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Mark Buckland, CEO of City Ventures, Speaks to First Class of Popular ULI Industry Leaders Program

Thursday, September 24, 2015 / Urban Land Institute of Orange County/Inland Empire

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 Mark Buckland, CEO, City Ventures kicks off the first night of teh  ULI OC/IE

IRVINE, CA – The Urban Land Institute of Orange County/Inland Empire and Martin & Associates have brought together an amazing group of accomplished leaders in the real estate industry to present the ULI Leaders Program on Planned Communities, Residential Design & Urban Infill.  The popular and successful lecture series provides a relevant learning experience designed for both the public and private sectors of community development and the housing industry for professionals as well as university students.


The first of eight classes was presented by Mark Buckland, CEO and co-founder of City Ventures.  The rapidly-growing homebuilding company focuses on urban housing opportunities in California.  Mark Buckland has made urban housing development his passion and driving concern for more than 30 years.  Today, he is recognized as a leading industry authority on urban housing issues. 


Students learned many insights into the history, workings and future outlook of City Ventures.  Focused on repositioning underutilized real estate into residential housing, the majority of which is in supply constrained coastal urban infill areas and high demand suburban locations, City Ventures currently owns and controls over 10,000 lots and 20 projects in California. 


Co-founders Chairman Craig Atkins and Mark Buckland started the company from the beginning with a flat organizational structure. Their flat management structure is based on their ability to solve problems quickly and always being in touch with every project, including handling their own working drawings to reduce risk.  There are less layers of management where employees are empowered and expected to take responsibility for a range of traditionally managerial decisions in their daily routines. 


Craig Atkins heads land acquisition and sales with over 25 years of experience in real estate.  The third employee to come to City Ventures, President Herb Gardener has over 30 years in the homebuilding industry, helping to grow the firm from almost nothing to 50 employees in five years.  The CEO of Northern California, Phil Kerr is highly focused on green building and got involved with urban development as a means to preserve open space with smarter, dense infill growth.


Opportunity driven, the company sees many advantages to urban development. The urban lifestyle offers a suburban alternative for those tired of longer commutes. Because urban projects are usually in the fully developed areas, the car is almost unnecessary with goods and services typically available within walking distances. The higher densities allow for a more vibrant, less isolated lifestyle that encourages interaction and creativity amongst the people that occupy the urban space. Ecologically speaking, urban projects require far less of mother earth than do its suburban counterparts.


Looking toward the future, although it is a challenge to get cities used to higher densities, Mark Buckland sees more and more urbanization that will be driven by demographics. People are staying closer to family, especially as Millennials are delaying their own families. 


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The Urban Land Institute ( is a nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the ULI has more than 40,000 members worldwide representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines.

Published by : Fran Bangert
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