We are La Placa Development

We are a full-service builder. As a general contractor and luxury home construction firm, we offer a suite of world-class services to plan, design, and complete new construction of every kind. Each year, we work with a small number of select clients to build some of the most beautiful custom luxury homes and innovative commercial solutions in Southern California.

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We’re not just family-owned. We’re family-run.

At La Placa, we come to work every day because we want to build the best custom luxury homes in Southern California. Our story is simple. Our company began with a single builder, pursuing top-quality craftsmanship and customer care. Thirty-five years later, that history lives on. Today, we’re a leading custom home builder and award-winning commercial construction firm, growing and still grounded in our founding values.

La Placa is a family name. In 1973, Gaetano La Placa immigrated from Italy to the United States. In the early years, he swept floors, painted, and assisted on construction sites. Over the years, Gaetano acquired expert skills and knowledge as a craftsman, designer, and project manager. In 1984, Gaetano founded La Placa Development and transformed his expertise into a full-service firm. Located in Monrovia, California, La Placa Development earned a reputation for integrity, knowledge, and high-quality custom builds. We incorporated in 1999, and the company continued to grow.

In 2014, we transitioned our focus from building to project management and moved the La Placa company office to Orange County. Today, La Placa Development is a full-service, family-run general contractor. Gaetano is still in the field, assisted by his sons Giovanni and Francis, his wife Sheri, and a full-scale, professional staff. His expertise, attention to detail, pursuit of perfection, and advocacy for clients still serve as the foundation for the company.

We believe in protecting and advocating for our homeowners.

A custom build is a significant undertaking. At La Placa, we walk homeowners through the entire process. We offer input on design, opportunities on finishes, and advocate for you as we budget. Behind the scenes, we pour over the details, selecting the finest materials while carefully managing the team of expert builders and craftsmen who give a La Placa custom home its signature quality. Our goal is to ease pressure on our clients and protect their investment while delivering the very best custom luxury homes in Southern California.

Meet Our Team

Meet Our Team

Gaetano La Placa

Founder and President

As the founder and president of La Placa Development, Gaetano truly built La Placa Development from the ground up. In 1973, Gaetano immigrated from Italy to the United States. In the early years, he swept floors, painted, and assisted on construction sites. Over the years, Gaetano acquired expert skills and knowledge as a craftsman, designer, and project manager. In 1984, Gaetano founded La Placa Development and transformed his expertise into a full-service firm. La Placa Development earned a reputation for integrity, knowledge, and high-quality custom builds. After being incorporated in 1999, the company continued to grow. In 2014, the company transitioned its focus from building to project management and moved the La Placa company office to Orange County. Today, La Placa Development is a full-service, family-run general contractor. Gaetano is still in the field, assisted by his sons Giovanni and Francis, his wife Sheri, and a full-scale professional staff. His expertise, attention to detail, pursuit of perfection, and advocacy for clients still serve as the foundation of the company.

Meet Our Team

Sheri La Placa

Co-Founder and Controller

Sheri La Placa is Gaetano’s loving wife and co-founder of La Placa Development. Sheri has many roles within the office, including overseeing the company’s daily accounting operations and handling the office’s administrative duties. She truly is the glue that holds everything together at La Placa Development. Sheri and Gaetano have been married for 40 wonderful years and have, quite literally, built up the business from nothing. Their inseparable bond and commitment to one another have contributed to La Placa Development’s flourishing success.

Meet Our Team

Giovanni La Placa

Partner and Operations Director

Giovanni is the eldest son of the La Placa family and is a partner and Operations Director. He has an Associate of Science Degree from Mt. San Antonio College and graduated from the Daniel Freedman Paramedic Program at UCLA in 2002. He is currently a full-time firefighter and paramedic while still being a critical part of La Placa Development on his days off from being a first responder. With a tenure exceeding 20 years in real estate and construction development, Giovanni has been involved in each industry since he was 20 years old. He is responsible for everything from negotiations, budgeting, and purchasing within the company. Throughout the years he has learned what it takes to run a successful company in each sector. He has founded and operated a variety of businesses in his career and has a steadfast entrepreneurial spirit.

Meet Our Team

Francis La Placa

Partner and Field Manager

Francis is the La Placa family’s youngest son and is presently a partner and Field Manager. He is responsible for supervising the subcontractors at each construction site, and ensuring that all projects are completed promptly and efficiently. He began working for the company shortly after graduating high school and now has over five years of immersive construction experience. While working alongside his father, Gaetano, he has developed extensive knowledge in all aspects of construction development. Francis’ overall eye for construction development and intuitive design are a vital part of La Placa Development’s successful endeavors.

Meet Our Team

Gabe Gonzales

Vice President

Gabe’s role is Vice President at La Placa Development. Gabe holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from Azusa Pacific University, and a Master’s in Business Administration from Concordia University in Irvine. Gabe is responsible for overall business development and his primary focus is to grow the custom home-building platform and forging long-lasting relationships with clients. He is currently a licensed real estate salesperson in the state of California. Gabe has a background in real estate finance and investments having most recently worked for Buchanan Street Partners where he helped grow their multifamily platform focusing on acquisitions in the Texas, Colorado and Utah submarkets. Prior to Buchanan, Gabe worked for Pacific Life Insurance Company in their Real Estate division as a portfolio analyst monitoring their $13B commercial loan portfolio. Gabe’s passion for real estate and his experience and years of formal training on the corporate side proved to be a perfect fit for La Placa Development to further grow their business.

Meet Our Team

Kelsey Graham

Marketing Director

Kelsey is the Marketing Director at La Placa Development and oversees the company's promotion and advertising efforts to build brand awareness. After graduating from the University of La Verne with a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature and Education Studies, Kelsey took her passion for analytical and creative thinking to the marketing field. Her exquisite communication and interpersonal skills contribute to her success in implementing the marketing strategy for La Placa Development. She is responsible for enhancing the company’s online presence, generating content, and running all the social media platforms.

Meet Our Team

Jen Shaw

Office Manager

Jen is the Office Manager at La Placa Development. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Communications from Cal State Fullerton. Jen is known for her effective communication style, her lightning-fast responsiveness, and her exceptional organizational skills. She applies her background in advertising and marketing while working with our marketing director to create the most effective strategies for success. Prior to working at La Placa Development, Jen served as an executive in the apparel industry, where she worked with top companies including James Perse, Elle Tahari, BCBG, and Bebe. During her tenure, she honed the sales and negotiation skills for which she is known today. In addition to her work with La Placa Development, Jen enjoys giving back to the community. She is actively involved with Special Olympics Southern California, and the Surfrider Foundation.