Bohannon Companies History

The Bohannon family has owned property on the San Francisco Peninsula for 80 years. David Dewey Bohannon began his real estate legacy in the 1920s, creating his own real estate and land development organization in 1928. Throughout the 1930s, he sold residential lots in what was then unincorporated "Belle Haven City," now Menlo Park's Belle Haven neighborhood.


From the 1930s through the 1970s, Bohannon established 25,000 residential units in the San Francisco Bay Area, Napa, Sacramento, and El Dorado counties. Well-known residential areas include Hillsdale, El Cerrito Manor, and San Mateo Park in San Mateo; Westwood, Napa; Rollingwood, Contra Costa County; Embarcadero Oaks, Palo Alto; Mayfair Heights, Westwood, Westwood Oaks, and Park Westwood in San Jose; Hillsdale, Sacramento; Woodside Hills in Woodside; and Homeplace in Hillsborough.


The company was a leader in the private building of housing for war workers during World War II, and San Lorenzo Village in Alameda County was the largest privately financed residential community built during the war. During this time, Bohannon also turned to other opportunities, such as the Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo, which was a major Bohannon project. Planned before and during World War II and finally built in phases after the war, the Hillsdale Shopping Center opened in 1954—one of the first shopping centers of its kind in the U.S. and today the largest enclosed shopping center in San Mateo County.


Other commercial projects followed, including Hillsdale Plaza Shopping Center in Sacramento, San Lorenzo Village Shopping Center in San Lorenzo, Almaden Oaks Shopping Center, Park Almaden Shopping Center and Park Westwood Shopping Center in San Jose, as well other freestanding commercial developments throughout Santa Clara County.


Throughout these years, the Bohannons have worked hand-in-hand with elected leaders and community representatives to plan for successful futures in the communities in which they operate. As part of this effort, the Bohannons created Bohannon Industrial Park in Menlo Park in order to bring new jobs and businesses into the community. The Bohannon Industrial Park and the businesses it attracted were innovative for their time. From the 1940s to the 1970s Bohannon Industrial Park took shape, as David Dewey Bohannon subdivided land and leased or sold lots to industrial and manufacturing companies, such as Johnson & Johnson, Raychem, and others.