Katie O'Brien

Vice President of Development

katie@bldsf.com :: 415 551 7628

Katie O’Brien is currently vice president of development at BUILD, where she oversees design, development, budget, schedule and entitlements for several of BUILD’s current projects.

Katie brings over 15 years of experience in project management within the design and construction industry. For the last 11 years, within real estate development Katie developed a skill set not only in project management, but also acquisitions, entitlements, environmental approvals, subdivision mapping and alternative financing mechanisms.

Prior to BUILD, Katie was a development manager at Forest City, overseeing the development of mixed-use residential projects and land acquisitions in San Francisco. There she successfully took a project from entitlements to design to construction completion, marketing and lease up. In addition she was involved in a large complex downtown project CEQA process. Prior to that, she had success in entitling and financing several residential projects working for Martin Building Company, which included alternative financing including CALReUSE Brownfield and Prop IC Infill Grants as well as LIHTC and tax-exempt bonds for a 196-unit and a 94-unit mixed-use residential project.

Katie has been actively involved in several local non-profits as board President and Chair and committee member at various real estate focused professional organizations. She has a passion for infill urban development often working on projects that are transit oriented and have an active public realm component, such as public plazas. Her love of design, buildings and creating unique urban spaces is evident in the projects she has worked on.


  • Arc Light Co. (San Francisco): 94-unit mixed-use residential project. This was an urban infill, historic adaptive reuse project which included historic tax credit, Infill Development Grant and a HUD 221(d)(4) Multifamily loan. Completed 2012.

  • Potrero Launch (San Francisco): 196-unit mixed-use residential historic preservation project. Transit-oriented-development that utilized tax exempt bonds, LIHTC and Infill Development Grant funds. Completed 2012.

  • Mint Plaza (San Francisco): 18,000 square foot public plaza. Completed 2007

  • Mint Collection (San Francisco): 77 units for-sale residences in two historic adaptive reuse buildings, the former Hales Brothers Department store offices built in 1926. Completed 2008

  • 2175 Market Street (San Francisco): 88-unit mixed use residential property located at the Church Street MUNI station in San Francisco. Featuring approximately 6,000 sq. ft. of ground floor commercial and utilized tax-exempt bonds and LIHTC to provide 20% affordable


  • SPUR, Member

  • Urban Land Institute, Member

  • San Francisco Housing Action Coalition, Member

  • San Francisco Urban Land Institute, Chair Programs Committee (2012 – 2013)

  • San Francisco Urban Land Institute, Mentor Program (2013-2014)

  • Central Market Community Benefits District, Former President (2009 – 2010)

  • Friends of Mint Plaza, Board Member (2007-2011)

  • San Francisco Housing Action Coalition, Executive Committee Member (2002-2003)


  • M.S., Real Estate Development, Columbia University

  • B.A., San Francisco State University