Lendlease Northern California Construction Group Announces Promotions, New Hires for Bay Area Markets

  • 18 Nov 2022

Lendlease, a leading global real estate and investment group, today announced it has bolstered the leadership team for its Northern California Construction business through three internal promotions and two strategic hires.

“Lendlease has had a significant presence in Northern California’s commercial construction landscape for more than three decades, and now with an expanding portfolio of work encompassing not only our own integrated projects, but also third-party developments, we’ve reinforced our commitment to the region and are fast-scaling our team for long-term growth,” said Kirk Benken, General Manager, Construction for Lendlease Northern California. “Given our industry’s competitive hiring environment, particularly in and around the San Francisco Bay Area, we’re especially pleased to be tapping into the strength of our internal talent while also attracting industry veterans from outside our organization who see the exciting work we are doing today and realize the opportunities afforded by our robust pipeline.”

Benken noted the recently promoted and newly hired team members will be involved in some of Lendlease’s most notable local projects, including Hayes Point, Lendlease’s 333-unit mixed-use development on the edge of San Francisco’s Hayes Valley neighborhood; a development partnership with Google to jointly undertake the master planning, entitlement and development of four new neighborhoods in the Bay Area; and a variety of upcoming projects and design-build work across the region for both new and existing clients.

Lendlease Promotes, Hires Three as Principals-in-Charge

John Beccaria has been promoted to Principal-in-Charge, overseeing construction operations for all Silicon Valley clients.

Beccaria, who joined Lendlease in 2019 as Project Executive, has 25 years of construction management experience in California and a proven track record of meeting and exceeding goals for clients and project stakeholders. His background includes experience in design-build delivery, large-scale higher education campus project management, healthcare, commercial office and residential. Beccaria is LEED AP-certified and a graduate of University of California Santa Barbara, where he earned a degree in business economics.  

Relocating from Austin, Texas, Robert Smith has been hired by Lendlease as Principal-in-Charge. In this role, he will focus on integrated development projects tied to Lendlease’s development partnership with Google, as well as third-party client work in Silicon Valley.   

Prior to joining Lendlease, Smith spent nearly 25 years building his career in Texas, where he oversaw the construction of large-scale mixed-use, hospitality, commercial, residential and education projects across the state. He holds a bachelor’s degree in construction science from the University of Oklahoma.

Spencer Reiner has been hired by Lendlease as Principal-in-Charge, bringing over 25 years of construction management experience in the Bay Area. In his new position, he serves as team leader responsible for overall construction operations for projects including Hayes Point, Lendlease’s 333-unit mixed-use development in downtown San Francisco, as well as third-party client work in San Francisco and East Bay.

Prior to joining Lendlease, Reiner led teams on numerous notable projects in the Bay Area, including serving as Project Director leading the Moscone Center expansion project in San Francisco. Most recently, he was a Senior Vice President of Operations for an award-winning general contractor in San Francisco, with responsibility for all construction operations including leadership, profitability and safety of project teams. His experience spans multiple market sectors including multifamily, aviation, commercial office, education, seismic and hospitality. He is LEED AP-certified and holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial technology and manufacturing systems management from California State University, Chico.

Lendlease Enhances Design-Build Capabilities with Two Additions to Northern California Team

To support the growing number of design-build projects in its Northern California portfolio, Lendlease has added two Design Operations Managers with extensive design-build credentials to its Northern California team.

“We’ve been tracking a trend of design-build becoming one of the preferred delivery methods in Northern California among both private and public sector clients, and so we made the strategic decision to expand our capabilities in this area,” said Russell White, who supports projects across the country as Lendlease’s General Manager – Design Build. “That expansion entailed bringing one of our foremost internal design-build experts – who also happens to be one of the leading design-build professionals in the country – here to California, as well as hiring a top veteran of this specialty who has an incredible reputation in the market.”    

Rob Gardner, Design Operations Manager, has relocated to San Francisco from North Carolina, where he worked nationally for Lendlease leading complex design-build and integrated projects. In his role with the Northern California team, he will focus on design-build opportunities in Silicon Valley for Google and other clients.

During his 17-year tenure with Lendlease, Gardner has managed design efforts on a wide range of individual design-build and CM-at-risk projects, guiding design teams and clients through the process while also ensuring compliance with scheduling and coordinating cost control with the construction team. A graduate of the Southern California Institute of Architecture, where he earned a master’s degree, Gardner is a licensed architect and holds NCARB certification and LEED AP BD+C certification.

Lendlease has also hired design-build expert Kris Kyle as Design Operations Manager. In this role, Kyle will focus on MEP scope and be dedicated to design-build work in Silicon Valley for Lendlease’s integrated developments as well as third-party clients.

Kyle has over 24 years of experience in the construction industry, having served in senior capacities as a sub-contractor, general contractor and owner’s representative. This diverse background gives Kyle a unique perspective on the development and delivery of projects, paired with a deep understanding of all aspects of pre-construction efforts for projects of all sizes – including entitlement, permitting, design management, cost validation, estimating, targeted value design, value engineering, constructability reviews and stakeholder engagement. Additionally, Kyle provides leadership in the procurement of contractors, subcontractors and vendors through the development of detailed scopes, bid documents, procurement and installation schedules. Prior to joining Lendlease, Kyle served as MEP Director for Hollins Consulting in San Francisco. He is a licensed electrician in the state of California.

In the U.S., Lendlease offers over 100 years of experience in the construction industry. The firm’s progressive and collaborative approach to providing construction services and solutions has resulted in more than 1,200 client partnerships and nearly 3,000 projects in the last decade. The company offers property solutions through construction management, general contracting, program and project management, design-build and consulting services.

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About Lendlease

Lendlease ( is a leading global real estate and investment group with operations in Australia, Asia, Europe and the Americas. Our purpose is to create places where communities thrive. Headquartered in Sydney, Australia, and listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, Lendlease has approximately 7,700 employees internationally. Our core capabilities are reflected in our operating segments of Development, Construction and Investments. The combination of these three segments provides us with a sustainable competitive advantage and allows us to provide innovative integrated solutions for our customers.


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