Joseph Skiffer, Jr., 67, Leading African American Developer

By Wade Woods Joseph Skiffer, Jr., one of the Bay Area’s leading African American developers, died on April 29 after a long battle with diabetes.  He was 67. Over the course of his career, he was involved in the development of La Galleria, high-rise condominiums on Nob Hill and condominiums throughout Northern California, as well as many projects in the Western Addition in San Francisco Known to his friends as Joe, he was born on August 23, 1944, in Anguilla, Miss.to Joseph Skiffer, Sr., and Lillie Chew Skiffer. After spending his early childhood in Mississippi and Waterloo, Iowa, he moved at age 10 to Chicago, where he grew up in the Cabrini-Green housing projects. Skiffer attended Dunbar Vocational School and graduated from Cooley High School. He received a B.B.A. in 1970 from Loyola University Chicago and an M.B.A. in 1972 from Harvard Business School. After Harvard, he became a manager in Prudential Insurance Company’s Real Estate Investment Department in San Francisco, where he was involved in over $148 million in joint venture loans and associated equities on office buildings, hotels and industrial properties. He underwrote over $60 million in mortgage loans on residential, commercial and industrial properties. In 1979, he formed Foxcroft Associates, which developed La Galleria, a 187-unit and 12,000-square-foot retail space high-rise condominium project on Nob Hill. He also developed Eastgate Village, a 66-unit condominium complex in Marysville, CA, and packaged and sold development rights to condominium projects in San Francisco, San Leandro and Hayward. In 1986, he formed Cautus Bay Equities and began projects in San Francisco’s Western Addition. He developed the Amelia, a 36-unit condominium and retail project at Fillmore and Sutter streets, and rehabilitated a 46-unit apartment building in Alamo Square. He was a partner in the development of Fillmore Marketplace, a 130-unit, low-income rental housing project, and was a consultant for The Fillmore Center, a 1,113-unit apartment complex in the city. Joe rehabilitated apartments in Hunter’s Point and worked to redevelop the Booker T. Washington Community Service Center. At the time of his death, he was working with the Carpenters Local Union 22 to develop a 10,000-square-foot office building and union hall. He is survived by his daughter Rachel, his son Joseph Sebastian and his life partner Candace.   Services will be held 1 p.m. Monday, May 7 at McAvoy O’Hara Mortuary at 4545 Geary St., at 10th Avenue, in San Francisco.
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