Jim Baer ('72, MBA '78, JD '78)
Jim Baer came to the development of real estate after having managed a law practice with Ware & Freidenrich in Palo Alto. As an attorney, he had a quick sense of the deal, but he claims he was not smart at the details of contract law. After the law, Jim’s best career choice was to participate, exclusively, in Palo Alto real estate projects for nearly 35 years. Palo Alto officials are notoriously challenging, but Jim’s mix of personal and professional character traits allowed him to become an uncommon expert to developers and city officials determined to successfully navigate the Palo Alto process. This expertise led to 130 Palo Alto project approvals and no disapprovals. Large developers continue to hire Jim as a consultant for Palo Alto land use and he also occasionally tags along as a developer with some smaller projects. Lastly, Jim is launching a new Palo Alto based nonprofit venture: Wave One will aid existing Downtown Palo Alto buildings with their energy and water conservation efforts in order to exceed federal and California 2030 mandates.