Detroit’s Bedrock Names CEO

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Kofi Bonner
Kofi Bonner // Photo courtesy of Bedrock

Detroit-based Bedrock, a full-service real estate firm that is part of the Rock Family of Cos., has announced a new CEO who was a leader in recent coastal development in California.

Kofi Bonner, former chief administrative officer of the Cleveland Browns, will take the reins on Sept. 21. Bill Emerson, currently the acting CEO, will continue his dual role as vice chairman of Bedrock and Rock Holdings.

Bonner has experience in leading development projects in metropolitan areas. He was co-COO at FivePoint Holdings in Irvine, Calif., where he led the entitlement and development of the San Francisco Shipyard and Candlestick Communities, as well as the communities managed on behalf of Lennar Corp. – Treasure Island and the Concord Naval Weapons Station.

“I am excited to return to the Midwest and continue Bedrock’s commitment to developing world-class urban centers,” Bonner says. “I look forward to building on the accomplishments of Mr. Gilbert and the talented team at Bedrock by advancing the transformational development program, partnering with the community to deliver positive social outcomes, and working with local businesses to further the incredible momentum that Detroit and Cleveland have seen over the last decade.”

Bonner spent the last year focused on real estate development and technology ventures through Bonner Enterprises, embarking on ventures in the San Francisco area and Ghana. He also invested in fintech companies BC Pay and Techgulf, which sources technology operations and services to West Africa.

Before entering the private real estate sector, Bonner spent seven years as executive vice president and chief administrative officer of the Cleveland Browns, where he was the first African American to hold such a title within the NFL. He was responsible for overseeing the business operations and development of the team’s Cleveland Browns Stadium. He also sat on the NFL’s internet committee and helped develop the Browns’ website.

Bonner began his career as the affordable housing developer for Oakland Community Housing Inc. He was also redevelopment director for the city of Emeryville, Calif.; director of community and economic development and later interim city manager of the city of Oakland; and chief economic advisor to Willie Brown, then mayor of San Francisco.

“With his extensive experience leading landmark projects on the West Coast and the years he spent in Cleveland with the Browns, Kofi Bonner is the right leader to build on Bedrock’s nearly 10 years of transformational development work,” says Emerson. “Bedrock has a really exciting future as momentum builds at the Hudson’s Site, Book Tower and dozens of other projects, and I look forward to partnering with Kofi to ensure they have a positive and lasting impact on the communities where we serve.”

Bedrock specializes in acquiring, developing, leasing, financing, and managing commercial and residential buildings. It was founded in 2011 and, with its affiliates, have invested and committed more than $5.6 billion to acquiring and developing more than 100 properties, including new construction of ground-up developments in downtown Detroit and Cleveland totaling more than 18 million square feet.

Other current Detroit projects include Monroe Blocks and the One Campus Martius expansion.

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