Holliday Development

Holliday started his development career in the affordable housing sector, first with Eden Housing in Hayward and then with Bridge Housing, which has become one of the largest affordable development firms in the state. In 1988, he struck out on his own and became one of the first developers to turn in-fill sites into live/work lofts and residential projects in the South of Market area of San Francisco. He has rehabilitated and built 16 residential developments throughout the Bay Area and is currently working on master development sites in West Oakland and Truckee. His latest loft project, the Pacific Cannery Lofts, recently hit the for-sale market. He serves as chairman of the board of Bridge Housing.

Bachelor’s in urban planning policy; master’s in city planning, both from the University of California, Berkeley.

Stocking merchandise at Toy Village in San Francisco. Residence: Berkeley.

Best way to keep competitive edge:
Avoid getting stuck in your ways. The way you avoid it is you hire younger people.

Guiding Principle
When you build something, always respect that you’re changing the environment that everybody else has to live with after you’re gone.

Yardstick of Success
Meeting financial goals. Also, did you improve the environment by what you built? Do people use the space and enjoy the space?

Goal yet to be achieved:
To become a successful community developer.

Best business decision:
Investing heavily in South of Market in the late 1980s.

Worst business decision:
Turning over more control to former business partners than I was ready to give up and then having to correct that.

Toughest business decision:
Leaving Bridge Housing when I had my best friend as a business partner. We had built this thing up, and it was really powerful and it was going places. And, then starting (my own company) – that was unbelievably risky.

Biggest missed opportunity:
Leaving the San Francisco Market in 1999 to focus solely on the East Bay, but we’re fixing that.

Don Terner, former colleague from Bridge Housing and best friend.

Word that best describes you:

Like best about the job:
I like the fact that what I do has tangible results. It’s there for a long time and you get to keep learning from it.

Like least about the job:
Coping with all the planning regulations and bureaucracy.

Pet peeve:

Most important lesson learned:
You have no idea how long you’re here and you need to make the most of every day.

Most respected competitors:
Developers Merritt Sher and Gerson Bakar.

Three greatest passions:
My wife, my kids, and my dog, Jones.

Favorite quote:
Do unto others as you would have them to unto you.

Most influential book:
The “Post-American World” by Fareed Zakaria.

Favorite Cause:
Affordable Housing.

Favorite status symbol:
Being able to devote a lot of time to affordable housing.

Favorite movie:
“Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”

Favorite Restaurant:
Dragonfly in Truckee.

Favorite vacation spot:
Lake Tahoe.

Favorite way to spend free time:
Playing tennis.

What do you drive:
2008 Hybrid Nissan Altima.



When you build something, always respect that you're changing the environment that everybody else has to live with after you're gone.