Join SREC for a Lunch & Learn featuring John McNellis, author of Making It in Real Estate: Starting Out as a Developer. He will discuss some of the practical advice and wisdom gained from his 30-year career in commercial development, and a Q&A session with the audience will follow. Thanks to a donation, students in attendance will receive a free copy of his book.
John McNellis is a principal with McNellis Partners, a commercial development firm he cofounded in the mid-1980s in northern California. After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of California Hastings College of the Law, McNellis began his career as a lawyer in 1976 in San Francisco. Always more interested in business than in law, he started fixing up houses in his spare time and gradually worked his way to more complicated projects. At 28, he formed a partnership with an older client and began his career as a retail developer. Cobbling together the equity from friends and family, they built and opened their first shopping center in 1983, by which time McNellis was no longer practicing law--except on behalf of his own projects. Within a few years, he formed McNellis Partners with Beth Walter and Mike Powers. They continue to be partners more than 30 years later. In recent years, the company has begun developing mixed-use projects and, in an effort to diversify, investing in small Silicon Valley office buildings.