DJDS | Real Estate Development Manager
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Real Estate Development Manager




Designing Justice + Designing Spaces (DJDS) is the only nonprofit architecture and real estate development firm in the country that innovates in and around the built environment to address the root causes of mass incarceration. With a focus on restorative justice and restorative economics, we partner with and serve low-income communities of color across the country. Our work counters the societal inequities evident in the dominant architectural models of justice — courthouses, jails, prisons, etc. — by designing and developing new prototypes such as peacemaking centers, mobile classrooms, and re-entry housing for formerly-incarcerated men and women. To achieve the mission and continue our ethos, the team is comprised of architects, designers, real estate developers, operations/events production staff, and community organizers; and projects often involve community members and systems-impacted individuals as experts, consultants, and contractors. Our work is founded on restoration and we incorporate it into our company culture and operations. We engage with our communities and partners with trauma-informed processes and patience. We value — and practice — self-awareness and personal growth in order for all staff members to be able to bridge the communities in which we work, from philanthropy to elected officials to those incarcerated and their communities of care.




We are thrilled to add the role of Real Estate Development Manager to the DJDS team. The main objectives for this role are to integrate the core activities of real estate development, beginning with site/land acquisition, pre-development, construction, and ultimately occupancy, with the efforts of the entire interdisciplinary team. The Real Estate Development Manager positions the organization so that it may be able to consistently develop its social impact projects, including site acquisition strategies, program partnership models, funding vehicles, etc.

This full-time position will manage projects in the development pipeline as well as the day-to-day operations of DJDS’ emergent real estate portfolio. The Real Estate Development Manager will report directly to the Real Estate Development Director and the Executive Director. Working closely with the development and finance team, The Real Estate Development Manager will contribute to the continued development and growth of DJDS nationally and in the Bay Area. This position is an opportunity to help develop innovative real estate and development solutions in the social justice sector, which will include partnerships with for-profit and non-profit developers, public/private partnerships, public agencies, and philanthropy, with a focus on partnerships and tenants comprising a diversity of organizations that address the root causes of mass incarceration. The Real Estate Development Manager will report to our main office in Oakland, California; however, the role may include travel time for up to 10% of the job.




  • Coordinate and implement all aspects of standard project management tasks in the pre-development and development of the organization’s real estate projects, in partnership with the Director of Real Estate Development. Projects include site acquisition, new construction and rehabilitation, and leasing or sales
  • Review and negotiate development and operating terms with developer, selling entity, financial, and other partners, working closely with the Director of Finance and Operations, the Director of Real Estate Development, and outside legal counsel
  • Work with the design team to undertake feasibility studies on potential real estate proposals, including budget and financing, schedule, scope, and risk analysis
  • Manage and integrate financing and market analysis’ into projects going through the Concept Development Process
  • Undertake initial market, site, and environmental analysis, and identify viable opportunities to expand DJDS’ portfolio and real estate mission
  • Develop capital development pro-formas, with sources and uses, and work collaboratively with the Directors of Finance and Operations and Real Estate Development to evaluate feasibility and risk
  • Support in producing documentation for the Board of Directors to vote on new acquisitions, debt financing, and risk management
  • Develop operating budgets, with income and expenses, and work collaboratively with the Director of Finance and Operations to evaluate feasibility and risk
  • Develop solicitations and scopes of work for project teams; support the assemblage of project teams; negotiate and manage contracts, including those for architects and engineers, construction managers, financial and legal consultants, market analysts, and other professionals typically involved in real estate development and transactions
  • Participate in DJDS’ community engagement, new partnership development and vetting, and public-facing events
  • Work closely with the executive team on the development of partnerships in the private and public sectors in support of DJDS’ mission and strategies




  • Experience or background in all aspects of real estate project development, from acquisition through construction completion
  • Working knowledge and experience with private- and public-sector financing, including local, state, and federal financing programs such as New Market Tax Credits, Historic Tax Credits, Low Income Housing Tax Credits, Opportunity Zones, and Tax Exempt Bonds
  • Strong ability to project-manage real estate projects, particularly budget, scope, schedule, and associated risks
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong self-awareness, with cultural competency for a diverse range of cultures, communities, and lived experiences
  • Ability to work on multiple projects and maintain effective communication and quality control
  • Strong ability to plan, schedule, and direct the work of self and others
  • Advanced understanding and proficiency using the following software:
    • Microsoft Office
    • Google Apps
    • Asana project management software (preferred)
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality and a high level of discretion
  • Excellent communicator and negotiator with a diverse set of stakeholders
  • Exceptional skills in cross-disciplinary collaborative team work
  • Ability to travel (up to approximately 10% of the job)
  • Commitment to DJDS’ mission and goals, as well as an interest in criminal justice reform
  • Attend and participate in thought leadership in DJDS prototypes and typologies, to include attending and speaking at relevant conferences and convenings




  • Bachelor’s degree in business, urban planning, or related fields required; Master’s degree preferred
  • Five to seven years minimum experience in mission-driven real estate development or community development, such as affordable housing, land conservation, or other real estate enterprise undertaking socially or environmentally responsible projects




  • Healthcare benefits with options for medical insurance under the company group plan. Employer contributions are determined by the chosen healthcare plan and covers employee premiums only.
  • Compensation for this role will not exceed $90,000




Please send the following, in pdf form, to, with the subject line “Real Estate Development Manager”:

  • Cover letter (in your cover letter, please include your definition of Restorative Justice and Trauma-Informed Practice in 4 sentences)
  • Resume
  • Real estate development projects / transactions list


Please, no phone calls or recruiters. All applicants must be eligible to work in the U.S.