Today we’d like to introduce you to Jake Malott.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Jake. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
So I began studying cities during University in Cincinnati Ohio. This is a post-industrial city going through a renaissance (as most mid-size cities in America are) and I was lucky enough to study this type of growth in school while seeing it happen in action. I began work in Cincinnati on neighborhood revitalization, getting to know local stakeholders, seeing how small business development grew, and understanding how development began to expand in each neighborhood, paying close attention to the signs of gentrification and revitalization.
Fast forward a few years and I took a job in Los Angeles in the Luxury Hillside scene doing pre-construction diligence and project management, getting plans approved at the city of LA. I came for the weather and the proximity to entertainment. The cultural atmosphere here is unlike anywhere else and I wanted to start at the premiere level of Real Estate Development. The firm I was working with specialized in complex zoning code related to LA’s hillside neighborhoods and it’s there I began to develop a working understanding of how to navigate development in this city. This was my foray into project management, where I began to see the whole development picture in its first stages.
I was fortunate to work on and get access to legendary architectural firms both past and present while also getting to touch some of the high priced spec homes seen in Forbes and Wall Street Journal. Ultimately after a few years, I wanted a change of pace and something fresh to work on. So I’ve started my own company with a focus on the multifamily development scene. Los Angeles is such a young city that developers and architects can define what it’s going to look like visually. There are opportunities for innovation and I’d like to be one of those people pushing for it.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I think this city rewards those who fight for their goals. The job I originally moved out here for wasn’t available when I arrived out here. The contract fell apart and I was burning through my savings working part-time while trying to find a career position. Ultimately it took four months before I ended up with a great job in the field I wanted… but I ended up working with the best in the industry so that perseverance paid off.
In that job, there were ups and downs but I learned so much and am so grateful for the opportunity. Finally deciding to leave took a lot of courage and trust in myself. In the new animated Spider Man movie there’s a scene where he is unsure of his ability to confidently web sling. He asks his mentor how he knows when to do his first jump from a building without dying to which the mentor replies, “It’s just a leap of faith, kid.” Silly enough, this scene actually inspired me (laughs).
Among other conversations and steps leading up to the decision, I finally made that leap myself and let the company know I’d be leaving. Once I took that leap of faith, my clients and friends opened up their arms to me and I’ve been able to consistently build a book of business week by week with varied types of accounts.
Please tell us about Whitestone DCI.
My company is a development services company specializing in adding density. This means we help developers, architects, or homeowners add units to their property in order to increase the value. If someone has a single family home we can help you convert a garage into a rentable unit. If a landlord/ investor has a 4plex unit but the property is capable of an 8 unit, we’ll analyze all the steps required to get there and evaluate the cost and timeline to do so. If a savvy investor has heard of TOC bonuses, we’ll help analyze a property’s buildable potential.
The city of LA has created certain density bonuses to encourage developers to build more housing. We know how to utilize those bonuses and maximize the number of units brought to market. We are proud to work in collaboration with professionals in the business to bring comprehensive services to market too. That means we’ve partnered with associates who can do cost analysis and management of construction and together we can provide a comprehensive development report with a plan and team to take a project from ideation and concept through design and into construction.
Real Estate Development is a team-oriented business and we have that team. It really brings us joy to put that team together and realize a project. We have different architects and designers we can recommend at different price points so we really are comprehensive in our ability. That’s what makes me proud, is being able to provide a development solution to those who want to invest in Real Estate.
Finally, what sets us apart is that we’re young, savvy, nimble and don’t have a lot of operating costs because of our collaborative platform. We use technology companies to outsource work like accounting and administration to keep our overhead lower. This means we can run lean and offer faster service at a lower cost…and you’re not losing quality. I’ve been groomed in the super luxury world and my associates have too. We know what quality of service and product looks like and you’re going to feel that when you partner with us.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
No regrets baby! I’m pleased with my journey and excited for the next steps. This is a phenomenal time to be developing real estate in Los Angeles and with technology and media stepping in to innovate our industry I’m very happy to be here at this cross point.
- We operate on not to exceed hourly rates. $165 -$185 / hour (not to exceed 30 hours for example)
- Address: 930 5TH STREET #301
SANTA MONICA CA 90403
- Website: WWW.WSDCI.COM
- Phone: 513-978-6184 BUSINESS CELL
- Email: JAKE@WSDCI.COM
- Instagram: JAKEISMALOTT
McClean Design, Stephen Stone Design, Manny Valenzuela, Studio Tim Campbell