Valbridge Blog
Valbridge Office Spotlight: Northern California
June 30, 2020

Valbridge Property Advisors | Northern California serves the San Francisco Bay Area, Central Valley, Central Coast, and northernmost regions of the state, covering a total of 48 counties. Since 1976, our team has provided appraisal and consulting services in lending, buy-sell decisions, merger and acquisition, estate planning, litigation support, leasing, and project feasibility.

With offices in San Jose, San Ramon, Modesto, and Sacramento, our appraisers handle a wide spectrum of property types, both common and obscure, from industrial buildings and football stadiums to subdivisions and endangered habitats. As part of the largest independent appraisal firm in the nation, we also collaborate with other Valbridge offices to appraise sizeable estate portfolios with past assignments involving up to 100 properties.

Our seasoned appraisers are driven to provide exceptional service to a broad client base, often taking on highly complex appraisals. In addition to commercial real estate, our staff holds expertise in civil litigation, property tax appeals, fractional interests, and eminent domain. Many of our appraisers are qualified as expert witnesses, and collectively, have testified in hundreds of cases.

Some of our recent notable assignments include:


  • Facebook’s 1M+ sf proposed campus, Menlo Park
  • Millennium Tower, San Francisco. Construction defect litigation.
  • Appraised and testified on various Butte Fire wildfire cases in Calaveras County.
  • Vallco Town Center, Cupertino. Mixed use project with 2,402 housing units
  • The “5M” site in downtown San Francisco, that includes both the former SF Chronicle and SF Examiner properties, a 1,800,000 sf (of building) mixed-use development of JV partners Hearst Corp and Brookfield Properties.
  • Former HPE Headquarters in Stanford Research Park, Palo Alto ( a ±500k SF office)
  • Communications Hill Land Site: KB Homes Proposed Residential Development Site 100 acres with 900+ housing units
  • Chase Stadium, San Francisco (Warriors Site)
  • Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco
  • Macy’s Union Square, San Francisco

Meet the team:

Norman “Norm” Hulberg, MAI

Norman Hulberg is the Senior Managing Director of Valbridge | Northern California and has been a member of the Valbridge Board of Directors since its inception. With more than 40 years of experience, Norm has built an expansive portfolio of appraisal assignments in all property types with specializations in condemnation, construction defects, contamination, and business litigation. His consulting services involve directing studies for major lenders, developers, property owners, and government agencies. As a forensic appraiser, he has testified in more than 300 cases, including private arbitrations as well as over a 100 jury trials in state and federal courts. He has served as an instructor on court testimony, condemnation, easements and contamination. A longtime member of the Appraisal Institute, Norm has served as the Chairman of the Annual Fall Conference Committee for the Northern California Chapter, and he inaugurated the Annual Spring Litigation Conference. He is also a member of the Rotary Club of San Jose.

Walter “Walt” Carney, MAI

Walter Carney is a Senior Managing Director of Valbridge | Northern California and has been a real estate appraiser since 1978. His background includes consulting and valuation of diverse property types throughout California, from commercial, industrial, and residential properties to rights-of-way corridors, easements, open space, wetlands, mitigation lands, and endangered species habitats. In addition, Walt has provided valuation services in complex civil litigation including land-use cases, eminent domain, inverse condemnation, estate matters, property taxation, environmental lawsuits, construction defects, and fraud. He is qualified as an expert witness in various California State Superior Courts and the U.S. District Court with experience testifying in jury trials, arbitrations, and mediations. Walt frequently lectures on real estate appraisal topics for multiple professional organizations, including the Appraisal Institute, International Right of Way (IRWA), Lorman Education Services, and the American Bar Association’s Continuing Legal Education (CLE).

Yvonne J. Broszus, MAI

Yvonne J. Broszus is a Managing Director of the San Jose office of Valbridge | Northern California. With more than 30 years of experience, she has appraised all property types, including special purpose properties such as automobile dealerships, service stations, worship facilities, military bases, and airports. Yvonne has lent her expertise to a wide variety of complex civil litigation cases involving condemnation issues, contract disputes, bankruptcy/creditors matters, and environmental lawsuits. She also specializes in property tax appeals, having helped clients recover millions of dollars in property tax refunds. Qualified as an expert witness, Yvonne has testified in state and federal courts, major arbitrations, and at Assessment Appeal Board hearings. An active member of the Appraisal Institute, she previously served as Chairman of the Fall Conference committee for the Northern California chapter.

Josh Fronen, MAI

Josh Fronen is the Director of the San Jose office of Valbridge | Northern California. Josh entered the appraisal profession in 2001 and rose up the ranks quickly to acquire an impressive portfolio that includes appraisal assignments of various property types as well as arbitration, litigation, estate work, tax appeals, contamination, rent loss, and diminution-in -value cases. He also specializes in more obscure types of properties, such as cell towers, easements, and remnant parcels. As an active member of the Appraisal Institute’s Northern California Chapter, Josh has served in multiple capacities. In 2009, he was Chairman of the Fall Conference Committee, and for three years he served on the Board of Directors. He is currently a Board Member of the Fall Conference and a grader on the Demonstration Appraisal Report Panel.

John A. Hillas, MAI, SRA

John A. Hillas is the Managing Director of the Central Valley office of Valbridge | Northern California. Since 1980, John has been involved in the valuation of all property types for private firms as well as lending institutions. A native of Alaska, John’s appraisal expertise extends beyond California to Alaska and Colorado with specializations in subdivision and multiple-unit residential properties. John is also experienced in litigation support, having served as a Qualified Expert Witness. An active member of the Appraisal Institute for 30 years, John held the role of Sierra Chapter president in 1998 and was president of the Northern California Chapter in 2004. He then served as a member of the Appraisal Institute National Board of Directors during from 2007 to 2008.

Stephen “Steve” D. Kuhnhoff, MAI, ASA

Stephen Kuhnhoff is the Managing Director of the East Bay office of Valbridge | Northern California. With more than 40 years of experience, Steve has appraised all property types throughout Northern California and the western United States including special use properties, from athletic clubs and churches to hospitals and lumber yards. The breadth of his portfolio includes appraisal and consulting assignments for lending, condemnation, litigation support, and estate planning. Additionally, he is a Qualified Expert Witness for the counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Monterey, San Mateo, and Santa Clara as well as the State of Utah. A member of the Appraisal Institute, Mr. Kuhnhoff served two years as the Education Chairman for the Northern California Chapter.

Guido M. Villanueva

Guido M. Villanueva is the Director of the East Bay office of Valbridge | Northern California. Guido has more than 30 years of experience appraising a wide variety of property types throughout California, particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area and Central Valley regions. He holds expertise in special use properties, including athletic clubs, gas stations, post offices, hospitals, wineries, mobile home parks, auto dealerships, and cemeteries. In addition, he performs minority-fractional interest valuations, condemnation and easement valuations, estate planning, tax appeal, litigation support, and review appraisals. A member of the Appraisal Institute, Guido served as the Northern California Chapter’s Workshop Chairperson in 2012. He is currently a candidate for the professional designation of MAI. Devoted to charitable causes, Guido has contributed significantly to the roll out and expansion of Roofs Across America and their collaboration with various single-family rental REIT’s. He has also assisted in having various non-profits and organizations acquire bulk portfolios of distressed assets.

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