Upland Real Estate Executive Randall Lewis Donates $10 Million to Urban Land Institute
KVCR's Jonathan Linden spoke with local real estate executive Randell Lewis to discuss a $10 million donation he made to the Urban Land Institute.
Jonathan Linden: You're listening to 91.9 KVCR news, and I'm Jonathan Linden. Randall Lewis is an Inland Empire based real estate executive and announced on January 25 that he would be donating $10 million to the Urban Land Institute. To start, Randall, can you tell me more about why you chose to make this donation and where exactly these funds are going to be donated within the organization.
Randell Lewis: The Urban Land Institute is an international group dealing with real estate and land use. It covers almost all the different kinds of real estate, so it deals with housing, it deals with the shopping centers, it deals with resorts, it deals with transportation issues, it deals with Parks, almost anything to do with real estate. Among the things it specializes in, it's not a lobbying group. It's not a group that's for networking or deal-making. It's really a group, as I understand it, from my point of view, that focuses on knowledge, on research on idea exchange. So it's a place you go to learn to say what are best practices. It's to meet to other people, and there's really good idea exchange, which is one of the things I like the most, you learn so much from the group. I've been involved with urban land over 30 years, and it's just been a great teaching place for me, I've learned so much from them, and I'm so grateful for what they've done. And just at this stage in my life, I thought, how can I make a difference? What are things I could do to try to make our communities better? And I could try lots of stuff, but I'm one person, and I got a full-time job. I couldn't do a very good job at it. And I thought, why not try to leave some of this work to real experts who are already doing it and fund some of their efforts and helping other ways was what you're trying to do.
Jonathan Linden: And so your company is based in Upland, can you tell listeners a little bit more about other projects and organizations you're working with within the Inland Empire community?
Randall Lewis: Well, first projects that we've been involved in that people might know, there's a project in Rancho Cucamonga called Victorian Gardens. We were one of the codevelopers of Victoria gardens, we don't own it anymore, but we were involved with the development of Victorian Garden as a partner. In Fontana, there's Sierra Lakes Golf Course, which a lot of people in the region know. In Riverside County, there's a big industrial project as part of the March Field Joint Powers Authority. We're doing what will end up being an eight or nine-million-foot industrial project. In Chino, we have a planned community called The Preserve that will be almost 8,000 dwelling units. So we do a lot of large-scale projects. In terms of organizations that we're involved in. A lot of local universities, we're involved at the Claremont Colleges, my brothers and I went, and my children went, especially Claremont McKenna College. We're involved with the University of La Verne. I've done some work with Cal Poly and a little bit with the University of California, Riverside. I hope to get involved in more issues with Cal State San Bernardino, Chaffy College, so we get involved with a lot of the colleges in the area. There's a number of buildings that we've been involved in. In Rancho Cucamonga, there's something called the Lewis Family Playhouse; in Fontana, there's a Lewis Library. There are a lot of buildings that have our name on them. There are a lot of parks; I mean, we've been here 60 years, we try to support the communities where we do work.
Jonathan Linden: Concerning your donation to the Urban Land Institute, is there anything else you'd like to share with listeners?
Randall Lewis: Well, I think for listeners, especially your listeners, I believe are highly educated listeners, it would be the get involved, whether it's donating money or donating time, or donating connections. Everyone in our region has talents and what we call currencies, things that they can contribute. It would be to find things that you are passionate about, find things where you want to make a difference. And raise your hand, seek out these opportunities. We're a region with a tremendous opportunity, but we're region with tremendous needs, and I think the more your listeners can say, these are things I feel passionate about, I'm going to get involved in, it will give a lot of self-satisfaction, but it can make a lot of difference in people's lives for the years to come.
Jonathan Linden: Well, Randall, it's been a pleasure speaking with you, and thank you so much for your time.
Randall Lewis: Great, thank you very much.