Celebrating Michele Vives, A Strategic Consultant to Our Clients
Vives moved from Chicago in 2000 to take up real estate as a new challenge. Since then, she has advised on more than 2 million square feet of construction in office, hotel, senior housing, research and retail projects. Those projects are valued at more than $750 million. Clients include Broadway 655, the USS Midway Museum, the Wyndham Bayside Hotel, the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation and Otay Ranch Senior Living.
“This is a second career for me,” said Vives, who worked in industrial psychology in Chicago. “I was disenchanted with the career and the weather.”
She said she took a job-focused personality test and real estate came up as a potential alternative. “I drove down here with my sister,” Vives said. “I shipped the boxes. It was a nice little road trip; it is so beautiful here.”
Vives works as a strategic consultant to developers, public agencies, financial institutions and private landowners, to whom she brings expertise in pro forma financial analysis, procurement and entitlement processing, risk assessment, contract negotiations and relationship management in public-private partnerships.
Her finance background and her experience across all real estate sectors lets Vives excel in P3 project management. In creating successful partnerships with public agencies she provides “highest and best use” feasibility analysis.
In addition to facilitating and expediting entitlement and zoning processes, she brings diligent oversight to budgets and financials, permits and regulatory compliance in all aspects of project and construction management.
“There’s definitely a crossover from my old work in industrial psychology,” Vives said. “It is focused on a lot of what I do now — efficiencies of process, problem solving and putting out fires.”
The Wyndham Bayside Hotel project, a 600-room hotel and retail development valued at $92 million, is an example of what Vives likes best.
“I am project adviser for the REIT owners,” she said. “I love working with people with assets but are unsure about the process.”
She works with her clients to facilitate lease negotiations, community outreach and public support through the Port of San Diego.
At the Otay Senior Living site, she said, “I’m the project executive here, and we are truly building from the ground up, from acquiring the land to getting the permits to planning the buildings.”
There’s also project financing and construction management for what will be a 111-unit assisted living and memory care facility in Chula Vista, valued at $31 million.
“I’m in my dream job,” Vives said.
— John Roemer