WHO WE ARE

At UPholdings, we create, operate, and sustain the highest quality of affordable housing, and we do this throughout the country. We are committed to being community partners who are in it for the long run.

UPholdings is the umbrella company that represents the continuum of the professional services we offer and provide through our legacy organizations: 

UP Development LLC (UPD) – CREATE

UPA, LLC (UPA) – OPERATE

UPholdings, LLC – SUSTAIN

Urban Property Investments, LLC (UPI) – Administrative Services

UPholdings is backed by the same longevity and capacity means that our founders built up through their original property management company.

UPholdings represents our company’s unified strategic vision for our affordable housing developments; through the creation of UPholdings, we have clarified our mission of providing housing for the most vulnerable residents in the community—a vision that spans from inception through the life of each projects, which is often, as intended, at least 30 years and beyond.

OUR MISSION 

UPholdings is a partner for communities, through our nonprofit and social service collaborations, our tenant engagement services, and our long-term asset management services.

Since our founding as an affordable housing development and management company, we have grown and expanded. UPA, a property management company, and UP Development, a real estate development company, merged in 2010 to transform into the unified company that we are today. Our founders, co-owners Cullen J. Davis and Jessica Hoff Berzac, created this comprehensive real estate firm that is dedicated to creating, operating, and sustaining quality affordable housing in communities throughout the United States.

Our team is deeply committed to working with the most vulnerable community members on a continuous and long-term basis while we continue to design, build, and own housing that exceeds the industry’s standards for both quality and efficiency. At UPholdings, we believe that everyone has a right to high quality and accessible housing, and that housing is the foundation to wellness and opportunity for both individuals and families.

2019 ANNUAL REPORT

Our team is excited to share our 2019 Annual Report. It was a remarkable year for our team as we successfully rebranded all of our companies under the UPholdings umbrella. We also opened the doors to three new developments. Read more about our accomplishments in the report below!

 
 
 
 

IN THE NEWS

VISALIATIMESDELTA.COM

September 30, 2020

TULARE – In an unlikely turn of events, Tulare County will have added more than 100 permanent supportive housing units for those experiencing homelessness in just six months.

CSH

January 14, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA) and Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) announced today the five teams that will be participating in the 2020 Indiana Supportive Housing Institute. These teams will each establish a plan to develop affordable housing with access to supportive services...

DAILY HERALD

September 21, 2018

Construction is complete on a seven-story, 45-unit apartment building in downtown Arlington Heights, officials said this week, despite initial delays. The $12.7 million Parkview Apartments, at 212 N. Dunton Ave., has 15 one-, 25 two- and five three-bedroom units, and 1,300 square feet of first-floor commercial...

FRESNOBEE.COM

July 07, 2020

CLOVIS – An empty lot in Clovis could be the new site of a low-income apartment complex that would help also house homeless residents. The Butterfly Gardens project from the Illinois-based developer group UPholdings could begin construction by March 2021. But the developer still needs to secure funding.

DAILY HERALD

August 20, 2019

We are believers in the big-heartedness of people in the suburbs who often step in to help strangers in need. But that circle of concern hasn't always extended as well as it could to those who have mental illness or drug or alcohol addiction, or to their caregivers or loved ones, who often are overwhelmed. Originally published in Daily Herald on 8/20/2019.

NWI.COM

June 17, 2020

EAST CHICAGO – Harbor Square is a 28-unit project being developed by UPholdings, a housing developer and property manager based in Lincolnwood, Illinois. Located at 2301 Broadway St., the project blends housing with health care and community-based guided pathways for tenant empowerment.

NWI.COM

January 3, 2019

EAST CHICAGO — Two affordable housing projects slated for Northwest Indiana have received a financial boost from the state. The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority last month signed off on rental housing tax credits and a development loan for UP Development’s project...

AWARDS

IMAGE AWARD FOR BLENDED HOUSING PROGRAM
COMMUNITY BUILDERS AWARD
ILLINOIS HEROES AWARD
INDIANA LT. GOVERNOR'S EXCELLENCE IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING AWARD FOR WALNUT COMMONS
 

OUR TEAM

 

Meet Cullen

CO-OWNER & PRINCIPAL

Cullen is a graduate of Northwestern Law who leveraged his legal education to create a diversified and integrated real estate company.  With more than 9,000 units under management and 1,300 units in his personal portfolio, Mr. Davis uses this platform to effect social change across the country in the development of affordable housing for those who are most in need.  In the past 19 years, Mr. Davis, has pioneered economic housing models that are the basis for Supportive Housing as we currently know it, created housing in areas of great need, and altered the arc of tens of thousands of people by providing safe housing and meaningful services to create positive outcomes.  He currently operates four companies and lives in Chicago with his two children.  He is an avid boxer, Peloton biker, and art collector.  His philanthropic commitment to his community remains strong and he continues to fund a variety of programs for at-risk youth.

Meet Jessica

CO-OWNER & PRINCIPAL

Jessica, co-owner and principal of UPholdings has 17 years of affordable development experience and has created hundreds of affordable housing units. Jessica specializes in creating community partnerships with service providers and non-profit organizations, and is dedicated to creating opportunities for special needs individuals to live in affordable and supportive housing. She works closely with groups just getting started with new affordable housing initiatives. She facilitates the development process including site acquisitions, local entitlements and zoning, financing and project design, closings and program compliance. Ms. Berzac is well-versed in the process of community engagement and knows the importance of building a project and team with a broad network of support.

 

After receiving a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Kalamazoo College, Ms. Berzac lived in Chicago for 15 years and dabbled in the arts before finding her own professional home in affordable housing development. She now lives in her hometown of Fresno, CA with her husband, a high school theatre and film teacher, their three young sons, and their dog Sammy.

Kelly Brown

DIRECTOR OF PERMANENT SUPPORTIVE HOUSING & COMPLIANCE

in the Management division of UPholdings, Ms. Brown has been working within the property management and asset management compliance industry since 1998. She insures the project is compliant with various affordable housing programs and that it operates at owner investor expectations. Ms. Brown's passion for service-enriched housing inspired her to author the Blended Management model used by UPholdings and later adopted by the Chicago Housing Authority's Resident Services department for mixed-income units. Kelly holds a BA from the University of Colorado. She's certified in tax credit management and affordable housing compliance. She has one daughter in college, and in her free time, she enjoys music and traveling.

Mike Noeh

DIRECTOR OF FINANCE

in the Accounting and Finance division of UPholdings. Bringing twenty-seven years of business and finance experience to the team, Mr. Noeh directs the financial functions and operational procedures of the organization. Mr. Noeh is a licensed real estate broker and a certified public accountant, and he graduated from the University of Illinois with a bachelor of science in accounting. An active member of the Chicago Commercial Real Estate Roundtable, he has participated in several industry panel discussions including one for the Association of Industrial Real Estate Brokers (AIRE).

PETRA ALEBIC

 is an administrative assistant at UPholdings. She enjoys that her job allows her to interact with people that hold many different positions within the company. She holds a bachelor’s degree in human resources from Indiana University Bloomington, and in her spare time, she enjoys going to sporting events and traveling.

ALLISON LIANG

 is the human resource and office manager in the Management division of UPholdings. A team member since 2002, Ms. Liang enjoys being involved in all aspects of the business and meeting diverse groups of people. She studied accounting at the University of Illinois at Chicago and graduated with a bachelor degree in business from Robert Morris University. She loves exploring restaurants and trying new foods, and she loves her two dogs.

 is a regional manager for Central and Western Illinois in the Management division of UPholdings. Her work focuses on the property management, leasing, and compliance for five properties. She enjoys working  42 with federal, state, and local regulatory agencies to ensure compliance. In addition to her associate’s degree in science from Lincoln College, she has/is a  ARM®, COS, TCS, MOR Specialist, CHM, MMH, and she is a licensed real estate broker. She lives near Springfield, IL, with her husband and their three dogs.

VERONIQUE NDONG

is UPholdings’ financial comptroller, oversees the financial reporting for all of the entities in the portfolio. Veronique enjoys working closely with the entire UPholdings team. She earned her MBA from Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois. Vero speaks French, lives in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago, and loves rooting for the Carolina Panthers football team.

BAOKHANH NGUYEN

 is a manager of property accounting for UPholdings. Ms. Nguyen prepares all the financial reports for UPA, Villa, and H&J, and she is the company’s go-to Skyline troubleshooter. She enjoys collaborating with her co-workers to create innovative solutions to problems. Baokhanh received her bachelor degree in business management from Northeastern University. She loves dancing and being silly with her three-year-old.

MONICA NORRIS

  is an area regional manager for UPholdings’ Near North Chicago properties. She enjoys meeting and exceeding the properties’ regulatory and operational benchmarks for consistent success. She has received certifications in a variety of property management trainings, including Rental Integrity Monitoring, Certified Occupancy Specialist, and Uniform Physical Condition Standards. In 2019, Ms. Norris expects to become a licensed state-leasing agent. She loves to spend time with her family, and she often volunteers at food pantries in underserved areas.

KIEL LOPEZ-SCHMIDT

is a project manager at UPholdings. He manages the development of California projects. He earned his BA in architecture from UC Berkeley. He has 15 years of experience that spans architecture, advocacy, urban planning, business management and community development finance. Kiel loves vegetable gardening in sunny Fresno, CA.

CAITLIN SARACENO

is a project coordinator in the Development division of UPholdings, and her work focuses on construction management. She enjoys seeing projects progress from the early ideas discussed between partners through to the completion of their construction, and she enjoys participating in all the steps that come in-between. She has a bachelor’s degree in public affairs from Indiana University and is currently finishing her thesis to obtain her master’s degree in urban planning and policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Outside of work, Caitlin enjoys spending time with her family and friends, reading, and giving her best effort when trying out new recipes.

ALISON TOFFIC

  is a project coordinator in the Development division of UPholdings. Alison’s work focuses on construction management. She enjoys working collaboratively with development partners to realize design concepts—seeing the transformation from inception to beautiful new homes. She has a bachelor’s degree in French from Bucknell University and a masters in urban planning and policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago. A Washington State native, Alison loves the outdoors, and while she misses the mountains, she finds Chicago’s lakefront a great substitute.

RYAN WILSON

is a project manager in the Development division of UPholdings. Ryan focuses on taking projects from initial concept through to financial closing. He works to bring government agencies, service providers, design professionals, finance institutions, and other stakeholders into a shared vision for high-quality affordable housing. Ryan received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Wake Forest University, and his master’s degree in urban planning and policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Ryan has called Chicago home since 2009.

JEHNEA YOUNG

    is a regional manager for the South Side of Chicago in the Management Division of UPholdings. Ms. Young has over seven years’ experience in the property management field, which includes Tax Credit, HUD programs, Low Income, elderly and project-based communities. She holds Tax Credit, COS, and EIV certifications from the National Center of Housing Management. In her free time, Jehnea enjoys cooking for her family and friends, traveling, and volunteering at local women’s shelters.

ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES

At the Administrative Services Division of UPholdings, we handle all of the “back office” departments and their functions, including Human Resources, Finance, and Accounting. Under the direction of Mike Noeh, our director of finance, we serve not only UPholdings, but our sister companies Urban Property Investors (UPI) and Hallmark and Johnson.

For all inquiries regarding UPholdings Administrative Services, please contact Allison Liang, the Administrative Services Division’s office manager, at allison@upholdings.net or (773) 736-1244.

 
 

WORK WITH US!

If you are passionate about people and making an impact, we'd love to talk! We, at UPholdings, take great pride in being an essential part of our communities. When working with us, you will feel part of the community as well.

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