambda Alpha International, a Land Economics society where he recently received the “2010 Member of the Year” Award. He serves on the boards of LISC, the Bay Area Council, UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design Alumni Association, San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, and San Francisco African American Chamber of Commerce.
Bonner, 56, received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Science and Technology in Ghana. He holds Masters degrees in City planning and Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley. Bonner is married to Gladys and has three children.