Haddad’s Pivot: From Land Sales to Face Mask Donations

Friday, April 03, 2020

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Emile Haddad runs California’s largest land development company.

Last week, the chief executive of Irvine’s FivePoint and one of Orange County’s most prominent business leaders had another line of work: doing business deals out of the trunk of his car.

The product? High-quality and hard-to-find face masks.

The 5,000 masks he was buying—one of the smaller deals he was to eventually make over the course of the week—typically run $2 apiece. It’s not typical times, though. Haddad said the negotiated fee was a marked-up price of $6.50 a mask.

In the end, the “price doesn’t matter,” he told the Orange County Business Journal, which had reached out to hear about FivePoint’s business plans during the pandemic.

“I’m buying the masks to donate them” to area hospitals, police and fire departments and others in OC who are on the front line of the COVID-19 crisis and in short supply for these types of products, said Haddad, who was also using his myriad connections in the community to find hand sanitizers and other essential products he could then distribute to those in need.

“I want to help the medical community, the police, and the firefighters. I also want to help my residents (at Irvine’s Great Park Neighborhoods),” said Haddad of his newfound side job. “You work where you can make the biggest impact.”

For area residents, a mobile testing facility for the coronavirus could be set up at the parking lot of FivePoint’s office campus in the coming weeks, he said. It would be run in tandem with City of Hope.

Later, Haddad said he’d struck gold again.

A shipment with 100,000 N95 grade masks was on the way from a contact he’d made on the East Coast, along with 100,000 pairs of gloves; the money had just been wired, he said. And 20,000 bottles of sanitizers had also been tracked down.

Delivery of the masks was expected in April. The plan was to divvy up the supplies equally between several area hospitals and other workers on the front line of battling the virus, he said.

Source: Orange County Business Journal

Category: COVID-19