May 04, 2006

Investing in the Inner City

Hugh Jackson ('04) and Golden Boy Partners focus on mixed-use developments and workforce housing

Hugh Jackson is president of Golden Boy PartnersLOS ANGELES - Urban renewal is one of those clichés you hear about at election time. Everyone talks about it, and most people think we need it, but not everyone knows what it is or what to do about it.

Hugh Jackson (’04) is the exception.

As president of Golden Boy Partners, Jackson is actively seeking real estate investment opportunities in high-density, inner-city areas where his company can build new housing, retail centers, and job producing industrial properties that will give new life to underserved communities.
 
The company is named after one of the founding partners, the “Golden Boy,” champion boxer Oscar de la Hoya. De la Hoya has built a successful boxing promotion business and sponsored numerous charitable organizations in Latino neighborhoods. For the fighter, this is a chance to give back to the community through a meaningful and well thought out strategy. Another founding partner is John Long, a member of the UCLA Anderson Board of Visitors, founding chairman of the Ziman Center for Real Estate at UCLA, and founder and chairman of Highridge Partners, an international real estate investment firm.

According to Jackson, his task is to “identify real estate projects in America’s growing urban environments and build an organization to execute on these opportunities. Right now we are focused on mixed-use developments and workforce housing. We believe density, when appropriately used, will allow us to deliver a great product in areas that need them most.”

Jackson was originally admitted to UCLA Anderson in  ’98. But he passed up that opportunity to form a start-up company with a co-worker from Disney. Jackson only recently came back to finish his MBA at Anderson. Upon graduating in ’04, Highridge Partners offered him the opportunity to run a yet to be created company and focus on development in the underserved and rapidly growing Latino markets.

“Golden Boy Partners is the result of a new strategy at Highridge Partners. We believe there is tremendous opportunity in America’s inner cities, many of which are increasingly Latino. As the opportunity became clear, it made sense to partner with longtime Highridge friend Oscar de la Hoya,” Jackson said.

A large part of Golden Boy Partners’ strategy is working with smaller cities in Southern California, many of which have not seen meaningful new development for many years. “We have built great relationships with smaller cities, which are often easier to work with than larger ones,” Jackson said. “With smaller, cities, we are able to work with the community and city staff to tailor a project to their needs, and deliver it on a very quick timeline. We see a lot of opportunities in cities with as few as 100,000 residents. These cities are increasingly open to smart density and mixed-use projects.”

Golden Boy Partners is working with many cities to identify both opportunity and need, whether in residential development, retail or both. The company currently has a number of projects underway and Jackson says over the next three years the company plans to deploy $100 million of its own equity, which translates into more than $1 billion in development when all costs are factored in. The focus is in Southern California at the moment, but there are plans to evaluate opportunities in select markets across the country.

“A typical project for us, and one we have underway, is the development of 200 market rate workforce condominiums in Los Angeles County,” Jackson said. “These homes will provide local families an opportunity to purchase their first home; all developed without any city subsidies. This might not seem unique,” he added, “especially given today’s hot real estate market, but this city has not had new residential development in more than 20 years.”

Golden Boy Partners’ criteria for projects are those in urban, high-density areas with a significant Latino demographic component. Highridge has existing relationships with certain cities and de la Hoya’s caché carries weight in others. The places where both overlap is where the company will go first.

About UCLA Anderson School of Management
UCLA Anderson School of Management is ranked among the top-tier business schools in the world.  Award-winning faculty renowned for their research and teaching, highly selective admissions, successful alumni and world-class facilities combine to provide an extraordinary learning environment.

The mission of UCLA Anderson School of Management is to be a global leader in management education, research and service. Established in 1935, UCLA Anderson provides management education to more than 1,400 students enrolled in MBA and doctoral programs, and some 2,000 executives and managers enrolled annually in executive education programs. UCLA Anderson alumni number more than 34,000 graduates around the world dedicated to continued networking, professional development and educational activities.

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