The Pillars of the Pat Smith WestPac Era


Pat Smith’s WestPac tenure as CEO has been marked by expansive development and a focus on architectural artistry that’s long been Smith’s signature. In this article, we’ll focus on a few of WestPac’s most recent projects under Smith— but first, an overview of Smith’s career before and during his time as WestPac CEO. 

A Brief Bio of Pat Smith, WestPac CEO 

Pat Smith’s initial interest in real estate development started on a micro level when he received his General Contractors license in 1974 while still in college as he pursued a B.S. in Architecture from California Polytechnic. Graduating in 1976, Pat Smith quickly found his interest expanding beyond the specific details of erecting buildings to include the funding, planning, and other factors involved with real estate development. 

A few years later, Patrick Smith launched his first business with Smith and Company, a real estate investment development corporation. The founding of this business allowed Pat to develop his now widely regarded skill for identifying real estate opportunities and turning them into successful developments. 

At Smith and Company, Smith led the way in developing multi-family housing units, plus mixed-use and retail developments, office buildings, housing developments, and medical office space. 

Today, Pat Smith’s name is most commonly found paired with the company that’s become his longest life’s work— “Pat Smith WestPac” is an almost inseparable combination. WestPac is a California-based real estate development and management company that’s become one of the most trusted in the nation. In 1998, Pat Smith became CEO and never looked back. He’s now responsible for billions in projects and WestPac’s increased environmental policies. 

Here are some of the recent projects undertaken during the Pat Smith WestPac tenure. 

Giving an Iconic Building New Life 

One of the crowning projects at WestPac in recent years has been the revitalization of the former Lake Trust Credit Union Building in downtown Lansing, Michigan. This once vibrant building and surrounding area had since fallen into a period of disrepair, with residents beginning to make a departure to other cities and regions. 

But Pat Smith had other plans. Alongside local officials and joint venture partners Dwight Capital and Huntington Bank, he launched a project to turn the Lake Trust Credit Union Building into a multi-use development with over 170 apartment units and 14,000 square feet of office and retail space on the ground floor— designed to serve as a hub for the local community and begin revitalizing the area. 

“We’ve always looked at revamping the 501 block, the old Lake Trust six-story building with the walkout basement into multi-family because it’s got super cool views of the city,” Smith said. “It’s got some historical…mid-60s architecture, and we wanted to facilitate that, keeping that building and also doing a renovation of the renaissance of that building.” 

The Elegant and Escapist Hotel Cerro 

Pat Smith was also one of the driving forces behind the development of Hotel Cerro, in collaboration with Hamish Marshall and Alex Pananides. The premier luxury hotel in California’s San Luis Obispo, Hotel Cerro, kept with the same tradition of revitalizing an existing historic building without losing what makes it so distinctive. 

The construction of Hotel Cerro is unique, speaking to Pat Smith’s architectural background. It features original sections of the 100-year-old brick building reinforced with steel trusses, while the rooms are high-end luxury with garden suites and more traditional lodging. 

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About Pat Smith, WestPac, and the California-Based Team with Properties Nationwide 

WestPac is a company that’s been high on the list of most mentioned real estate investors over the last few years, and it’s not hard to see why. Their successful investments and property developments have helped them become one of the most trusted names in real estate. Let’s take a closer look at what makes WestPac unique and some of its notable developments and investments. 

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