Great Park Five Point developer Emile Haddad steps down as CEO – Orange County Register
Emile Haddad, the real estate manager who spearheaded the conversion of a former airbase into housing, athletics and entertainment in the Great Park neighborhoods of Irvine, is stepping down from his management position at the end of September.
Five Point Holdings announced Monday August 23 that Haddad will move September 30 from the day-to-day management of the company he founded to that of senior advisor. He will also remain on the board of directors of Five Point and serve as its chairman emeritus.
Five Point’s new leadership team includes Stuart Miller, executive chairman of long-time Five Point partner Lennar, and Lynn Jochim, chief operating officer of Five Point, who is promoted to president. In addition to its development in Orange County, FivePoint also has real estate projects in Valencia and San Francisco.
“I just couldn’t be prouder to have led Five Point during his formative years as he has become a true leader in community development and public-private partnerships,” Haddad said in a statement. “Five Point today has an extraordinary foundation for future success, with irreplaceable assets and a management team well positioned to take Five Point to the next level. “
Haddad left his native Lebanon in the midst of a civil war to come to California in 1986.
He was working as an investment manager for Lennar Homes in 2005 when the closed El Toro Marine base was put up for auction. It was his job to make sure Lennar was the top bidder, no matter the cost.
Good idea, bad timing
In 2008, Lehman Brothers – the company funding the development of Great Park – collapsed as the economy collapsed in the Great Recession.
“People don’t realize… how close this (project) is to the abyss, and the effort that has been required to hold it together,” Haddad said.
California then eliminated the redevelopment agencies in late 2010, a move that cost Haddad’s Great Park Dream another source of funding.
Haddad convinced the city to double the number of housing units to be built, allowing Five Point to move forward with its housing development as well as being the developer of the Grand Parc.
A company statement said Haddad “will focus on improving our communities to stay true to the corporate vision and maintain critical relationships nationally and locally, as well as on new businesses and initiatives that the company may consider continuing to improve shareholder value. “
“Emile Haddad has been an innovator and a leader in the national community development landscape,” Miller said in a statement. “He founded and developed Five Point from its inception to its current maturity. He has developed an exceptional leadership team that is poised to continue to develop the extraordinary Five Point communities as a true honor to their environment while creating shareholder value. “
At Great Park, Five Point, as lead developer, sold 6,970 hospitality sites out of the 10,500 planned. In the first seven months of 2021, builders sold 516 homes. In Valencia, 110 homes have been sold since sales began in May. Builders bought 1,268 lots of the 21,500 planned for development in northern Los Angeles County.
Five Point became a publicly traded company in May 2017, with Lennar its largest shareholder, controlling 39% of all shares.
The company’s shares have not held up well in the era of the pandemic. As of February 2020, the homebuilder has reported a 7% return to shareholders versus 80% for a key homebuilder stock index. Haddad as CEO earned $ 6 million in 2020, including a bonus of $ 5 million.