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UrbanCore Team Members









Michael E. Johnson is President and Chief Executive Officer of UrbanCore Development, LLC which he founded in 2012 to focus on public-private, mixed-income residential development projects.  Prior to establishing UrbanCore, Mr. Johnson was the President of Em Johnson Interest, Inc., a real estate development company based in San Francisco for 20 years. Over the combined last 25 years, his companies have been one of the largest African American businesses in the Bay Area. This is as a result of recent completion or current undertaking of over $800 million in project development activity, representing over 3,000 housing units and several mixed-use projects. He has served as the Managing Partner of award winning redevelopment projects such as the Fillmore Heritage Center, an $85 million mixed-use project in San Francisco; the $32 million Easter Hill HOPE VI project in Richmond, California; and the $45 million Mary Helen Roger Senior Center in San Francisco.  Mr. Johnson has recently completed projects in Sacramento, San Francisco and San Diego.  This includes the completion of the $40 million Cannery Place 180-unit Affordable Housing project in Sacramento, the $35 million Warren-Eviva both in Sacramento (118 units), and the $50 million Eviva-Mission Bay project in San Francisco (129 units).  UrbanCore also is currently completing construction on the largest modular housing project in Oakland, the $56 million, 110-unit Coliseum Connections apartment project scheduled to begin occupancy in March 2019, and is in the final pre-construction phase of the LakeHouse Commons - mixed income $250 million apartment project near Lake Merritt, and in Oakland which is schedule to break ground in the 3rd quarter of 2019. Mr. Johnson previously was a co-Managing Partner of the $102 million North Beach Place redevelopment project completed 2004, which has received numerous awards.

Mr. Johnson has two degrees - a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Urban Planning in 1976, and a Master of Architecture with a concentration in Real Estate Development in 1979, from the University of Maryland and the Georgia Institute of Technology respectively. While at the Maryland, Michael was a student-athlete as a member of the track & field team, and was an Atlantic Coast Conference Champion in 1974.

Mr. Johnson is currently a Member of the University of Maryland’s Board of Trustees and also serves on the Oakland Zoo Planning Advisory Committee, along with serving on the Board of the national non-profit Neighborhood Development Collaborative.  He has also served on the Board of Trustees for the St. Paul’s Episcopal School in Oakland, on the Planning Commission, YMCA and Library Boards while in Atlanta, and the Board of Glide Memorial Church’s Housing Corporation in San Francisco.  Mr. Johnson also lectures regularly at the University of Maryland’s Colvin Institute of Real Estate Development.




David Gazek is the new Development Director of UrbanCore, and has over 20 years of experience in the development of over 20 million square feet of residential, commercial, hotel, retail, mixed-use and corporate facilities and over 4 million square feet of public private partnerships.  At UrbanCore, David will lead the development of residential, commercial and mixed-use projects.  As Principal of Gazek Consulting, David’s clients have included JS Sullivan Development, Polaris Pacific, Jones Lange LaSalle, Kiewit Building Group, Wilson Meany Sullivan, Forest City Development, Federal Development, Em Johnson Interests, Conversion Management Associates, Seifel Consulting, Rope Partner, Harsch Investment Properties, Equity Community Builders and The Irvine Company, where he has been managing the development of Santa Clara Square, consisting of 1.6 million SF of office, 2,000 apartments and 170,000 SF of specialty retail.


David prior positions included: Senior Principal and VP with AECOM, where he led the Real Estate Advisory Group for real estate strategy and management in the Western US; SVP of Development and Portfolio Management with Federal Development, where he led the conversion of 340-acres of the former Fort Ord Army Base on the Monterey Peninsula, CA, into a residential resort community and office park ($700 million cost); SVP with AIMCO, where he led the portfolio optimization program for the development and redevelopment of over 10,000 apartments in the Western US (conventional and affordable); Corporate Real Estate and Workplace Consultant to Sun Microsystems, engaged in portfolio planning and optimization for over five million square feet of owned and leased property; Housing Development Consultant with the University of California for a public private partnership to develop on-campus faculty housing at UCSC; Director of Downtown Development for the Redevelopment Agency of the City of San Jose, where his team delivered over $550 million ($2015) of office, residential, retail, and hotel projects through public private partnerships with developers and corporations; and Partner and Development Manager with The Ratkovich Company and a Development Manager with Transpacific Development Company, where he managed all pre-construction activity for the 125-acre, $200 million redevelopment of Cerritos Town Center, the redevelopment of the historic Chapman Market in LA; and the development of the 180,000 square foot headquarters for the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIDM) in LA. 


David has an MBA in real estate and organizational development from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, a Masters in Architecture and Planning with a concentration in urban design from UCLA and a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from Vassar College.



Ronnie Turner serves as a contract Senior Project Manager for UrbanCore Development. Mr. Turner has worked with the firm on various transactions over the past 10 years, and is currently managing the community outreach and entitlement process for the Lake Merritt Tower Apartment project, and the Coliseum Transit Village – Phase One, both with the City of Oakland.  Ronnie M. Turner is a long-term resident of the Bay Area.  He has over 30 years experience in urban and community development. His experience includes Development Project Management by managing developments through entitlements and permitting for infill mix-use developments, and rehabilitation of large residential rental structures and commercial properties.  He has directed numerous state, federal, and local housing and community development programs, and managed a vast array of professional staff including architects, planners, community development specialists, engineers and housing rehabilitation specialists. His municipal government experience of 24 years for the City of Berkeley included the development and management of the City of Berkeley’s Blighted Properties Task Force using  new and existing policies in zoning, building, and fire codes in order to eliminate blight of privately owned, vacant boarded up structures and lots to improve the productivity of its land use.  He maintains a high level of knowledge pertaining to Federal, State, and local housing initiatives, enabling him to manage numerous multi-million dollar infill developments throughout the Bay Area.


Mr. Turner is a local Real Estate Broker of an independently owned company in Oakland. He has owned a construction and development company that has produced new and rehabilitated residential structures and is currently a housing and community development specialist for several developments under construction in several phases of development.

Brad Flewellen serves as a contract Project Manager on selected projects for UrbanCore Development. Mr. Flewellen is an accomplished businessman with over thirteen years of banking, and real estate advisory experience in the areas of commercial property investment (acquisitions and development), institutional and commercial banking, mortgage banking, credit analysis, underwriting and due diligence.

Brad began his career in Washington, DC as a senior credit analyst for NCB, FSB where he successfully underwrote and participated in the sale of $100 million in commercial real estate loans. From there he joined CBRE Capital Markets where he participated in originating approximately $1.8 billion in first trust and mezzanine debt and joint venture equity financing. Prior to joining UrbanCore, Brad was an investment associate at Madison Marquette, analyzing and assessing the financial feasibility of potential commercial retail investment opportunities, as well as managing the acquisition and disposition processes for a one of the nation’s leading investors, developers, and operators of retail and mixed use real estate.






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