Dr. Claude Gruen is an urban economist who specializes in the evaluation and implementation of real estate development and public policy opportunities and trade offs.
Since the early 1970’s, Dr. Gruen’s work has provided the economic foundation and real estate development programs for successful shopping, entertainment, housing, industrial and mixed-use projects sponsored by public and private entities. Projects completed by Dr. Gruen’s clients include major office buildings, industrial parks, housing projects, shopping centers and mixed-use projects in California, Ohio, Illinois, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada. Examples of projects include Settlers’ Landing in Cleveland, OH, the San Francisco Centre (Westfield Mall on Market Street), Santa Maria Town Center in Santa Maria, CA, the consolidation and expansion of Fashion Square Shopping Center in Downtown Scottsdale, AZ, and Hacienda Business Park in Pleasanton, CA. Two of the properties developed and sold for the State of California include an 87-acre former developmental center in San Jose that was redeveloped as the headquarters of Cisco Systems, and the 360-acre former Agnews Developmental Center in Santa Clara that consists of the award-winning mixed use Rivermark residential community, Rivermark Village Shopping Center, the Oracle R&D buildings (originally developed as headquarters of Sun Microsystems) and a 16-acre Citation Homes project. The State of California has received approximately $500 million for the sale of these lands to builders and users.
Working as Special Master for the United States District Court since 1999, Dr. Gruen and Nina J. Gruen remediated the 84.5-acre former Pacific States Steel Corporation property in Union City, California, redeveloping the land for 545 residences, a business park and public infrastructure. Remediation costing $20 million was accomplished with no public subsidies. Real estate developed on the now cleaned land is on the tax roles for in excess of $245 million, and all first tier creditors have been paid to date. Over $84 million has been obtained to date from the sale of land on the remediated property.
Fiscal policies, policy assessments and strategic development programs formulated by Dr. Gruen have been implemented by local governments, including Scottsdale, AZ, Lawrence, KS, and the California communities of Hawthorne, Mountain View, Palo Alto, Tracy, Stockton, Daly City, Oakland, Brentwood, Antioch, Lodi, and many school districts and other institutions. Land use marketability and implementation assessments prepared by GG+A teams working under Dr. Gruen’s direction have identified programs for many successful projects and, of equal or greater importance, eliminated from consideration proposed projects unlikely to be profitable or sustainable.
Dr. Gruen has served as a founding director of RREEF America I and RREEF America III, real estate investment trusts managed by RREEF, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank.
Dr. Gruen has conducted a wide variety of real estate valuation, highest and best use, and feasibility studies on matters that were under litigation, and then testified in support of his findings in California, Nevada, and Illinois courts. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Cincinnati and has served on the faculties of Xavier University in Cincinnati and the University of California at Berkeley. He is a member of the Western Regional Science Association, Lambda Alpha Honorary Land Economics Society and the American Economic Association, Since 1990, he has written a “Trends” column for the Institutional Real Estate Letter, a publication that serves the country’s pension fund real estate investors. He is the author of New Urban Development: Looking Back to See Forward, published by Rutgers University Press in 2010. In 1972, Dr. Gruen and Nina J. Gruen co-authored Low and Moderate Income Housing in the Suburbs, published by Praeger.