Building Communities and Balance In Life | John Dutra

 

About John Dutra

John J. Dutra was appointed Chief Executive Officer in 2007. As CEO, he is committed to building on the company’s unrivaled reputation of partnering with local entities, political leaders, property owners and builders. John strongly believes in providing quality, personal integrity and a high level of service in all endeavors.

From 1980 to 1987, John worked for Hewlett-Packard in its Corporate Manufacturing Division. At HP, he was selected among 20 candidates to receive their prestigious Mechanical Engineering scholarship. From 1987 to 1995, John served as a financial officer for several lending institutions, including the Toyota Motor Credit Corporation and the American Bankers Acceptance Corporation, where he was consistently ranked as ABA’s top-producing finance officer. From 1996 to 2006, while at The Home Loan Group as a Senior Loan Officer, Mr. Dutra served as Dutra Enterprises, Inc.’s Vice-President in charge of Operations, overseeing building management.

Since John’s promotion to CEO, the company immediately commenced construction of Plaza Los Olivos, a new commercial/retail center in the heart of Fremont’s Mission San Jose. As Project Manager, he was responsible for construction of Plaza Los Olivos and all leasing efforts. John also managed the renovation, modernization and leasing of the company’s portfolio in Pleasanton and Fremont. Since 2007, DEI’s holdings have increased from approximately 40,000 square feet to nearly 190,000 square feet in 2016.

In 2008, John was appointed to the City of Fremont’s Economic Development Advisory Commission, where he served two terms and Chaired the committee twice. He currently serves as Vice-Chair to the Recreation Commission after being appointed by Mayor Bill Harrison. John is the current Chair of the Annual Fremont Prayer Breakfast, serves on the Board for Niles Rotary as its Director of Club Administration, and is a Trustee for the Washington Hospital Foundation.

 

Interview Transcript:

Alan
Welcome back. I’m here today with John Dutra. He’s the CEO of future real estate. John, welcome to today’s show.

John
Thank you very much Alan’s pleasure to be here.

Alan
So John, for the listeners, can you give us your background of how you got to where you are today?

John
I grew up mostly in the Bay Area, been here in California all my life, went to school here. Went to Hewlett Packard, started working at Hewlett Packard in the 70s, worked my way up and was awarded a mechanical engineering program with Hewlett Packard, left Hewlett Packard, and eventually came to what was then due to real estate. Back in the 70s, I started working there as a salesman first and then left the business. It was a family run business. And at the time working with my father wasn’t exactly I want to be a little more independent at that, at that point in my life, and so kind of ventured off on my own, came back in the early 90s, and have been working there ever since.

Alan
And so from that, you’re primarily focusing on commercial real estate now?

John
That’s correct. Yes, yeah. We started, my father started the company in 1972. In fact, we just celebrated our 45th anniversary three days ago. So 45 years here in the Bay Area in Fremont. And we started off as a residential real estate firm. By 1998, we were the 75th largest real estate firm anywhere in the United States. And that was all family owned, it was a private business at the time, and we came to a crossroads of sorts, where the decision was to either jump in with the big guys or sell it and move on to a different type of business commercial. And we chose to sell it what we think was probably the best time and have been commercial ever since 1999.

Alan
You know, it’s, it’s been quite a change since 1972. And you started out today. Oh, sure. And what are some of the noticeable changes that you see of you know, the word the industry is?

John
Nobody could have predicted the values for the properties here in the Bay Area that you see today. In 1972, I think my father bought a home for 24 950. That same home would sell easily over a million dollars today. So the trend the population growth, the demand for business, the attraction for commercial retail, electronic business here, technology business in the Bay Area is just overwhelming. It’s such a great place to grow as a company.

Alan
Is there a certain geographical locale you focus in on is it limited to the Bay Area to certain parts of the Bay Area.

John
We could tend to go just about anywhere. The Bay Area is our focus. We do primarily our business here. We have most of our holdings here in terms of buildings, but we could go anywhere and do business.

Alan
And then and then you know what? What type of services do you offer within a siphon your personal investments? What other services do you offer within due to real estate or enterprises.

John
Work commercial brokerage, and Land entitlement firm. So while we will help sell real estate and or acquire real estate for our buyers, we also do land entitlement that’s been a focus of our business for quite a while we’ve done that, even before the early 90s When we went commercial. So land entitlement involves taking a piece of property and maximizing the value for the owner. And or taking that and then buying it from the owner and then maximizing it for our company.

Alan
That’s a big area, isn’t it?

John
It’s a very big area. Yes.

Alan
Especially it seems that as as the population becomes more dense, the requirement for better use and higher use of property is even in greater demand.

John
Exactly. We do a lot of work with both private owners, as well as the school districts in our area. We do work with churches, in our area, a lot of churches have seen the value of their land and have taken that value out in order to expand or move to a different area or even combine. Our goal has always been to provide the client with the very best knowledge that they can have so they understand what they can get out of their properties.

Alan
I’m visiting here today with John Dutra. He’s the CEO of Dutra enterprises is a company focused on commercial real estate primarily here in the Bay Area and more specifically in the Fremont community and John, I’m running up against the break. And so right after these messages, we’ll be back more with John Dutra.

Alan
Welcome back I’m visiting here today with John Dutra future enterprises. It’s a firm focused on commercial real estate. And done in the first segment we’re talking about one of the services that you offer is helping to maximize the value of the Real Property correct. So when I want to spend a few minutes talking about, you know, the approach to highest and best use that you guys use.

John
When a client comes to us, typically with open land, we’ll take a look at and value the land based upon what the city looks at, which would be zoning, or the general planned for the site and look to see if there’s any value there with regard to development, either infill project where we’re helping to put some homes there, or a commercial site and looked to see what would be the best value for the client often then involves a level of risk. So you could tell a client that their best value may be, for instance, building residential homes on their acreage that will get them the most money, which is typical for the area. However, there’s the level of risk is such that when you go to the city, they may or may not approve it, they may not allow you to build there, or they may not allow you to build enough homes to where it’s profitable for the homeowner. So many homeowners or landowners choose to sell the property directly to us, or we broker to another entity who then takes on that risk, and goes to the city and looks to entitle the property at that point.

Alan
You know, they call holding raw land or rich man’s game district. And so this is not at a short process.

John
No, no entitlement process is run, especially right now, anywhere from 12 to 18 months, occasionally a little longer. And so there’s a time element involved too, that most landowners are not used to because they hear of a residential home selling in 30 days. So that processes along with.

Alan
And what typically, by changing the zoning requirements, what typically happens to value?

John
Well, if you’re able to change the zoning, and you don’t necessarily have to change the zoning, the general plan may have already designated that area for a specific type of zoning that’s fully applicable to building homes, you might be just okay. However, if you’re looking for a stronger density, then there’s a zoning change that’s involved. Usually it’s called a PD, a plan district. At that point, you’re asking the city to revise for maybe smaller lots, which has a whole different type of building pattern to it. And with that designation, you’re looking at floor floor area ratios for home. So that can only cover a certain portion of the lots. You’re looking at open space requirements for the development, you’re looking for utilities you’re looking for now water runoff, which is a huge issue here in the Bay Area, and so on. So it’s a very, I wouldn’t say complicated process, but probably only because I’ve been doing it for 20 something years.

Alan
So I guess it speaks to the fact it’s important to use somebody who’s been through the process before it’s familiar.

John
Absolutely. It’s, again, it goes back to what we deem as a value. This is not necessarily a personal thing for us in terms of how we make money. I mean, we do make money. But it gives us the greatest pleasure to know that we’ve helped the people that don’t necessarily do this on an everyday basis, get the most value for their land and their families for years to come.

Alan
Yeah, it seems like within recent years that the city has really taken on an approach to, you know, allowing more housing units to come into Fremont. Can you tell what’s what’s driving that right now?

John
Well, a lot of it’s trying to take an old design and make it applicable in the current times. So the city of Fremont was developed with a few main roads that weren’t really set up for a higher population. For instance, we’re probably about 220,000, I think now at this point. And so the city of Fremont is trying to build transit oriented development. And what that means is, you build higher densities towards places like Bart, Ace trains, and so on, where you can have people that will literally work and then walk to BART and jump on BART rather than having to get in their car and used to be area. That’s the trend for development nowadays. So you’re seeing more development with that aspect to it. Similar to the downtown but a little bit different than years past.

Alan
And I think it’s coming out of necessity because the infrastructure the roads simply can’t handle the people.

John
That’s exactly right. Exactly. Right. Good.

Alan
So I, John, I’m running up against the break. Okay, and so I need to take another break and visit here today with John Dutra, Dutra Enterprises CEO. And after we get through the break, I want to come back and get more on a personal level of how you find balance in your life. And we’ll be right back after these messages. I love fishing with my family. I think it’d be easier to use a net, it was so much fun. The times when we are together, it makes it all all the more worth it. Having dad teach them how to like cast a fly rod. And as long as we’re doing stuff together, we’re having fun. Some people see a father and his son fishing together, while others see a succession plan. Welcome back and visit here today with John Dutra. He’s the CEO of Dutra enterprises. And, John, I really appreciate you being here today. On the show. Yeah, before the break, we’re talking about real estate trends and Fremont and the up and coming I guess it’s a lot of high density housing around the transits, mass transit areas of BART and the ACE train, and which is kind of changing the whole landscape of this city. But I want to move topic now to to more from the personal standpoint of you got the career or business and then you know, your your personal side. And how do you balance it all?

John
Yeah, that’s a tough one. Yeah, it’s a very tough one. I grew up in a household with a father that was a very driven man. In engineering background, he is very precise and everything he does in a very strong work ethic. So growing up with that, I kind of adapted to that, if you will. I’ve worked two jobs for last 30 years. And I work long hours. However, I also have been drawn towards my faith. I’m a Christian and attend church here in Fremont. And it’s become a very strong drive for me in terms of my passion. We dedication to my family, who’s always been number one for me, but more and more realizing that time is the greatest gift that you can give any anything.

Alan
So you know, I have to take a little bit of time to mention about your dad when I was 27 years old, I I bought my first home in the Centerville area here. I had a two young children and your father at that time was running for city council. And he had been going from door to door in our neighborhood we were not home but he had taken a three by five note card and hand wrote out the whole dear Elena Susan, we sorry that I missed you. My name is John Dutra. I didn’t even know him. But I got that. And I thought, oh, my gosh, the whole thing’s written out and pen and I was rubbing it off to see is this real for real? And you know, that impression, and your dad has never left me is with the hard work ethic. Yeah. And I know that he’s, you know, a pillar in the community raised his family here. And that. So when you talk about the faith in the family, the importance to you, I get it. So let’s let’s talk about what role faith has played for you in the decisions that you make in life.

John
Oh, only the biggest. There’s a part of you, when you grow up as a young man, you think you’re 10 foot tall and bulletproof. I guess and, and you think that you control your life. And that’s not true. It’s just not true. I felt that I’m built for one purpose. I was made for one purpose. And that’s to serve. I definitely want to give back to the community, my family, and my God. I can’t imagine not living my life any other way now. And so faith is the basis for all my decisions and how I live my life.

Alan
There’s something about when you have faith in your life and you get service, it really becomes fulfilling.

John
Oh, unbelievably. So yes, service is everything I serve in Rotary. I serve with my church I serve in our community. I volunteer I’m on the park and rec commission I the chair for the Fremont prayer, breakfast, and so on. But at the end of the day, all I do is look up and give all the glory to God.

Alan
And say it’s a great thing to live by. Yeah. And so when when you go through Your your day to day decisions. And obviously the, you know, we’re always in a period of juggling. I hear that faith is on the downside here. People are getting preoccupied with, you know, all the things and the clutter. Yeah, how do you keep focused.

John
I start every single day of my life, I get up and I get out of bed, and I thank God for the day. First and foremost, from that point on, usually, I’m scrambling around the house, I walk my dogs in the morning, and when I walk, I just have a over whelming sense of appreciation for the beauty of the day in the neighborhood. And the gifts I’ve been given such as a job in a home and the family who loves me. And starting my day in that, in that manner is is just the best way to go for me and really starts my day off, right. I’m also a very strong believer in prayer. I think prayer is an amazing gift to be able to talk to God directly. And I use that multiple times throughout the day, every day for every situation.

Alan
You know, John, when you look at the youth today, they’re they’re clearly in a different environment than when we grew up. How do you how do you help get the messages to the kids about the importance of things, important things in life that are close value to you, as I’ve.

John
Gotten more and more involved with our church, I’ve asked to step up and be part of a mentorship or leadership role in our church, I completely agree with you that with technology and the you know, you always have to be focused on something every single second, it really doesn’t leave a lot of room for God. And I think that so many of our younger men and women really need that I really want that, but don’t know how to get there. And so the best thing that I could do is probably show them to the way I live my life. Show them how much God truly loves them. And then spell that out. Just recently I was asked to speak about God in my life, to the youth that do the setup at our church. And I just told them how much it meant to me. And after we all broke, I must have gotten like five or six, Pat’s on the back and several handshakes saying how much that meant to them, which just was overwhelming to me, because I don’t consider myself necessarily a teacher. But it was awesome.

Alan
I guess living life by example. And loving is probably the most effective way to do exactly, exactly. Well, John, we’re running up against the break. Again, any final messages on for the group here.

John
I just want to thank Alan and his family for the time that he’s given me here. It’s just like talking to a best friend. And so I’m so grateful for that. But I also want to make sure that others know that if anybody has any questions at all, they can always call me anytime and I’d be glad to help them and how do they reached out to you? They can reach me out at my office and give a phone number. It’s 510-353-9984 and I look forward to helping any of you or your families.

Alan
Here today with John Dutra Dutra enterprises. John, thanks for being on today’s show.

John
Thank you so much.

 

 

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This transcript was generated by software and may not accurately reflect exactly what was said.

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Alan L. Olsen, CPA, Wikipedia Bio

 

 

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John Dutra

John J. Dutra was appointed Chief Executive Officer in 2007. As CEO, he is committed to building on the company’s unrivaled reputation of partnering with local entities, political leaders, property owners and builders. John strongly believes in providing quality, personal integrity and a high level of service in all endeavors.

From 1980 to 1987, John worked for Hewlett-Packard in its Corporate Manufacturing Division. At HP, he was selected among 20 candidates to receive their prestigious Mechanical Engineering scholarship. From 1987 to 1995, John served as a financial officer for several lending institutions, including the Toyota Motor Credit Corporation and the American Bankers Acceptance Corporation, where he was consistently ranked as ABA’s top-producing finance officer. From 1996 to 2006, while at The Home Loan Group as a Senior Loan Officer, Mr. Dutra served as Dutra Enterprises, Inc.’s Vice-President in charge of Operations, overseeing building management.

Since John’s promotion to CEO, the company immediately commenced construction of Plaza Los Olivos, a new commercial/retail center in the heart of Fremont’s Mission San Jose. As Project Manager, he was responsible for construction of Plaza Los Olivos and all leasing efforts. John also managed the renovation, modernization and leasing of the company’s portfolio in Pleasanton and Fremont. Since 2007, DEI’s holdings have increased from approximately 40,000 square feet to nearly 190,000 square feet in 2016.

In 2008, John was appointed to the City of Fremont’s Economic Development Advisory Commission, where he served two terms and Chaired the committee twice. He currently serves as Vice-Chair to the Recreation Commission after being appointed by Mayor Bill Harrison. John is the current Chair of the Annual Fremont Prayer Breakfast, serves on the Board for Niles Rotary as its Director of Club Administration, and is a Trustee for the Washington Hospital Foundation.

Alan Olsen on Alan Olsen's American Dreams Radio
Alan Olsen

Alan is managing partner at Greenstein, Rogoff, Olsen & Co., LLP, (GROCO) and is a respected leader in his field. He is also the radio show host to American Dreams. Alan’s CPA firm resides in the San Francisco Bay Area and serves some of the most influential Venture Capitalist in the world. GROCO’s affluent CPA core competency is advising High Net Worth individual clients in tax and financial strategies. Alan is a current member of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (S.I.E.P.R.) SIEPR’s goal is to improve long-term economic policy. Alan has more than 25 years of experience in public accounting and develops innovative financial strategies for business enterprises. Alan also serves on President Kim Clark’s BYU-Idaho Advancement council. (President Clark lead the Harvard Business School programs for 30 years prior to joining BYU-idaho. As a specialist in income tax, Alan frequently lectures and writes articles about tax issues for professional organizations and community groups. He also teaches accounting as a member of the adjunct faculty at Ohlone College.

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