Stephanie started an Industrial Partner Group company, a real estate development firm that buys and develops custom-built industrial and commercial real estate in Southern California. IPP has a $ 25-hour minimum wage and does not offer unpaid internships.
Upward mobility isn’t easy in the 21st century. Surely, harder to do with your hands, a work ethic, and some natural talent and passion. Food trucks are one pathway open to someone who wasn’t born on 3rd base, someone like a single mom who loses her job and takes to making her grandmother’s salsa recipe in their kitchen, selling it to friends and neighbors, gets picked up by a food truck, then finally opening her first food truck and then a taco stand. The American Dream, accessible to everyone.
However, apart from the industry’s gender-make-up where potential buyers and renters are likely to deal with a female realtor, women are stirring how the industry conducts itself. The real estate industry is slowly becoming more inclusive as minorities come in to play a critical role. Besides, women are shaping the way people view properties, and the service customers expect to receive.
Besides being a landlord for marijuana tenants, Steph has been a forefront advocate for equal rights of marijuana cultivators by suing San Bernardino over the new marijuana-license ordinance by claiming that the ordinance monopolizes certain marijuana licenses and prohibits anybody who has been associated with cannabis from accessing the market, she has also gone to the offensive seeking an equal distribution of cannabis permits. Moreover, she has demonstrated a history of advocating for the rights of children and supporting impoverished communities. This is evident in employing 45 permanent staff from disadvantaged communities and supporting students at Operation New Hope Charter School.
Steph’s fortified building was once raided, cultivation operations of her clients were shut down, and 35,000 marijuana plants seized.
In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by women executives that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?
For Smith, Sunny Days is more than a place to park and conduct food truck inspections. She sees the commissary as the seeding ground for the next generation of independent restaurants, a place to build back the collective food culture LA lost during the pandemic.
As a commercial real estate entrepreneur, Steph’s job involves a lot of traveling and networking. The story of how Step Smith started her cannabis real estate business would definitely raise eyebrows to what several people perceive to be a male-dominated field. Smith caused a bidding war after she posted a renovated laundromat on Craigslist. A potential client reached out to her and offered her double the rent if she would allow him to use the property to grow marijuana. A few minutes later, more and more people placed their bids on the property. At this point, Steph realized that cannabis cultivators could be better tenants and are willing to pay more. That is how Steph rented her first property to a cannabis grower. Today, Steph manages Industrial Partner Group that owns over 2 million square of real estate and over 20,000 acres of land in Southern California.
After her first dealing with cannabis tenants, Steph thought she was the only landlord in this sector but this was not the case because nobody was talking about this business since cannabis businesses owners trying to penetrate this burgeoning marketplace faced numerous challenges because many states considered marijuana an illegal substance. She noticed that this was a large market with a continuous fall in wholesale price with the shift from flowers to processed products.
As primarily industrial landlords, we are excited to offset our tenant’s energy use while increasing the long-term value of our properties.