As land-challenged cities such as the San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle attempt to create room for new business and residential spaces, real estate developer Tony Chan is helping to maximize the urban centers one address at a time.
Chan is the owner and managing partner of Worldco Holding, LLC, a San Fran- cisco-based firm that manages and invests in real estate. Worldco targets “infill” areas, which include neighborhoods where existing buildings (many in disrepair or irrelevant) can be razed or converted into developments serving current needs. The company’s projects include a 21-unit condominium near San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf and the 58-store Factoria Square Mall in Bellevue, Wash.
“We are a longer-term investment company, so after we build a development we usually hold onto it,” Chan says. “That’s different from a typical Wall Street institutional fund that tries to commoditize real estate. We never buy something then flip it away.”
Chan is also a longtime volunteer for his alma mater. He served for 12 years on the UC Berkeley Foundation Board of Trustees, and he’s been a member of the Haas School Board for several years. Among many accomplishments, he recently led the Haas Board’s campaign to support the Dean Lyons Faculty Research Fund, resulting in 100% participation. For his contributions, Chan received Haas’ highest volunteer honor, the Raymond E. Miles Alumni Service Award, in November.
“Interacting with educators and Berkeley supporters is extremely inspiring and rewarding,” Chan says. “Seeing the continuing excellence of Berkeley and Haas—despite substantial shrinking of state support—makes me proud of campus leaders and educators.”