The 'Anti-Developer Developer' Does L.A.

You may not have heard of him, but Portland's Homer Williams is busily making big changes in Downtown Los Angeles.

"Though still relatively unknown among the general Los Angeles populace, and certainly with a lower profile than developers such as Rick Caruso or Tom Gilmore, [Homer] Williams, 61, has established himself as a major new player in Downtown. The Portland-based collective he heads, South Group, just opened its first local project, the $65 million Elleven, and plans to develop more than 1,700 condominiums in South Park.

It's a southern expansion for one of the most prominent developers on the West Coast. In the last three decades, Williams has created more than 10,000 housing units, as well as a hotel in the Caribbean. His current projects are worth, by his estimation, about $2.5 billion.

In Portland, Williams sparked the transformation of a neighborhood of low-slung warehouses and abandoned railyards into the Pearl District, now one of the country's models of successful urban revitalization. Another development, South Waterfront, is a decade-long plan to turn a dilapidated brownfield into more than 3,000 condominiums and affordable housing units, and construct an aerial tram connecting the not-yet-there neighborhood with the Oregon Health & Science University. The city and other entities are partners in the $2 billion project."

Full Story: The Visionary


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