Builder of People, Places and Things
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Founded in 2017, Yoba Development is a diversified portfolio company specializing in real estate, education, and media. As a mission-driven firm, we are committed to building human capacity through education while simultaneously pursuing sustainable and affordable mixed-use development projects in transitioning neighborhoods.

What We Do

Current Projects

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I Build New York (IBNY) - Our education platform that uses creativity and unique partnerships to promote financial literacy, diversity, equity and inclusion in the commercial real estate industry through content, curriculum, community engagement and equity crowdfunding.

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“THE REAL ESTATE MIX TAPE” is an 8-part docu-series that follows actor, filmmaker and real estate developer, Malik Yoba, as he pursues his first commercial real estate (CRE) deal in New York.

As the founder and owner of YOBA Development, Malik, along with a diverse group of young, aspiring professionals interested in learning about the CRE industry, journey the often opaque world of CRE development.

Malik provides them awareness, access and advocacy as he works to navigate and secure his first deal

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Yoba Development Fellowship with Pratt Institute School of Architecture

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Redevelopment of South Bronx public school + brand new sports and wellness center

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Partnership with NYCHA’s first RMC ( Resident Management Company)
at Fredrick Douglass Houses

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Our Team

Founder/CEO

Leslie Ann Dunn

Chief of Staff
Chief Financial Officer
Education Director

Press

Malik Yoba: from ‘NY Undercover’ to NY real estate developer

Malik Yoba already beat the odds once: landing a starring role in the cult classic movie “Cool Runnings” without an agent or even a head shot. And now the actor who went on to star in the groundbreaking television series “New York Undercover” wants to break into an industry that may be even tougher than Hollywood: New York City real estate development.

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Dr. Malik Yoba

Founder/CEO

Although this Hollywood veteran offers over three decades of commitment to the arts with over fifty film credits and more than a dozen lead roles in network/cable television series, Malik Yoba considers himself a community and youth advocate first, with over four decades of experience working with young people globally, in schools, prisons and community-based organizations.  Born in the South Bronx and raised in Harlem, it was his debut in the Disney classic Cool Runnings and his performance as NYPD Detective J.C. Williams in the groundbreaking police drama, New York Undercover, that catapulted Malik into the fabric of mainstream culture.  A writer, director, producer, musician, serial entrepreneur, and emerging real estate developer, Malik founded Yoba Development in 2017 as a way to educate and empower communities of color, and increase diversity in commercial real estate. He has projects in NYC , Baltimore and Georgia and is currently touring the country screening and hosting workshops in conjunction with his educational docu-series, The Real Estate Mixtape, Volume 1: I Build NY. The series was created for high schools, colleges and community-based organizations and follows Malik and a cohort of youth as he navigates his first development deal in NYC.

In 2022, Malik received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Livingstone College and was awarded for his work in commercial real estate by Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement. He has also been offered a fellowship with Pratt Institute Undergraduate School of Architecture.

James Erickson

Chief Financial Officer

James Erickson was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago where he attended Kenwood Academy. He studied at Stanford University, receiving a bachelor’s degree in economics and econometrics, a master’s degree in business administration, and a law degree. He has worked in education, government, management consulting, and finance.

Reginald Richardson

Education Director

Reginald is a native New Yorker and a homegrown product of New York City public schools.

He is a social justice and equity advocate and an educator with over 20 years of experience working as a teacher, principal and education consultant in the New York City metro area. He believes that education is the gateway to true liberation and is excited to share his expertise in DEI training, leadership coaching, curriculum development, and instruction to support the learning and growth of his fellow educators and the larger community.

Reggie was the founder and co-chair of the first My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) initiative in Westchester county. MBK is President Barack Obama’s challenge to communities across the nation to work collaboratively to close opportunity gaps and improve access to resources and support for all young people, particularly Black and Latino males.

As a founding member of the Skybridge Group of VORO Real Estate NYC, Reggie is proud to be part of a team that is dedicated to helping everyone find their place and space in the world. We are particularly excited about building cultural, business and lifestyle bridges between the United States and South Africa.

A graduate of Brooklyn Tech High School, he went on to earn a B.A. in Political Science from Hunter College-CUNY, an Ed.M in teaching and curriculum from Harvard University, an M.S.Ed in Educational Leadership from Baruch College-CUNY, and a J.D. from the Howard University School of Law.

He is also a member of American Mensa.