CULTURE
The Ganja Grind: Why Is Skater Mikey Taylor’s Real Estate Firm Trying to Gentrify Long Beach?
After two decades as a pro skater, Mikey Taylor is transitioning to life as a YouTube-friendly real estate developer. And he’s looking to money-up and cash in on the home city of countless skaters.
Published on February 19, 2019

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Mikey Taylor wants to get rich. 

In 2017, after nearly two decades as a professional skateboarder — with a resume featuring parts in legendary videos and support from some of the industry’s most sought-after brands — DC Shoes let Mikey’s endorsement contract expire without renewal. Left without enough sponsors to support his family comfortably for the first time in his adult life, the former Alien Workshop pro known for his giant grin and lanky style set out on a new, more lucrative career path: gentrification profiteer.

Originally from Newbury Park, California, just outside the San Fernando Valley, Mikey broke into the skateboard industry around the turn of the millennium with childhood friends Paul Rodriguez, Spanky Long, and Torey Pudwill. After a lengthy and prosperous career featuring highly praised parts in the 2005 DVS video Skate More, and the 2008 Workshop classic Mindfield, Mikey spent the latter years of his career splitting time equally between talking to cameras and skating in front of them, becoming a regular host/guest on videos from the private skatepark turned content creation facility, The Berrics. The transition seemed effortless, with Mikey’s toothy smile and happy-go-lucky attitude quickly taking center stage. 

Now, using the same marketing and personal branding skills that allowed him to stay in skateboarding’s spotlight for so long, Mikey has taken his talents to the world of real estate investment. In 2018, he launched the oddly-named development firm Commune Capital, and, after dipping his toes in the water by purchasing storage unit complexes for passive income, Taylor is now actively working to help gentrify of one of professional skateboarding’s most vibrant hubs — all in the pursuit of profit.

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Zach Harris
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Zach Harris is a writer based in Philadelphia whose work has appeared on Noisey, First We Feast, and Jenkem Magazine. You can find him on Twitter @10000youtubes complaining about NBA referees.
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