Ernesto Vigoreaux of Hastings-on-Hudson, NY adds Depth and Experience to Nonprofit’s Real Estate Development Team
RUPCO appointed Ernesto J. Vigoreaux to a newly created position of Chief Strategy Officer earlier this month. Vigoreaux will oversee RUPCO’s real estate development activities; evaluate and assist with mergers and acquisitions; lobby government and regulatory bodies for support; and execute and implement RUPCO’s strategic plan. He brings over 20 years of affordable housing and community economic development experience from his work in Los Angeles, New York City, and the Midwest.
“We are thrilled to have Ernesto join our leadership team at RUPCO,” said Kevin O’Connor, CEO. “Ernesto has significant experience in developing over $400 million of real estate and he will now oversee RUPCO’s expanding real estate development portfolio across the Hudson River Valley. Ernesto brings broad experience, having served large and culturally diverse nonprofits, wearing many hats including Chief Operating Officer. In addition to his real estate development experience, Ernesto has played critical roles in developing social enterprises, supportive housing for persons with special needs, lending programs in the nonprofit sector, and has experience working on both coasts and middle America too! I am excited for the opportunity to work -with Ernesto as RUPCO implements a new five-year strategic plan and we embark on many impactful projects and programs.”
Prior to joining RUPCO, Vigoreaux was Chief Development Officer with Asian Americans For Equality’s (AAFE) Hardesty Renaissance Economic Development Corporation, an affiliate in Kansas City, MO. He oversaw the redevelopment of a 20-acre, formerly vacant brownfield military site known as the Kansas City Quartermaster Depot. Over the course of three years, AAFE planned adaptive re-use for the campus as a community economic development project that would clean the brownfield contamination; create opportunities for local ownership to rehab its 1.2 million square feet of building space; and transform the site into a place for small business retail and entrepreneurship, community services, education, and jobs. As Chief Operating Officer of AAFE, also a NeighborWorks America organization, Vigoreaux was responsible for operational management, as well as negotiating joint-venture partnerships such as One Flushing, a $110 million mixed-use project with Monadnock Development to construct 231 apartments of affordable housing, with community facility space, commercial retail, and underground parking in Flushing, Queens. He led the development of two EB-5 regional centers in New York City and Kansas City, to solicit foreign investments into CDC-led, mission-driven projects requiring an infusion of private equity.
“I am excited to join the dynamic team at RUPCO and hope that my unique experiences and perspectives of working on innovative projects with various multi-ethnic and low-income community partners may meaningfully contribute to RUPCO’s transformational work as it continues to expand affordable housing, homeownership, and economic opportunities throughout the Hudson River Valley and its growing diverse population,” notes Vigoreaux. “My development philosophy is centered on equity and inclusion, employing thoughtful strategy, collaboration, creativity and partnerships in order to redirect the necessary capital investments and funding resources to places that need it most for the greatest impact.”
Prior to AAFE, Vigoreaux served as Director of Housing Development for Comunilife, Inc. in Manhattan, one of the largest NYC HRA partner agencies and provider of supportive housing and health care services for low-income New Yorkers. While there, he developed Prospect Macy, a 60-unit supportive residence for seniors and persons with HIV/AIDS. Another notable project included over 50 apartments of congregate and transitional housing for persons living with mental illness and HIV/AIDS and a community healthcare center known as the Vida Guidance Center in the Bronx. Prior to joining Comunilife, Vigoreaux was a consultant with the Hudson Planning Group in Manhattan’s Financial District, where he provided project management, real estate development and construction consulting services to various nonprofits citywide developing supportive and affordable housing for persons with HIV/AIDS. He has also consulted for the National Coalition for Asian Pacific Community Development, providing fundraising and annual conference planning support. Previously, as Director of Housing Development with Housing Options and Geriatric Association Resources (HOGAR), he oversaw the development of over 60 units of permanent and transitional housing for persons with HIV/AIDS and severe and persistent mental illness in the South Bronx.
Vigoreaux began his career in 1998 as Director of Housing Development for the Thai Community Development Center (Thai CDC) in Los Angeles, where he worked on affordable housing development; helped victims of human trafficking; and assisted in the creation of Thai Town in East Hollywood, a place-making neighborhood revitalization initiative that promoted tourism, while also providing a voice of representation for the Thai community.
Vigoreaux has served on the Board of Asian Americans for Equality and the Puerto Rican Alliance of Los Angeles. He earned his Master of Urban Planning degree with a specialization in community development from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from California State University Los Angeles. He is also a graduate of NeighborWorks America’s Achieving Excellence Program at the Harvard Kennedy School. He lives in Hastings-on-Hudson, (Westchester County, NY) with his wife and two children.