Jennifer Samson – Director of Real Estate Development
Jennifer's interest in the LA River is rooted in her passion for great urban spaces. A major reason for her return to Los Angeles from New York was to build a better LA. She is certain the LA River is the perfect opportunity to do just that--to enrich neighborhoods, to build iconic landmarks, and to place-make an unprecedented 51-mile multi-benefit urban infrastructure amenity that inspires Angelenos to get outside and enjoy shared public space with their family, friends, and neighbors.
Jennifer handles all aspects of the River LA's real estate development including deal sourcing, structuring financing, securing entitlements, and overseeing projects from construction through to completion. She is set to break ground on River LA's first project and the City of LA’s first cable-stayed bridge, the La Kretz Crossing (N. Atwater Bridge). The La Kretz Crossing is also the first-ever privately funded bridge infrastructure in the City of Los Angeles. Upon completion, the $9.66MM cable-stayed multi-modal bridge will be gifted to the City for the benefit of the LA River and all Angelenos.
Prior to joining the River LA team, Jennifer was a Project Manager for Thomas Safran & Associates, a California affordable housing developer that has completed, owns, and operates over 4,000 residential units and has been in business for nearly 40 years. During her time there, she successfully applied for and secured $6MM in tax credit financing, was responsible for the various stages of acquisition, development, and construction of over 100 units, and a development budget of over $50MM. Previously, Jennifer's earliest experience with real estate development was with Livable Places, a Los Angeles non-profit sustainable housing developer that created the Olive Court community in Long Beach and Fuller Lofts in north east Los Angeles.
Jennifer holds a Master of Business Administration as well as a Master of Real Estate Development from the University of Southern California, where she attended as a full-tuition Consortium for Graduate Study in Management Fellow. She completed her undergraduate studies at New York University and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and a Bachelor of Arts in Romance Languages. Jennifer is also a governing board member of Gay For Good, a national non-profit that aims to energize and mobilize the LGBT community to interact with the broader community by volunteering time to various social welfare and environmental service projects.
Her ideal LA weekend involves surfing, followed by eating brunch with her wife somewhere recommended by Jonathan Gold.