President's Award: Hamid Behdad, PE
Glendale Design Guidelines for Historic Districts
President's Award: Hamid Behdad, PE
This year's President's Award honors Hamid Behdad, PE (Professional Engineer), for his extraordinary leadership, dedication, and success in fostering the adaptive reuse of historic buildings in Los Angeles.
A native of Iran, Behdad came to the United States in 1985.
He arrived in Los Angeles in 1989, worked as a structural engineer with the city's Department of Building and Safety, and was eventually assigned to the mayor's economic development team.His background in Building and Safety, coupled with his training as an engineer, made him ideally suited to the immense task of implementing the city's new Adaptive Reuse Ordinance.
The 1999 ordinance streamlined the process of rehabilitating vacant or underused buildings in downtown L.A., many of them historic.
From the Old Bank District in the mid-1990s to the Pacific Electric Lofts in 2006 -- and many in between -- Behdad fostered the transformation of historic buildings into thousands of needed live-work lofts and housing units.
Behdad was appointed director of adaptive reuse projects for the City of Los Angeles in 2003, and the Adaptive Reuse Ordinance expanded citywide soon thereafter.
When Behdad left the public sector in December, the adaptive reuse program had stimulated an estimated $6 billion in economic investments, with the completion of 4,252 loft units, 4,100 more under construction, and 3,200 more in development.
Behdad now serves as president of Central City Development Group, which is currently developing a high-rise "green" condominium building.
Although no longer the city's adaptive reuse "czar," Behdad is still making Los Angeles a better place, one building at a time.
Mr. Behdad serves as the chief advisor for the selection of every member of the project team; from architect to engineer, to the environmental and historic preservation consultants, even so much as selecting a landscape designer.CCDG supervises every operation of the project including the land-use, entitlement and governmental affairs.
Needless to say, without CCDG and the expertise of Hamid Behdad, Broadway@4th would be little more than an idea.
In partnership with The Amidi Group of Companies, Hamid Behdad founded Central City Development Group (CCDG), an urban-infill real estate development company in 2007.
Under Hamid's leadership and in just two years, CCDG managed, entitled, and provided advisory services for several mixed-use development projects in Southern California, totaling over 775 residential units.
Most notably, CCDG is the developer of "Icon on Wilshire", a 376-unit, luxury mixed-use development in downtown Los Angeles, California.
Prior to forming CCDG, Hamid served three Mayoral Administrations for the City of Los Angeles, where he earned the title "Czar" of Adaptive Reuse Projects for the city.
In 1999, the City of Los Angeles adopted transformative local legislation that enabled the city to exercise flexibility in certain areas of land use, fire life safety and building standards to the historic office buildings primarily in the downtown city center.
Hamid championed the city's efforts by establishing a citywide Adaptive Reuse Program that facilitated the conversion of dilapidated commercial and industrial buildings into mixed-use developments.
The highly publicized program has been responsible for the development of over 14,000 housing units in a city facing a housing crisis.
The estimated economic value of the program represented private investments to the city in excess of $6 billion.
In the United States, Hamid started his 37 year career by working as a Civil Engineer with the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works before transferring to the City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety where he was later selected to serve in the Mayor's Office of Economic Development.Prior to his work experience in the U.S., Hamid worked in Tehran, Iran as a project engineer in four prominent construction and consulting companies.Hamid is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of California and holds undergraduate and Master's degrees in Civil and Structural Engineering.Hamid has lectured before a wide variety of academic and professional institutions including the California Building Officials, the California Health Policy Forum, the Center for Creative Land Recycling, the Central City Association, the City of Long Beach, the City of Los Angeles, the City of Oakland, the Downtown (Los Angeles) Center Business Improvement District, the Los Angeles Conservancy, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, The American Planning Association, The Urban Land Institute, the Los Angeles Neighborhood Housing Services, the Pacific Coast Builders Conference, the Society for Marketing Professional Services, the Southern California Development Forum (SCDF), the University of Southern California, and the Urban Land Institute, as well as many other individual and collective investors, lenders, international developers and urban planners.
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