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.
May 24, 2006, 11am PDT | David Gest
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"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."

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Published on Tuesday, May 23, 2006 in Los Angeles Downtown News
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