Land Interests Opens Office in Walnut Creek

Irvine, CA – In a move to expand its full-service real estate asset management, investment advisory and brokerage services, Land Interests, Inc. is moving its Northern California office from Sacramento to Walnut Creek. The relocated operation will be led by Managing Director Michael Howl, a seasoned real estate asset manager, broker and developer. Howl most recently worked for Pacific Capital Bancorp/Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, and previously as a Vice President/ Partner for a regional developer.

Over the last half-decade Land Interests’ operations have grown into 13 states and two countries, supported by its Irvine, California headquarters with two regional offices, said David Mudgett, the company’s President and Chief Operating Officer.  The move to Walnut Creek is designed to better position the company’s Northern California staff to more effectively serve clients, while personnel reorganization will facilitate growth in the region.

“Mike Howl is an excellent choice to lead that expansion,” said Mudgett.  “He has an exceptional blend of experience, energy and drive, and is exactly the type of professional we need to lead the company in this market.”

“Land Interests has accumulated a tremendous amount of experience working with financial institutions, the development community and high-net-worth individuals,” said Howl. “The reputation and credibility they’ve established is second to none, and I’m excited to join their team. The financial institutions we work for need assistance in managing complicated issues around their real estate holdings, particularly given the complexity of managing and efficiently disposing of an asset in a manner that optimizes value and mitigates risk.”

At the Land Interests headquarters in Irvine, it was also announced that Adam Smith will assume the duties of Tony Eaton, who has left to pursue personal goals. Smith, formerly Land Interests’ Director of Dispositions, began working for Land Interests in May 2011, and is an integral part of the company’s growth plans and commitment to quality.  To better serve their clients, Land Interests has reorganized the majority of their sales advisory personnel to local offices to be more responsive to specific project and related client needs and establish a local presence in each market.

“We are very fortunate to have someone of Adam’s caliber step in after Tony’s departure,” said Mudgett.  Land Interests most recently closed-out of two large portfolios, consisting of 24 projects and more than 1,400 lots throughout Northern California, Southern California and the Phoenix metropolitan area.

An Experienced Northern California Resource

Howl earned an undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of California Irvine and studied for his MBA at University of Southern California and San Diego State University.  Most recently, he attended Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business summer program.

He began his career with Robert Charles Lesser & Co., a national independent real estate consulting firm based in Newport Beach, CA. He was a market and land acquisition analyst for Summerhill Homes, and later served as the Director of Consulting for Land Acquisition and Due Diligence for the Monterey Development Group. He has also worked for several other developers and homebuilders in Northern California, including San Jose and the vibrant Interstate 680 corridor through Concord, Walnut Creek and the San Ramon Valley.

“Given his outstanding connections and qualifications in all phases of retail commercial, multi-family and single family residential product types, Mike is a tremendous Northern California resource,” added Mudgett. “His knowledge of asset management, development, sales and marketing is supported by his management and leadership skills.  We’re delighted to have him lead the Walnut Creek team, while driving customer satisfaction and productivity improvement for our expanding group of clients in this part of the state.”

Smith earned his undergraduate degree in Political Science from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. He then earned his Juris Doctorate at the Georgetown University Law Center and MBA from the University of Southern California-Marshall School of Business.   He started his career as a real estate attorney advising clients on zoning, land use and transactional matters in Washington, D.C.

Prior to joining Land Interests, Smith completed acquisitions totaling $365 million as Director of Land Acquisition with John Laing Homes and as Senior Acquisitions Analyst with K. Hovnanian.  Before entering the homebuilding industry, Smith identified and evaluated commercial real estate investment opportunities for the AFL-CIO Investment Trust’s real estate pension fund.  Smith is a California Real Estate Broker and is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and Massachusetts. He recently served on the Board of Directors of the San Diego CCIM Chapter, California Receivers Forum and the USC Marshall Alumni Association.

Land Interests is a premier full-service real estate management, brokerage and investment advisory firm, specializing in the optimization of value and mitigation of risk associated with the acquisition, disposition, ownership, and investment in real estate assets on behalf of financial institutions, private investors and institutional and private equity firms.

More information on Land Interests, Inc. is available at  and can be reached at 949.825.6030.

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