Archinect
Vajra Hodges

Vajra Hodges

Los Angeles, CA, US

 

About 

With over 15 years of experience in design, construction and real estate development, I have delivered successful retail, mixed use, higher education, hospitality, residential and entertainment projects both locally and internationally. 

In my role as an experienced Senior Associate - Project Manager on the Project Delivery Team within Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, I coordinate the efforts of designers, architects and other consultants. I pride myself on my ability to solve complex real estate challenges with the goal of bringing new owner revenue opportunities to underutilized property assets.  

I also oversee the internal design and technical teams as well as external consultants throughout the development project life-cycle while ensuring projects are built on time and on budget with a strong commitment to quality of design.

Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to deliver successful projects for the following companies: Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, Brookfield Properties, USC, UCLA, Jamison Properties, Lionsgate, Entertainment One, Morgan Lewis, Goodwin Procter, Thomson Reuters, Mullin TGB, Schwab, Qualcomm, Ernst & Young, Bank of America, Scripps, Kaiser and Johns Hopkins.

Specialties: 
Project Management, Architecture, Interior Design, Real Estate Development, Entitlements, Project Planning, Master Planning & Urban Design, Construction Management, Feasibility, Sustainability, Mixed-Use, Multifamily, Residential, Hospitality, Budgeting, Scheduling, Contracts, Negotiation, Staffing

Elsewhere:

Employment 

Unibail Rodamco Westfield, Los Angeles, CA, US, Senior Associate - Project Manager

Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield is the premier global developer and operator of flagship shopping destinations that differentiates itself by integrating food, fashion, leisure, entertainment and technology to better connect retailers with consumers in support of the goal of transforming traditional shopping centers into experiential destination properties.

Role:
As a Senior Associate - Project Manager on the Project Delivery Team, I oversee internal design and technical teams as well as external consultants throughout the project life-cycle with the aim of ensuring projects are built on time and on budget with a strong commitment to quality of design.

Key Projects:
• Valencia - Patios Connection Project - Sears Takeback Development
• Garden State Plaza - JCP Takeback Development
• Valencia - Interior Renovation

Responsibilities:
• Member of internal design team responsible for envisioning and enriching the shopping experience and transforming Shopping Centers
• Advanced understanding of retail design, merchandising trends and end user needs
• Creative, highly organized, outside-of-the-box thinker with proven ability to influence, motivate and support a diverse team
• Confident in communication at various levels within the hierarchy of a complex corporation
• Strong sensibility toward aesthetics while maintaining keen knowledge of technical, code and constructibility requirements
• Lead architectural projects from conceptual stage through construction administration to completion of projects
• Hire architectural or engineering consultants, establish RFP, PAR and design schedule for various projects
• Provide expert input in contractual, design, and production meetings; observe project performance and coordinate workload through the entire project to complete documents on schedule
• Manage all financial aspects of projects to maintain approved design budget
• Organize construction documents and assume responsibility for finished plans, specifications, and materials

Jan 2017 - current
 

The Soham Group, Los Angeles, CA, US, Architectural Consultant

The Soham Group is a growing development and project management services company which specializes in residential renovations, multi family housing, small lot subdivisions and ADUs. By utilizing creative typologies and city ordinances, the company’s philosophy aims to combat the Los Angeles housing shortage with elevated design concepts and community oriented solutions.

Role:
As a Project Manager, I select and manage architects, designers, contractors and other vendors in order to meet each client's specific vision for residential projects.

Key Projects:
• Valley Oak Residence
• Norlee Residence
• Huron Residence
• Diamond Residence

Responsibilities:
• Interact directly with Clients, from the initial site selection and development process through completion of the construction project.
• Assist in the selection process of your architect and contractor and review design proposals and contractor estimates.
• Manage architectural, interior design and landscape design delivery.
• Provided general site evaluation, such as establishing sun angles, location of prominent views, adjacent structures’ privacy related angles, site slopes, natural and man-made features pertinent to the design.
• Researched all site limitations and restrictions with the governing agencies.
• Serve as a conduit to keep an open dialogue with the Architect and construction team.
• Develop plans, set schedules and timelines, and complete projects according to time and budget expectations.
• Monitor construction progress and anticipate potential construction issues that may arise during construction to eliminate delays and stay on budget.
• Provide site observation services during significant stages of construction
• Inform the Client of observed faults or defects in the Work, or non-conformance with the construction documents or with applicable laws, codes, statutes or regulations.
• Provided substantial completion project review and developed final Punch List.

Oct 2013 - current
 

Gensler, Los Angeles, CA, US, Design Manager

Gensler designs for people. They leverage their global perspective and local presence to innovate at every scale. They’re not just designers. They’re tinkerers, craftspeople, visionaries, innovators and thought leaders.

Role:
As a Design Manager in the Landlord Services Studio at Gensler, my aim was to deliver a client's vision from concept through build-out-- often under exceptionally tight deadlines.

Key Projects:
• Lionsgate
• Morgan Lewis
• Milbank
• Banc of California
• ADR, Inc.

Responsibilities:
• Managed client, team and project coordination, including full documentation coordination with structural, MEP, lighting, AV, landscape and civil consultants
• Supported communication between project team, clients, vendors, contractors, consultants, as well as building and permitting officials
• Leveraged industry experience and technical acumen to drive client projects from concept through build
• Worked with the Project Designer and Project Architect to provide leadership to the team and client; communicated objectives, contract scope, terms, and schedule
• Developed and monitor the project work plan, project schedule, fees, contracts, billings and collections
• Prepared project proposals and negotiated fees and contracts
• Managed scheduling, budgets, staffing, project set up with clients, sub-consultants, vendors and contractors
• Conducted and documented site visits, process submittals, substitution requests and RFIs during construction
• Tracked financial performance of projects for success

Jun 2016 - Dec 2016
 

Jamison Properties, Los Angeles, CA, US, Project Manager

With over 20 million square feet of office, retail, and residential space currently under management, Jamison Properties is one of the largest commercial landlords in Los Angeles. In 2015, the company expanded into the development of residential and mixed-use properties throughout Southern California.

Role:
As a Project Manager, I represented the developer and stakeholders in managing architects, designers, contractors and vendors in the delivery of commercial development projects.

Selected Projects:
• Circa
• 30Sixty
• The Abbey
• CMC
• The Harbor Building
• Entertainment One

Responsibilities:
• Founding team member of the in house architecture division (ISO Architecture + Design), which was created to lead the internal design and project management processes
• Accountable for the management of a team of outside consultants and contractors from pre-construction to completion, contract negotiation and administration, scheduling, and budgeting
• Prepared project proposals and negotiated fees and contracts
• Supported communication between project team, clients, vendors, contractors, consultants, as well as building and permitting officials
• Lead architectural projects from conceptual stage through construction administration to completion of projects

Aug 2015 - Jun 2016
 

Genuine Rockprov Productions, Los Angeles, CA, US, Executive Producer

Genuine Rockprov Productions is an award winning independent production company committed to creating fictionalized entertainment that portrays true-to-life drama with heart and aims to tell the greatest stories from the missing voices of our time in order to shed a much needed light on these often relatable human struggles and bring awareness to social issues in the most effective local-to-global manner: cinema.

Role:
As an Executive Producer, I managed operations, business development and investor/international sales relations for a growing startup film production company while also coordinating the development, production and sales of film, television and new media projects.

Key Projects:
• ALL HALE (feature film)
• Humor Us (television series)
• MOMO (feature film)
• “Moonchildren” by Aftergloam (music video)

Responsibilities:
• Sourced and secured financing, managed budgets
• Created and monitored schedules for development, production and sales/marketing towards festivals
• Selected director of photography, editor, department heads and other production members
• Pitched new ideas to potential investors, communicated updates
• Cast actors from festivals and coordinated with representation
• Found scripts and other source materials for development, followed chain of title
• Advised and assisted directors on set and during festival sales periods
• Reviewed the scoring of the film as well as final picture edits
• Negotiated the company’s representation at the American Film Market, Cannes’ Marche du Film, and the Berlin Film Festival.

Jul 2012 - Oct 2013
 

Perkins and Will, Los Angeles, CA, US, Job Captain

Perkins + Will strives to create places with purpose and meaning with the goal of designing places that make a positive difference in the world. Their work enlivens neighborhoods, builds communities, energizes the citizenry, and respects and protects our planet. People are at the heart of everything they do.

Role:
As an Interior Project Manager at Perkins + Will, I led high profile design projects and coordinated the efforts of project architects, designers, contractors, product vendors, engineers and other consultants to ensure proper execution of each projects’ design and technical performance for a variety of higher education, corporate/commercial, K-12 and healthcare projects.

Key Projects:
• UCLA Young Research Library
• USC University Faculty Club
• Thomson Reuters
• Bank of America
• Ernst & Young
• Mullin TBG
• Qualcomm
• Goodwin Procter

Responsibilities:
• Led collaboration between project teams, and was responsible for the success of each project, as measured in client satisfaction, quality of work and profitability of work.
• Administered all phases of project through construction including: budgeting, scheduling, planning, design, construction documents with authority to direct and monitor all activities.
• Promoted firm and project goals of excellence in design, execution and sustainability
• Prepared and negotiate client and consultant proposals, fees, schedules, and contracts
• Main point of communication between the Client and Architect, ensuring timely resolution of client concerns including additional services
• Initiated and maintained project set-up, including contract review, project process, work authorizations and invoicing
• Developed and maintained successful client relationships for repeat business
• Developed and prepared contract documents, plans and details
• Reviewed RFI’s and shop drawing submittals

Nov 2006 - Jul 2012
 

Gangi Development, Burbank, CA, US, Architectural Intern

May 2004 - Aug 2005
 

Education 

University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles, CA, US, BArch, Architecture

Sep 2001 - May 2006
 

Sacramento Waldorf School, Sacramento, California, High School, Waldorf

Sep 1997 - Jun 2001
 

Awards 

Areas of Specialization 

Skills