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the project

The key innovation of Urban Awnings is the placement of housing under an attractive, strong canopy and/or inside of an existing building. Unlike typical housing design, where the units would be exposed to the environment, Urban Awnings’ units will be covered by an architectural steel, concrete, or wood frame “Awning” structure.  The Awning provides protection from the elements, reducing the cost of providing individual HVAC, waterproof roofs, individual drainage and separate utilities. They are designed to be as net zero as possible. This unique physical structural system allows for the development of underutilized, industrial, and adjacent land.  Urban Awnings offers three distinct solutions, all derived from utilizing an “Awning” structure: Urban Awning Emergency Settlement; Urban Awning Adaptive Reuse; and Urban Awning Communities.  

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big ideas

the team


Charles Shumaker


Charlie is Urban Awnings’ general counsel.  His real estate career spans almost 40 years and includes time spent as a partner at national and regional law firms. He was part of the legal team that worked with Gilmore & Associates to develop and implement the “adaptive reuse” legislation some 20 years ago. Since then, he has been involved in multiple capacities in development projects in California, Colorado, New York and Florida. He holds a BA from Tufts University, an MA (art history) from Columbia University and a JD from the University of Michigan Law School. He is also Of-Counsel to Shumaker Mallory LLP. 

Fernando Dutra


Fernando is responsible for Urban Awnings’ Development Program and Building Management. Fernando began his construction career as a union carpenter in 1978. Over the next 20 years of his real estate career he worked for publicly traded builders where, as a Vice President, he was responsible for land acquisition, entitlements, land development, development, building and operations of building companies in multiple jurisdictions. He has built over 8,000 homes including multifamily, affordable, student, workforce and senior communities. More recently Fernando has acted as a developer and builder for projects under All West Development.


Dutra is currently the Mayor Pro Tem of the City of Whittier, where he has served the City for more than a decade as a City Council Member and before that as Chair of the Planning Commission and Design Review Board. Fernando is the outgoing Chairman of the Gateway Cities Council of Governments and currently serves as a board member of the Los Angeles County Metro Board and serves on the Finance, Budget and Audit Committee and MTA Construction Committee.


Kevin Murray


Senator Kevin Murray (ret) serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Weingart Center Association, a Homeless Social Services Agency serving Los Angeles. Senator Murray has served in this position since 2011. Prior to his current role, Kevin was the Managing Partner in The Murray Group, a legal and consulting firm specializing in Public Policy and Entertainment. Before founding The Murray Group, Kevin served as the Senior Vice President at the William Morris Agency (WMA), the world’s largest and most diversified talent agency. Kevin worked primarily in the company’s corporate consulting division, as well as in the music, television and film divisions. He re-joined the agency in January 2006 after serving twelve years in the California State Legislature. Kevin started with WMA in 1982 in the famous William Morris mailroom and rose to be an agent in the Music Division. Senator Murray sits on the corporate boards of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, California American Water and Hawaii American Water. He serves on the Board of the Central City Association. He is also a member of the California State Bar, the L.A. World Affairs Council and the Pacific Council on International Relations. He holds a Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School, a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Loyola Marymount University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and Accounting from California State University, Northridge and has studied at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is also a licensed real estate broker.

Manori sumanasinghe


Manori is a Los Angeles-based designer, design strategist and entrepreneur. She is passionate about the role of Architecture + Design and its impact on a community’s well-being. This has taken her on a journey that led her to found her design practice Neumascape Studio.

Her passion in community building is established on a strong foundation of equity, democracy, ethics, empathy, and an acknowledgement of the intrinsic connections we have with each other and our surroundings. Her goal is to help realize the potential of people, space, or places, through design and technology, while honoring their legacy. 


In her decade of experience in Architectural Design, she has worked on several award winning projects in the SoCal area. Her prior background comprises of industry experience in apparel, supply chain e-commerce,  business development, and non-profit management. She has formal education in Marketing (CIM-UK) and holds a Bachelors of Architecture degree from SCI-Arc.

Rob Jernigan


Rob is currently a Senior Vice President for Clay Co responsible for overseeing their West Coast development and acquisitions.  Prior to joining Clay Co, Rob was the managing principal of Gensler for the Southwest Region for 22 years.  He oversaw a staff of 1,000 employees at their offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, Newport Beach, Phoenix, Las Vegas and Denver.  He also served as a member of Gensler’s Board of Governors.  During his tenure he oversaw the completion of the architectural work in excess of $10 Billion Dollars of affordable / market rate multifamily communities, office, industrial, hotel, mixed use and retail developments. Rob has received numerous awards for his architectural work on projects across the West Coast.  He is a Fellow with the American Institute of Architects; current board member of the following organizations:  Central City Association, Los Angeles Business Council, Los Angeles Town Hall, Finance Committee Chair Center for Architecture + Urban Design (CALA), Design-Build Institute of America, and Co-Chair Southern California Membership Committee DBIA Western Pacific Region.  He is also a member of the following organizations:  Urban Development Mixed – Use Council Urban Land Institute, Construction Specifications Institute, Design Awards Committee and Westside Urban Forum. 

ryan eddy


Ryan is currently the Chief Operating Officer and Director of Development for Urban Awnings and Senior Asset Manager for Gilmore & Associates. He began his real estate career 20 years ago as an acquisitions and financial analyst for RREEF Real Estate Investment Advisors and then moved on to become a Vice President at Colliers and then a Senior Vice President at Kennedy Wilson where he was responsible for providing global real estate advisory services to institutional and family office clients.

His background includes extensive experience managing teams to source, structure, underwrite and fund real estate transactions across a broad range of product types around the world.  He was also formerly a partner in RI0 Company and Prana Investments, where he managed private equity transactions.  Ryan has an MBA from Notre Dame de Namur University (2000) and a BA from University of California at Davis (1998).

Theresa Kwang


Theresa is the Chief Financial Officer for Urban Awnings and controller for Gilmore Associates where she oversees corporate accounting, tax and finance.   Prior to this position, Kwang was an executive director of finance in SCG America Group, Inc., a U.S. subsidiary of Shanghai Construction Group Inc. She focuses on accounting and tax matters related to the company’s real estate development, hospitality, and construction projects. In addition, she specializes in areas of tax planning, financial operations, and commercial real estate financing.


With over 22 years of experience with Ernest & Young, PWC, and publicly traded companies, Kwang has a solid knowledge of tax and accounting in financial services, real estate and oil and gas. Her experiences include tax consulting, federal and state tax compliance, income tax provisions for domestic and international publicly traded companies, and closely held businesses.


Previously Kwang was a director of finance for Greenland U.S. Holding Inc., where she focused on accounting, finance, and tax planning for Greenland Los Angeles Metropolis and New York Brooklyn projects. She is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in the State of California and holds MBA and Accounting Degrees.

tom gilmore


Tom is an architect turned developer. Gilmore’s residential projects are primarily in downtown Los Angeles and have been recognized as a leading cause of the city’s largest resurgence in real estate investment in more than 50 years. His projects have also initiated the greatest in-flow of residents and commercial businesses in the modern history of Los Angeles. Gilmore Associates’ redevelopment efforts began with an impoverished area in Downtown Los Angeles which had some of the highest unemployment and crime rates in the city. Gilmore purchased an entire city block of vacant historic buildings and within a few years converted the abandoned structures to loft-style residences with retail stores and restaurants on the ground floor. Known as “The Old Bank District,” the area is now home to thousands of residents and numerous commercial tenants. Gilmore, along with Gilmore Associates and Gilmore China Group, continues to pursue, invest in, and develop mixed use properties throughout the region.

In addition to The Old Bank District and a number of other properties in the Los Angeles region, Gilmore Associates purchased the city’s first cathedral, St. Vibiana’s, which was damaged in the Northridge earthquake and scheduled for demolition. Now called simply Vibiana, after a major preservation and reconstruction process, the former cathedral is home to a thriving performance venue, event space and the award-winning restaurant Redbird, and in addition serves as host to weddings of all denominations and cultures. For that effort, Gilmore was presented with the California Preservation Foundation’s ‘Preservationist of the Year’ award when Vibiana was saved from the wrecking ball in 2001.

Along with receiving numerous awards for his development and civic duties, Gilmore serves on several city and non-profit boards. He was Chairman of the Board of SCI-Arc (2015 to 2019), Chairman of  Sisters Cities of Los Angeles ( 2016- present ), Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County ( 2018-present), Chairman of the Board of Central City Association of Los Angeles ( 2015- 2020), Trustee, The Art Center College of Design (2019-present)  and a Member of the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (2015-present ). 

contact us


phone: (213) 622-4949

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