Industry News

Reflecting on 30 years in the High Desert

Posted on May 14th, 2018  /  Comments

I made my first trip to Victorville and the High Desert portion of San Bernardino County, on September 21, 1986. At the time I was Vice President of Pegasus Development in Santa Barbara. We were analyzing locations for an extension of a 230 home subdivision development project that was planned to break ground in 1987 at the corner of 40th Street East and Avenue Q8 in Palmdale. This was the first "Vested Tentative Tract" approved in North Los Angeles County and the City of Palmdale. Victorville was only an hour from the project, so it was a logical extension of our operations due to its location.

I moved to Victorville from Santa Barbara on Friday the 13th May, 1988. I arrived at the home that I rented at 12895 Rain Shadow Rd at 2:45 PM, followed by my close friend Mr. Joel Schlanger who drove a separate car and helped me move from Santa Barbara. A truck and my belongings followed.

As I woke up early on Saturday Morning May 14, 1988, I remember vividly gazing at the cottage cheese ceiling in my rental home and wondering if I had made the right decision to move from Santa Barbara to Victorville and to give up all my friends and my nearly 14 years of life experiences on the Central Coast (5 years in San Luis Obispo, where I graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and 9 years in Santa Barbara).

Somewhat challenged/worried with my early morning thoughts, I went to Spring Valley Lake Country Club at 9:00 AM that Saturday morning and joined as a member of Spring Valley Lake Country Club and Club Corporation (Dallas Texas).

Just 5 months later October 31, 1988, my future wife, Deborah K. Brady, agreed to go out on our first date (I asked her out six times, the seventh was the charm!), and we have been together ever since.

In 1989 and 1990 I was able to represent Spring Valley Lake Country Club with Dr. Pat DiCiccio (1989-1990), Mr. Barry Valdez (1989-1990), Mr. Gregg Combs, PGA Pro (1989-1990), Mr. Bill Bachofner (1989), and Mr. Rick Sutton (1990) in the National Scramble Championship in Pinehurst North Carolina.

As we incorporated the business on December 4, 1989, with the help of many great leaders (Mr. James B. Tatum) in the High Desert region and many close friends, over the course of time we helped create councils and groups to promote economic development and cooperation in bringing job growth to the High Desert region.

With the help of people like Mr. Robert A. Lovingood (now First District Supervisor for San Bernardino County and Chairman of the Board of Supervisors), Mr. Paul Saldana (now Economic Development Director for Tulare County) Mr. Brad Orchard (deceased), Mr. Bill Porter (deceased), Mr. Tom Graining (deceased), Ms. Mary Scarpa (deceased), and many others who have now moved, retired or re-located from the High Desert region, we created the Economic Development Council that focused on fostering and creating job growth. These groups were an example of how important and paramount it was after we were initially notified of the closure of George Air Force Base in December of 1988, and the ultimate closure four years later to the day. Between civilians and military, we lost nearly 10,000 jobs. During the first six years of the closure, it cost the Valley nearly $1 billion dollars (based on a confidential federal report that I read, but was never allowed to copy); many of us remember how bad the economy got during the mid-1990s.

There was also a great challenge and a serious competition for control of the base between the City of Adelanto and what was the Victor Valley Economic Development Authority (VVEDA), comprised of the City of Victorville, Town of Apple Valley, City of Hesperia and San Bernardino County. Ultimately, the issue was resolved and the federal government gave control of the base to the City of Victorville.

Key roles were played by the Mojave Regional Economic Development Counsel, (MREDC), and Mojave River Regional Board of Trade, then ultimately, the High Desert Regional Economic Development Authority (HDREDA) that focused on fostering and creating job growth, while marketing the High Desert Region to potential employers throughout the Country.

On September 15, 1995, I accepted the “Libertarian Achievement Award”, the first one ever given by The Daily Press, and Freedom Communications. I was nominated by Mr. Steve Williams, the highly-respected Opinion Editor of the Daily Press Newspaper. I accepted the award for support and growth and Laissez-Faire Capitalism, which were ideals that Freedom Communications, a libertarian based newspaper believed in.

On April 6, 2000, the San Bernardino County Sun recognized me as one of the top ten business leaders of the year, within the Inland Empire.

Awards are especially satisfying when those within your industry recognize the work that you have done to make the High Desert a better place to live, work, and play. I was, therefore, extremely honored, and surprised to be the first commercial broker in the history of the High Desert Association of REALTORS ®, (formerly the Victor Valley Association of Realtors) to ever receive the coveted “Realtor of the Year Award” which I was bestowed in November of 2015.

I was appointed as a Trustee at Victor Valley Community College District, one of the greatest Community Colleges in the State of California on February 1, 2011. I was proud to set a record for total votes garnered (45,978) in my 2012 re-election and was again re-elected along with Mr. John R. Pinkerton III in November 2016 (37,250).

Recently I was pleased when Ms. April Tyler in our office notified me that I had compiled nearly 250 written recommendations on LinkedIn. 81 of these recommendations were from commercial real estate brokers from the High Desert and throughout Southern California and those from other professionals that we had worked with. I was extremely humbled to receive such a large amount of written commendations.

In the past Thirty years, we have heard a tremendous number of stories, experienced a bounty of opportunities, met and enjoyed many great friends and experienced life’s little pleasures; the Desert's most beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Most importantly, we have seen the Victor Valley and High Desert change and grow during the past three decades. So, at the end of the day I must say that I have been blessed with the best partner and wife, Deborah K. Brady.

As I embark on my next journey in life, I am pleased to work on a project in Barstow California. “The Shops at Spanish Trail” is an +/-801,000 Sq. Ft. mixed use fully approved specific plan. I am joined with my partner Mr. Malcom R. Riley, Riley Properties Inc, the Chairman in 1991 of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and developer of nearly +/-10,000,000 Sq. Ft. of retail. Most notably in the Victor Valley, he developed nearly 85% of “Jess Ranch” in Apple Valley (with Weingarten Realty), the K Mart Center on Main Street and Hesperia and currently has nearly +/-3,000,000 Sq. Ft. of proposed retail between the site at the Northwest corner of Bear Valley Rd and Second.

As broker of Joseph W. Brady Inc, dba The Bradco Companies, the longest standing full service commercial, industrial, office, retail, and land brokerage company and the commercial firm that has closed more commercial transactions than any other firm in the last twenty-nine years within the High Desert portion of San Bernardino County. I am looking forward to the next ten years, which I believe will prove to be beneficial to the High Desert, to the retail sector, industrial developers, tenants and their employees who will benefit from this development.

We anticipate remaining deeply involved in our community for many more years, in not only growing our business, but in completing the projects that we are personally involved in and those things that we believe are paramount to benefitting those that live, work, and play in the High Desert region.


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