Michael Ghielmetti, President
Michael founded and is the President of Signature Development Group (SDG).
Prior to founding SDG, Michael was a principal at Signature Properties, one of Northern California’s largest private land development and homebuilding firms, serving as President from 2003-2010 and as Vice President of Forward Planning from 1998-2003. While at Signature Properties, Michael developed and invested in over 30 projects valued at over $1.5 billion in residential, commercial and mixed-use real estate properties. During his tenure, he oversaw all aspects of the development process from acquisition and financing to construction, sales and warranty.
Michael is the immediate past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Building Industry Association of the Bay Area. He served at the state level on the Board of the Pacific Coast Builders Conference, helping to create its first multi-housing conference and as a Director of the California Building Industry Association. Michael is Co-Chairman of the Jobs and Housing Coalition, an Oakland based non-profit business advocacy group which he co-founded. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Bay Area Council, the regional voice of business for the San Francisco Bay Area.
He has given generously of his time and resources on behalf of community and charitable groups, including HomeAid, Shepherd’s Gate, the Cypress Mandela Training Center and Covenant House, which named him their 2006 “Community Hero” for his work.
Michael is married and has three young children.
Patrick Van Ness, Vice President, Forward Planning
Patrick is responsible for project entitlement and development, including preparation of feasibility analyses, environmental, planning and engineering studies and review by municipal, state and federal agencies for all entitlements. Patrick has extensive experience obtaining approvals and permits from local municipalities as well as State and Federal agencies including the Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB), the State Department of Toxic Substance Control (DTSC) and the US Army Corps of Engineers. Patrick also oversees the development of community site planning, product design, landscape design and engineering.
Prior to joining the SDG team, Patrick worked at Signature Properties for 17 years. As Director of Purchasing, he contracted for the construction of over 1,000 units; as Director of Sales and Marketing, he managed 20 sales agents and the marketing process for over 1,000 units; and as Senior Project Manager, he processed and received approval for over 4,500 units and 300,000 square feet of retail/commercial space, including redevelopment, mixed use and master-planned communities in San Francisco, Oakland and Novato. Patrick’s diverse experience provides him with a unique understanding of real estate development and the construction industry throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento.
Patrick is married and has four children.
Paul Nieto, Senior Vice President, Development
As Senior Vice President of Development, Paul is responsible for multiple activities including land acquisition, concept design, entitlements and debt and equity financing. He further oversees the implementation of individual projects. Paul has extensive experience in multi-family development, master-planned communities, land planning, civil engineering, and finance. Paul’s successful projects are located throughout the Bay Area and Southern California.
Prior to joining SDG, Paul was President of Avant Housing, an urban multi-family developer in the Bay Area, where he developed 665 units in San Francisco. Paul has also served as President and CEO of the EastLake Development Company, responsible for a 3,200 acre master-planned community in San Diego County. The project won numerous awards during his tenure and consisted of over 9,000 single and multi-family homes, a 200 acre business park, six schools, and 100 acres of neighborhood, lifestyle and big box retail centers. Concurrently, Paul served as the head of Boswell Properties, overseeing the 957-acre Interlocken Business Park in Boulder County, Colorado. Paul began his career with Union Bank, where his offices generated over $2 billion in new real estate construction project financings.
Paul serves on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the Building Industry Association of the Bay Area and chairs the Urban Policy Committee. He is involved in the Urban Land Institute and Lambda Alpha Society. He has been involved on the boards of numerous charities. Paul is a graduate of UCLA in Economics and received his MBA from USC.
Paul is married with two children.
Eric Harrison, Vice President, Development
Eric’s professional expertise includes land development, primarily focused on entitlements and complex approvals from governmental agencies.
Prior to joining the SDG team, Eric was with DMB Associates, where he was involved in the entitlement of a large mixed-use urban infill project in the Bay Area. Eric has also been a team member at Signature Properties, where his responsibilities included property acquisition, due diligence, budget preparation, and development and implementation of entitlement strategies. Projects included infill developments ranging from a 125 unit mixed-use development to the reuse of a manufacturing site creating 3,000 units in a mixed-use transit-oriented community. Eric has also worked for Catellus Development Corporation, where he implemented the community development aspects of Mission Bay in San Francisco (all horizontal and public improvements) oversight of the initial infrastructure construction phase of over $100 million, creation of the public financing mechanism, establishment of the community governance structure for residential and commercial developments, transportation management association and a risk management plan to address the impacted soils.
Prior to relocating to the Bay Area from Southern California, Eric worked for RBF Associates as Director of Planning, where he primarily worked with developers on master planned communities. He initially started his career working for the City of Anaheim as an Assistant Planner.
Eric received an undergraduate and a graduate degree from California State University Long Beach.
Dave Miller, Vice President, Operations
As Vice President of Operations, Dave is intimately involved in all aspects of planning, design, and construction for SDG projects. He has extensive experience in project design, environmental cleanup and remediation, grading, budget management, value engineering, cost control, and all aspects of the construction process.
Dave has over 25 years of experience in Bay Area real estate construction and development. Prior to SDG, he worked for Signature Properties for 15 years, where he was responsible for construction, warranty, and customer service. Dave has led the construction and development of thousands of homes, various multi-family projects, and multiple commercial developments throughout the Bay Area. His projects have varied from complex urban infill to multi-thousand home master-planned communities. Dave has also been responsible for building over 8,000 lots in more than 50 projects, and has moved more than 30 million yards of dirt.
Dave is married with two children.
Doug Park, Vice President, Finance
Doug is real estate professional with expertise in finance, accounting, land-use approvals and project management. Doug is a member of the executive team at Signature and is in charge of all fiscal matters including accounting, financial reporting, budget analysis, project sources-uses analysis, loan covenants, tax compliance and financial modeling. He oversees and coordinates all the financial aspects of the business plans, corporate entities, and its joint venture entities including managing relationships with investors and banks.
Prior to his financial role, Doug led entitlement efforts for residential and mixed-use projects in several Bay Area cities. Doug holds a B.A. in Economics and an MBA, both from UC Berkeley. He is also a licensed CPA and spent over 5 years at Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) providing audit and tax services to clients.
Scott Zengel, Project Manager
Scott is a Project Manager at SDG, where he focuses on acquisitions and development. He is involved in financial analysis, due diligence, feasibility, entitlements, site planning, project management, and the sales and marketing processes for various projects throughout the Bay Area.
Prior to working at SDG, Scott had a multi-faceted role involving land use policy advocacy, private equity fund management, and community-based program management at the Bay Area Council, a business-focused policy advocacy organization. He oversaw the management of $200 million in double bottom line real estate and venture capital private equity funds and was responsible for creation and management of land use and real estate policy, where he worked with numerous governmental agencies, community groups, and local organizations to proactively influence regulations at the regional, State, and Federal levels. Scott has also participated in acquisitions of over $225 million in commercial assets at Cohen Asset Management; worked for a commercial real estate appraisal firm; and worked for Deloitte Consulting, where he focused on facilities and location strategy, corporate strategy and operations, and global systems and process implementation.
Scott holds a Master of Real Estate Development and MBA from USC and a B.A. in Economics from UCLA. He is involved in the San Francisco ULI Young Leaders Steering Committee, the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, and Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco.
Scott and his wife live in Oakland.
Jamie Choy, Project Manager
Jamie joined SDG in 2011 after completing his MBA at the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. He has successfully managed the approval and entitlement process for various for-sale multi-family projects throughout the Bay Area, sales for multiple large Oakland condo development projects, and is involved in the entitlement of a historic mixed-use development in Oakland consisting of retail, office and multi-family units. Jamie’s expertise includes finance, construction management, and the entitlement process.
Prior to his role with SDG, Jamie was involved in residential construction with Habitat for Humanity in New York, managed high-end residential remodels in Manhattan, and oversaw a portfolio of multi-family rehabilitation projects throughout the Bay Area. While in graduate school, Jamie obtained a Certificate in Real Estate, placed first in the Bank of America Low-Income Housing Challenge, second in the UT Austin National Real Estate Challenge, and interned with both the real estate group at Union Bank and with the Related Companies of California.
Jamie was born and raised in San Francisco, where he continues to reside with his wife.