Building Better Schools Together

Red Hook Capital Partners helps charter schools design, build, and own their perfect campus.

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Our Services

With you Every Step of the Way

Red Hook Capital Partners serves schools that make a powerful impact in their communities. We partner with high-quality schools that teach underserved students, ELL and students of color, as well as ones that provide free and reduced fee lunches, or offer unique aspects to education.

Red Hook is a special combination of finance and construction. Growing from co-founders Craig Underwood’s financial savvy and David Hyun’s deep knowledge of real estate development, Red Hook supports charter school leaders as they navigate bureaucratic red tape, construction complexity and tight timeframes. We’re (literally) invested in seeing you succeed.

Lease to Own

Development

Financing

Our Process

From Vision
to Reality

Step 1

Getting Started

To prepare our partners for the journey, we review a school’s financials, academic record, management team and competitive landscape. Once we understand its strengths and weaknesses, we create an action plan that serves the school, its faculty and its students.

Step 2

Property & Plans

When we find the property that fits you best, we will work with you to plan the best building for the needs of your program. Then, we will lead the efforts to get the project approved by the local municipality. Our team is deeply experienced with the challenges that arise, and can help navigate any bureaucratic hiccups. conflicts.

Step 3

Construction

Once architectural drawings are finalized, we will collaborate with you throughout construction. With years of construction experience, Red Hook’s building experts save you time, money and reduce risks. From watching rebar go up to finalizing paint and tile, you will be deeply involved in the construction of your forever home.

Step 4

Lease to Own

Red Hook’s lease negotiation process is fully transparent. We then act as the landlord and the school is the proud new tenant, en route to taking ownership of their property

Step 5

Your Permanent Home

We want you to own, and we will work with you to buy your building when you’re in the best position to do so.

Testimonials

What They Say

“Red Hook believed in our team, believed in our vision and most importantly believed that we can change the lives of students in the Inland Empire. We're thrilled that we chose them as our bridge financing and happy to say we now own our school campus! ”

“Red Hook's deep knowledge of the charter school facility development process allowed us to keep focused on our students' academics and learning. I highly recommend the Red Hook team for facility financing and development. ”

“For years now, Value Schools has worked hand-in-hand with Red Hook Capital to find, design and create magnificent schools for our students. From financing to development, Red Hook was with us every step of the way. ”

About Us

Meet
the Team

The origin story of Red Hook Capital Partners informs the services it provides today.

About Us

Meet
the Team

Partner

Craig Underwood

Partner

Craig Underwood

Craig Underwood’s two-decade journey in public finance led him to launch Red Hook Capital Partners in 2013. He has oversight over all financing and fiscal guidance that the …

Craig Underwood’s two-decade journey in public finance led him to launch Red Hook Capital Partners in 2013. He has oversight over all financing and fiscal guidance that the firm offers.

Craig’s background includes serving as the chief executive of the BLX Group LLC, a leading public finance advisory and consulting firm for the past 20 years. Under his leadership, BLX has grown into a national firm with five offices across the country, representing hundreds of state/local governmental agencies and not-for-profits, including various charter school organizations. During his career, he has overseen debt, derivative and structured financial product transactions totaling over $40 billion in principal/notional amounts.

Partner

David Hyun

Partner

David Hyun

David Hyun is responsible for setting up all back office systems and operations at Red Hook. He provides support to the project managers, including troubleshooting development …

David Hyun is responsible for setting up all back office systems and operations at Red Hook. He provides support to the project managers, including troubleshooting development hurdles and identifying cost-saving solutions. He has over two decades of experience in corporate accounting, finance, real estate, and charter school management. More specifically, he has been developing, financing and operating charter schools since 2009. He has developed and financed over $500 million of charter schools, using conventional bank loans, new market tax credits, tax-exempt bonds, and various state bonds (QSCB, QZAB, Prop. 1D).

Prior to joining Red Hook, David worked for Westfield, Trammell Crow Company, Playa Capital Company (Playa Vista Master Development), and most recently he served as the CFO/COO at Alliance College Ready Public Schools in Los Angeles.

Vice President

Enrique Diaz

Vice President

Enrique Diaz

As Vice President at Red Hook, Enrique handles the site selection process with clients while developing budget, schedules, and feasibility strategies. He also oversees the …

As Vice President at Red Hook, Enrique handles the site selection process with clients while developing budget, schedules, and feasibility strategies. He also oversees the project management team throughout the development process. With more than 25 years of planning, design and construction & project management experience in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, he has developed dozens of charter school projects for various Charter Management Organizations throughout Southern California . He previously worked with Alliance College-Ready Public Schools, Keller Construction Management Services, Warmington Homes California and the City of Santa Clarita.

Enrique is a LEED AP, NCARB-Certified, licensed architect in the State of California, and a member of the Design Review Board for the City of Whittier. Enrique has a degree in Architecture from the University of Southern California.

Project Manager

Ron Johnson

Project Manager

Ron Johnson

Ron has served as project manager for three charter schools and a community center during his time with Red Hook. With thirty-plus years in architecture and construction …
Ron has served as project manager for three charter schools and a community center during his time with Red Hook. With thirty-plus years in architecture and construction management, Ron’s experience encompasses a wide range of projects: higher education and health care facilities, research labs, multi-unit residential developments, and even an airport terminal. Ron received a Master of Architecture degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and is a LEED AP, and registered architect in both California and Oregon.

Project Manager

Maria Gomez

Project Manager

Maria Gomez

Maria is responsible for the day-to-day project management and coordination with design teams and public agencies. She has managed a variety of charter school projects as well …
Maria is responsible for the day-to-day project management and coordination with design teams and public agencies. She has managed a variety of charter school projects as well as assisted in the management of DSA projects and community centers. Maria’s 11 years of experience in architectural design and project management also include commercial and residential projects as well as medical facilities. Maria holds a Bachelor of Sociology and Master of Architecture from UCLA.

Project Manager

Hugo Garcia

Project Manager

Hugo Garcia

Hugo is a Red Hook project manager, having overseen two charter schools and various parking lot improvements during his tenure. With 16 years in architecture and project …
Hugo is a Red Hook project manager, having overseen two charter schools and various parking lot improvements during his tenure. With 16 years in architecture and project management, Hugo has expertise in single and multi-family residential developments as well as commercial projects ranging from small-scale mercantile to restaurants and mixed-use. Hugo received a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and is a registered Architect in California. He is also a California licensed General Contractor with A & B classifications.

Project Manager

Robert King

Project Manager

Robert King

Robert is responsible for day-to-day project management, including daily interaction with clients, design team consultants, contractors, and regulatory agencies and management …
Robert is responsible for day-to-day project management, including daily interaction with clients, design team consultants, contractors, and regulatory agencies and management of budget and schedule. He has over 33 years of experience in ground-up school construction, additions to existing schools, and major renovations of existing schools.

Project Manager

Sarineh Minasian

Project Manager

Sarineh Minasian

As a project manager at Red Hook, Sarineh is immersed in tenant improvement projects for several charter schools. Prior to joining, she worked for six years as an …
As a project manager at Red Hook, Sarineh is immersed in tenant improvement projects for several charter schools. Prior to joining, she worked for six years as an architectural project coordinator and interior designer specializing in charter school projects. Sarineh graduated from California State University, Northridge with a Bachelor of Science degree in Interior Design.

Senior Associate

Jack Kirkpatrick

Senior Associate

Jack Kirkpatrick

As a Senior Associate, Jack’s responsibilities include financial modeling, investor relations, business development, and client management. He works daily between the finance …
As a Senior Associate, Jack’s responsibilities include financial modeling, investor relations, business development, and client management. He works daily between the finance and development teams to ensure a project is properly handled from acquisition to disposition. Jack previously worked in real estate development, debt financing, and brokerage. Jack holds a B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Real Estate Finance from the University of Southern California.

Financial Analyst

Alex McAdoo

Financial Analyst

Alex McAdoo

Alex supports Red Hook’s finance team in underwriting capital projects and day-to-day fiscal management. His primary responsibilities include financial modeling, valuations, …
Alex supports Red Hook’s finance team in underwriting capital projects and day-to-day fiscal management. His primary responsibilities include financial modeling, valuations, credit analysis, market research, and investment memorandums. Alex frequently works alongside project managers and interacts with clients and investors. Since joining in 2019, Alex has played an integral role in underwriting acquisitions, maintaining held assets, and executing dispositions. Alex holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Southern California.

Controller

Leo Paolo Fernando

Controller

Leo Paolo Fernando

As the Controller at Red Hook, Leo maintains the accounting and provides the financial statements with the finance team. He has spent his professional career in education and …
As the Controller at Red Hook, Leo maintains the accounting and provides the financial statements with the finance team. He has spent his professional career in education and mental health, advocating the improvement of schools and mental health services in communities that are disproportionately underfunded. Leo holds a B.S. in Accounting from Loyola Marymount University, and is a CPA.

Why should a school own its campus?

Ownership provides autonomy. This means no constraints from the landlord or your authorizer. A school can control its own destiny -- plus, there will not be any further rental increases. Further, depending on the cost of your acquisition financing, your annual acquisition financing repayment may be materially lower than your lease payments.

Why should I team up with Red Hook?

Red Hook specializes in evaluating school campus development. We analyze risk -- including political, landuse and community support -- when trying to obtain permits to allow a school building on a property. We have an excellent track record of getting projects to the finish line and we are so confident that we guarantee it: if Red Hook does not get final approval for charter school use, a school can walk away from the project with no money out of pocket. We provide 100% of the financing -- the school does not pay anything until the property is move-in ready. We pride ourselves in understanding that each school is unique and has different needs; we make sure these needs are met through the design of the building.

Why is Red Hook qualified?

Red Hook is led by David Hyun and Craig Underwood. David always has a school’s best interests in mind because he was an operator himself. He led the Alliance College-Ready Public School as its CFO/COO. He drove in-house development projects as the organization expanded campuses all while creating strong reserve funds. Craig has decades of experience working in the capital markets, specifically with charter schools. He knows the ins and outs of financing a project and knows how to make facility ownership affordable for schools. Together, the financing and development teams of Red Hook are a one-stop shop.

How does Red Hook help a school own its facility?

Red Hook offers a Lease to Own model. The model helps schools with limited enrollment (often due to space constraints); schools that have not received their renewal yet; and schools that have less-than-ideal cash reserves. It also helps schools avoid taking the risk of pre-development expenses to secure approval to build their campus. That risk includes costly out-of-pocket spending, a significant time investment, as well as the potential failure to gain approval. Overall, the Lease to Own model helps to create an affordable and responsible path to facility ownership.

Why do I need to lease from Red Hook? Why can’t I own my facility from the beginning?

Charter schools with strong credit (think great FICO score) can directly access a variety of permanent financing options. Schools who are younger might not have the necessary longevity to be viewed as credit worthy, and thus likely will have a greater difficulty accessing traditional financing. Credit worthiness normally includes a solid history of financials, enrollment, and academics to gain favorable financing (think low interest rate). If a school decides to directly finance a project themselves through traditional means like philanthropy, new market tax credits, traditional bank loans or municipal bonds, the school will be liable for pre-development costs. If a school is unsuccessful in obtaining the approval to proceed with the project, the school will have spent $200,000-$800,000 of its valuable reserves with nothing to show for it. Red Hook takes this risk for the school with no financial commitment from the school if Red Hook fails to receive the necessary approvals.

FAQS

You Ask,
We Answer

FAQS

You Ask,
We Answer

Why should a school own its campus?

Ownership provides autonomy. This means no constraints from the landlord or your authorizer. A school can control its own destiny -- plus, there will not be any further rental increases. Further, depending on the cost of your acquisition financing, your annual acquisition financing repayment may be materially lower than your lease payments.

Why should I team up with Red Hook?

Red Hook specializes in evaluating school campus development. We analyze risk -- including political, landuse and community support -- when trying to obtain permits to allow a school building on a property. We have an excellent track record of getting projects to the finish line and we are so confident that we guarantee it: if Red Hook does not get final approval for charter school use, a school can walk away from the project with no money out of pocket. We provide 100% of the financing -- the school does not pay anything until the property is move-in ready. We pride ourselves in understanding that each school is unique and has different needs; we make sure these needs are met through the design of the building.

Why is Red Hook qualified?

Red Hook is led by David Hyun and Craig Underwood. David always has a school’s best interests in mind because he was an operator himself. He led the Alliance College-Ready Public School as its CFO/COO. He drove in-house development projects as the organization expanded campuses all while creating strong reserve funds. Craig has decades of experience working in the capital markets, specifically with charter schools. He knows the ins and outs of financing a project and knows how to make facility ownership affordable for schools. Together, the financing and development teams of Red Hook are a one-stop shop.

How does Red Hook help a school own its facility?

Red Hook offers a Lease to Own model. The model helps schools with limited enrollment (often due to space constraints); schools that have not received their renewal yet; and schools that have less-than-ideal cash reserves. It also helps schools avoid taking the risk of pre-development expenses to secure approval to build their campus. That risk includes costly out-of-pocket spending, a significant time investment, as well as the potential failure to gain approval. Overall, the Lease to Own model helps to create an affordable and responsible path to facility ownership.

Why do I need to lease from Red Hook? Why can’t I own my facility from the beginning?

Charter schools with strong credit (think great FICO score) can directly access a variety of permanent financing options. Schools who are younger might not have the necessary longevity to be viewed as credit worthy, and thus likely will have a greater difficulty accessing traditional financing. Credit worthiness normally includes a solid history of financials, enrollment, and academics to gain favorable financing (think low interest rate). If a school decides to directly finance a project themselves through traditional means like philanthropy, new market tax credits, traditional bank loans or municipal bonds, the school will be liable for pre-development costs. If a school is unsuccessful in obtaining the approval to proceed with the project, the school will have spent $200,000-$800,000 of its valuable reserves with nothing to show for it. Red Hook takes this risk for the school with no financial commitment from the school if Red Hook fails to receive the necessary approvals.

When does my school start to pay Red Hook?

A school pays nothing until keys are delivered to the property and the school can move in. Then, the school makes payments to Red Hook in the form of lease payments until the school acquires the property from Red Hook.

What kind of financing do I use to buy the facility from Red Hook?

Red Hook clients have access to a number of financing options, including traditional bank debt, philanthropic funding, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI’s), and the municipal bond market.

Do you have more questions?

Email us , we're here to help.

Careers

Work
With Us

We do not have any job opportunities at the moment, but if you think you would make a great fit and you're passionate about helping schools provide excellent educational opportunities- please feel free to reach out to us. Email us your resume and a cover letter.

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Started

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