Yehudi "Gaf" Gaffen | Partner
CEO of Protea Waterfront Development, Gaf provides the leadership and direction for strategy and execution of the Seaport San Diego Project. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He immigrated to San Diego in 1979, where he worked in real estate development, including eight years with Sunroad Enterprises, at which his last project was the completion of the Sunroad Marina on Harbor Island. In 1987, Gaf formed Gafcon, Inc. to fulfill his vision of assisting owners in delivering complex projects that support vibrant communities. Under his leadership, Gafcon has grown into one of Southern California’s most respected construction consulting firms.
Gafcon has been responsible for the success of hundreds of projects, including these high-profile projects:
Gaf’s passion for creating value through investment in real estate blossomed 25 years ago when he spearheaded the formation of a consortium that was the successful bidder on a significant pool of San Diego assets from the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC). These assets included 700 acres of undeveloped land known as Sunbow in Chula Vista and the partially complete Steel Canyon Country Club. In 1996 he co-founded Protea Holdings with Jeff Essakow. Protea Holdings has developed in excess of $300 million residential, commercial and retail projects including the highly acclaimed, repositioned Flower Hill Mall in Del Mar.
Gaf currently serves on the board of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, the Foundation for Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges, AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles, and the Wende Museum Advisory Group. He has previously served on the boards of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, San Diego Hebrew Homes, Jewish Federation of San Diego County, Explorer Elementary Charter School, and UCSD Moores Cancer Center.