Construction quality expert Don Neff founded La Jolla Pacific, Ltd. in 1993 (dba LJP Construction Services), based on his own innovative risk management strategies and previous experience as a homebuilder. Since then he has been in the forefront of the construction quality movement. He has over 25 years of experience in the real estate industry covering all aspects of planning, acquisitions, development, construction, and management.
A frequent speaker at industry conferences, Mr. Neff has conducted numerous educational and training seminars focused on building a better quality product. He serves as an instructor for the Home Builders Institute and the California Homebuilding Foundation, teaching selected modules of the Superintendent Training Program. Through the NAHB Institute of Residential Marketing, he has taught “Advanced CSP” (Advanced Construction for Certified New Home Sales Professionals) to various Sales and Marketing Councils in Southern California. Mr. Neff is also a former instructor at the University of California at Irvine in the Light Construction and Development Management (LCDM) program, focusing on Construction Operations and Quality Assurance.
In addition, he has authored numerous articles on construction quality, risk management, and sustainable building issues.
Mr. Neff has been active with the California Building Industry Association (CBIA), the Building Industry Association of Southern California (BIA/SC), and BIA/Orange County Chapter. For several years he chaired (formerly) the Construction Quality and Sustainable Building Committee organizing and moderated technical workshops and seminars for benefit of various members of industry, including homebuilders, trade contractors, property managers, etc.
Prior to creating the La Jolla Pacific family of companies, Mr. Neff was employed as a Project Manager at Woodcrest Development of Riverside, Inc. where he was directly involved in land acquisitions, entitlements, construction, sales and marketing, and warranty service for a number of communities throughout the Inland Empire of Southern California. Photos of these projects are available to review in the corporate brochure. Mr. Neff was later promoted to Vice President of Development. Woodcrest Development, Inc. and its family of related companies at that time was the 4th largest homebuilder in Southern California following Watt Industries, William Lyon Homes, and Fieldstone Communities, building about 1500 homes per year through a series of over 400 partnerships.
Early in his career, Mr. Neff was also employed from 1982-85 by Winthrop Financial Co, Inc. in Boston, MA within the Acquisitions Department as a Financial Analyst. In this role and later as Assistant Vice President he assisted in the deal structuring and financial analysis of asset-based financings through equity syndication for purchase of real estate income properties throughout the U.S. Winthrop Financial was one of the largest private equity syndication companies in the U.S. controlling about 45,000 apartment units in their investors’ rental residential income-generating portfolios. Specific examples of other trophy, operating real estate properties acquired included the following: 19 Manhattan (New York) office buildings from the John and Katherine MacArthur Foundation; numerous net lease industrial properties across the U.S. in a series of unique sale-leaseback structures; and, two large agricultural properties consisting of 2500 and 3000 acres each with mature citrus plantings. These were acquired from Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (ConGen) and George Caulkins (Caulkins Citrus Co), respectively. In a venture with Trammell Crow Company, Winthrop also jointly acquired the Southern California-based Flour-Daniel Engineering Company headquarters complex of buildings which included 125 acres of developable land strategically situated in the heart of the Irvine Business Complex near John Wayne Airport in Orange County, CA. Winthrop was the investor partner and Trammell Crow was the developer partner.
From 1985-86, Mr. Neff was employed by Consolidated Capital as a Vice President in Land Acquisitions Department. At that time, Consolidated Capital was one of the largest national public fund equity syndication companies in the U.S. specifically targeting rental residential income generating properties for their investors’ portfolios. Mr. Neff was recruited to assist in creating the Land Acquisition Department designed to acquire specific developable landholdings in their raw condition, secure their engineering and land use entitlements and then sell these developed parcels to merchant builders. Five large properties were developed including the following: 80 acres in the Otay Mesa, near the San Ysidro Border Truck Crossing (between the U.S. and Mexico); 70 acres lying west of the Portland, Oregon airport; 70 acres in South Jordan, Utah; 300 acres in McKinney, Texas (north of Dallas); and, 200 acres along the I-75 freeway near Naples, Florida.
Mr. Neff holds a Master’s Degree in City & Regional Planning from Harvard University (1982), is a licensed California and Nevada General Building Contractor, and has completed the Expert Witness Certificate Program at California State University, Long Beach. His other credentials include: LEED-AP, ICC Certified Building Inspector, ICC Certified Plans Examiner and Certified Green Building Professional.