Land Development veterans join together to launch new company

Contact: Landis Graden
Phone: 510.881.2510
Email: [email protected]

FREMONT, Calif. (December 31, 2005) – Dominic Dutra, Alan Cerro and Landis Graden today announced the launch of Dutra Cerro Graden, a commercial real estate and land development company based in the East Bay. Dutra recently announced he will be leaving his post on the Fremont City Council by the end of the 2006 and is looking forward to devoting 100% of his time to the new venture.

In addition to its own development activities, the company will partner with landowners and developers to guide them through the often arcane and complex regulatory process of entitling land. The company also specializes in assisting religious institutions and non profits in furthering their core mission through land use assessment and highest and best use analysis.

“Whether it is a complex Master Plan Development, residential development or a religious institution or nonprofit simply looking to use the value of their land in the pursuit of their core mission, the one consistent is the frustrating and almost incomprehensible nature of the land development business. Our company will provide clients with a clear plan for navigating these waters in the accomplishment of their ultimate goals and objectives,” said Landis Graden, DCG co-founder.

Development Consulting Services

Because they are developers themselves, the founders of Dutra Cerro Graden recognize the complex nature of the entitlement process. This complexity is true for major developers seeking approval of large Master Plan developments as well as market and nonprofit residential developers looking to rezone infill sites or redevelop mixed-use sites. It is also true for families, trusts or estates that have large land holdings. The competitive advantage that Dutra Cerro Graden brings to its partners is its ability to bring its years of entitlement experience to assist these landowners through the development process.

DCG works intimately with clients to assess the feasibility of various development options and how each of these options relate to their overall organizational goals. Depending upon the complexity of the project, DCG is compensated for its consulting services through (1) a percentage of the enhanced equity value, (2) a monthly retainer for public affairs and/or development services (often with an entitlement “bonus”), or a brokerage commission charged upon sale of the property.

“In today’s real estate market, landowners and developers need to carefully evaluate their market position and enlist experts to maximize their land value while balancing this with the feasibility of obtaining the necessary land entitlements. That’s where DCG comes in. We provide owners a level of service, experience and competency unlike any one else in the industry,” said Alan Cerro, Co-Founder.

Public Agency Surplus Land Entitlement and Brokerage Services It is inevitable that cities, school districts and other public agencies consider selling surplus land because of the underutilization of these assets, the need to raise capital for other capital projects, or a host of other reasons. What has been lacking is a credible source of information regarding the entitlement feasibility and value of these properties BEFORE the respective agency Board makes their decision to surplus and sell. Because of Dutra Cerro Graden extensive background in the public sector (Dominic Dutra served on the Fremont City Council from 2002-2006), they are uniquely qualified to prepare a feasibility plan for said Boards to assist them with their decision making. Subsequent to the development of the plan, the Board can choose to surplus the subject property or retain it. Consulting fees are based on a project-by-project basis. Should the property be placed in surplus, the company proceeds to market and sell the property through a public Request for Proposal process and is paid a commission at close of escrow (consulting fees are reduced from the commission).

Land Acquisition and Development Partnerships

As a developer of “Communities of Value”, Dutra-Cerro-Graden is actively acquiring and entitling land for development. In those cases where it is appropriate, the company will seek development or investment partners. Ultimately, properties that are acquired and entitled are sold to those entities wishing to consummate the project through construction.

DCG’s development philosophy is founded on its belief that builders maximize profit by acquiring land that is largely devoid of development risk. This “risk” is primarily defined as entitlement risk and market risk.

With this in mind, DCG focuses its land acquisition efforts on assembling and entitling premium development opportunities that are attractive to builders in both slow and “hot” markets.

Entitlement risk is mitigated by the ability of DCG to obtain entitlements prior to sale or partnering with builders throughout the entitlement process. Market risk is reduced by assembling and acquiring premium “A” development parcels that lack development complexity (flat, existing infrastructure, etc.), are of sufficient size to achieve economy of scale in the development process, and are located near award winning schools and key neighborhood amenities (retail, entertainment, mass transit, jobs, etc.)

When builders work with DCG, they:

  • Save the time and overhead cost of land and forward planning staff.
  • Receive premium development opportunities with limited entitlement and market risk.
  • Work directly with experienced, licensed professionals.
  • Maximize their investments from a risk-reward perspective.

Religious Institutions and Non-Profits

Perhaps Dutra Cerro Graden’s most unique characteristic is its passion for serving the interests of Bay Area religious institutions and nonprofits by providing a trustworthy source for information regarding the best use of their land. Historically underserved, these organizations will often sit on undeveloped and valuable parcels of land for years while their organizational mission suffers from lack of a reliable source of funds. Dutra Cerro Graden is committed to providing these institutions with pro-bono land use assessment and highest and best use analysis and is only paid when – and if – the institution chooses to implement said plan.

The founders of DCG have a track record for understanding the goals of religious institutions and nonprofits with their ability to listen to client needs, understand organizational goals, and then develop a plan of action that will meet the long-term mission of the organization.

About Dutra-Cerro-Graden, Inc. Dutra Cerro Graden (DCG) is a commercial real estate and land development company with operations in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area. Founded by three industry leaders, Dominic Dutra, Alan Cerro, and Landis Graden, the firm brings decades of experience in dealing with land asset and development opportunities. Their competitive advantage in the market is their understanding of the land development and entitlement process and their ability to use this knowledge to assist clients in achieving key organizational goals and objectives.