April 22, 2024


El Chicano, Colton Courier, Rialto Record

Realicore Real Estate Turns Dozens of Empty Commercial Buildings Into Operating Businesses in Downtown San Bernardino, Elevating Walkability

3 min read

Father and son, Co-founders of Realicore Real Estate Group David Friedman and Howard Friedman (center) cutting the ribbon on their downtown San Bernardino office; which is located at 395 N. E St., Ste. 104, San Bernardino.

Nestled in the heart of downtown San Bernardino, the locally owned and highly respected Realicore Real Estate Group has contributed significantly to the city’s rejuvenation since its establishment six years ago. David Friedman, the charismatic co-founder, CEO, licensed broker, and CSUSB alumnus is leading the charge towards urban renewal, and he has a lot to say about it.

“We started by flipping houses in 2011, but it soon became mundane, and the industry became saturated after HGTV popularized the idea,” recalled Friedman, whose family is all CSUSB alumni. “We saw the writing on the wall and decided to invest in our city and be part of downtown revitalization.”

The fall of Norton Air Force Base, the city’s bankruptcy, and lousy leadership deterred many investors, but not Friedman and his co-founding father, Howard Friedman. They’ve weathered through the challenges and used them as stepping stones to build a successful business.

“San Bernardino needed attention, particularly the commercial buildings that were left derelict,” he said. “Many people have and still complain about the lack of public transportation (which is important), but I say we need to navigate towards creating a walkable community to generate engagement, which will help local businesses thrive. People should be able to get around by walking, biking, and public transportation. It’s good for the environment and our health.”

Friedman’s strategy for selecting tenants at all Realicore properties is simple but effective. They must be financially responsible, live locally, and love San Bernardino. “Local businesses like Diverse Soul and the Barbers Club are doing their best to do business and give back to the community. They are model businesses in the downtown area,” he said.

Friedman, a CSUSB alumnus, is also co-owner of the madly successful Viva La Boba, just steps away from Realicore Real Estate Group’s office in downtown San Bernardino.

Realicore’s management portfolio comprises 130 residential and commercial units, with 90 percent located in San Bernardino and 10 percent in the Inland Empire. The business manages these properties with just four employees (in addition to the co-owners), a testament to the efficiency and dedication of the team.

The firm has brought significant infrastructural enhancements to the city, most notably introducing fiber internet to all its buildings. “We had to convince Frontier for three years to get it done,” Friedman admitted. He also emphasized the role of the city’s economic development team, led by Charles Mcneeley and Amanda Hernandez, in helping to revitalize the area.

Realicore prides itself on being a turnkey development management company, handling everything from start to finish, including purchasing, leasing, and managing properties.

While Friedman’s other successful business Viva La Boba and real estate keeps him busy, the team at Realicore also strives to contribute to community development. “Years from now, our greatest contribution will be giving space to artists and generally underrepresented groups an opportunity to build and grow their businesses,” Friedman said.

His optimism about the future of San Bernardino is palpable. “Development takes a long time; 10 years is nothing in the development world. I’ve only been here for six, and a lot has taken place, especially turning once empty commercial spaces into operating businesses,” he said. 

Despite all its accomplishments, Realicore still has big plans for the city. “Again, I’d like to see a more walkable city. Any development that we bring to downtown will have a big focus on walkability,” Friedman pledged.

Realicore Real Estate Group, in just six years, has become a symbol of resilience and progress in San Bernardino. With a bright future ahead, Friedman and his team are just getting started.

To learn more about Realicore, click here.


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