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John L. Wade

Founder & CEO

Investor & Developer

Attorney

Profile Highlights

Childhood and Education

Starting at the age of 7 and continuing until I was16 and old enough to get a “real job” at a local grocery store, I did a wide variety of selling and providing services door-to-door. I sold my used toys as well as used toys I would purchase from others, polliwogs I caught in a nearby pond, custom-imprinted Christmas cards, and imported pantyhose. I collected neighbors’ empty soda pop bottles and returned them to stores to get the deposits back, painted neighbors’ house numbers on their curbs, mowed their lawns, and shined their shoes.

I also had the typical early-morning paper route which I expanded by merging adjacent distribution areas, and did many other atypical jobs, rhat turned some of my free playtime into work time so I could make money to buy things and invest in more childhood endeavors.

When it was time to get a higher education, it was very important to me that I put myself through college (UCSC) and law school (UC Hastings College of the Law) which I did with the assistance of Full Academic UC Regents’ Scholarships for both colleges and my job at the grocery store.

Overall, childhood was a great period of my life. It was not a time of hardship; it was a time of learning and applying myself. And, I admit, much of my abilities were outside my control. For example, I was fortunate to be blessed with a high IQ, so I absorb new information quickly and my brain never stops filling with new ideas. I also only need about 4 hours of sleep a day, so I have more time to get things done.

 

The Greatest Influence In My Life

The greatest influence in shaping my life was my mother who, until she passed away, was also my mentor and best friend. She taught me to be independent and self-reliant by her own example.

When my mother got divorced from her second husband, I was in 5th Grade and our home was in foreclosure. My mother instantly became suddenly a woman raising two kids on her own during the 1960s. Without any previous college education, she got a full-time job and decided to go to law school at night. I can still remember seeing her in bed in the middle of the night drinking her tea and highlighting law books.

After she became an attorney, she started her own law practice and began buying fixer-upper houses to use as rentals eventually accumulating 22 houses in just 2 years. She also became a General Contractor to save money overseeing her own rental repairs. And, to “give back,” she became a college professor and taught others the value of owning real estate – especially your own home.

Then, after doing all this in only 5 years from start to finish, she supposedly “retired” but, in reality, she just sold everything in the now saturated Santa Clara, California, market then did it all over again in the rapidly growing Atlanta, Georgia, area.

Throughout my life, I have always thought, if my mother could overcome all those obstacles and do all that on her own in just 5 years, then I have no excuses to do the same or better. And some of what she taught me I have attempted to instill on my kids: we are not poor, we are frugal; use toilet paper instead of expensive Kleenex; reuse your school lunch bag until it wears out; wash your own clothes, don’t just throw them on the floor or put them in the hamper; and, my favorite, take as much as you want to eat, just make sure to eat what you take.

For those fortunate enough to also have their lives influenced by my mother, you know what I mean. For those who did not, check out this great song about love, life, and death by Train, You Can Finally Meet My Mom.

 

Real Estate Investments, Development, and Management

In 1973, when I was 16 years old, I bought my first rental property by purchasing a $30,000 house for $1,500 down and assuming the loan. When I was 21, I sold that house for $60,000, realized a $30,000 net profit (2,000% return), and used that profit to purchase a $99,000 apartment building.

Over the years, I continued buying apartment buildings in Santa Clara, California, then I started buying apartment buildings in Reno, Nevada.

she accomplished all this in just 5 years – start to finish- then she “retired.” She really just sold everything in Santa Clara, California and did it all over again in Atlanta, Georgia.In 2021, I sold all my California properties and started investing in Downtown Reno commercial properties. I also started Gung-Ho Real Estate to oversee the buying, selling, leasing, property management, development, and construction of my commercial and multi-family residential properties.

In 2024, I started Gung-Ho Investments so third parties could invest with me as I expanded my real estate investments and development in the rapidly growing Downtown Reno market.

Most importantly, I am a benevolent investor and developer that is rebuilding and improving the Downtown Reno community for everyone’s benefit by repurposing underutilized properties to create something new where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts or, simply stated, 1 + 1 = 3.

 

Public Self-Storage

After I purchased my townhouse in Downtown Reno, I discovered the closest public self-storage facilities are at least a mile outside of the Downtown Reno area. So, in 2022, I created Gung-Ho Storage to build self-storage facilities that are within walking distance for people who live and work in the rapidly growing Downtown Reno area.

Gung-Ho Storage is the first and only public self-storage in Downtown Reno. All the storage facilities are climate-controlled and feature new state-of-the-art construction, inside and outside video surveillance, and secure 24/7 access.

Some storage locations include humidity and temperature-controlled wine and cigar storage with wine tasting and cigar smoking lounges for socializing, networking, dining, and enjoying entertainment.

 

Co-Working Space

In 2023, after the Covid epidemic, more people than ever were working from home and they needed a larger or quieter place for work, as well as a place for meetings with clients, customers, and co-workers. However, there were no quality co-working spaces available in Downtown Reno. So, I created Gung-Ho Workspace, in the heart of Downtown Reno, to provide modern private offices, conference rooms, meeting rooms, massage rooms, podcast recording rooms, areas to relax, socialize, enjoy food and drinks, and have events with entertainment.

Additional features and amenities include coffee shops, juice bars, restaurants and bars, dog-friendly environments, inside and outside video surveillance, and secure 24/7 access.

Some locations will also include wine storage with wine tasting and dining areas, cigar storage with smoking rooms, and dog parks.

Gung-Ho Workspace will provide the only Class A+ co-working space in the Downtown Reno area.

 

Working Together

Although I firmly believe, “if it’s to be, it’s up to me,” I am also smart enough to know that my success is based upon surrounding myself with people who are better, smarter, and know more than me about what they do. That’s why Gung-Ho’s Chief Operations Officer, Mary Babiasz, and The Gung-Ho Real Estate Network are such an important part of the equation.

Mary Babiasz and I have enjoyed working together for over 25 years. I am the “hunter” that finds the “opportunities” and makes the “deals,” and Mary is the “farmer” that oversees the “operations” and “details” to make sure everything performs “successfully.”

The Gung-Ho Real Estate Network includes the best people and the best companies in Reno. Each one has their own unique skills, knowledge, and expertise they use to support the successful operations and growth of Gung-Ho.

Although our primary functions may overlap throughout the day, the bottom-line is, Mary, The Gung-Ho Real Estate Network, and I all “work together” as a team to maximize the value for all Gung-Ho stakeholders.

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