Real estate developer Bob Champion credits ice cream with launching his business career and landing his wife.

A little ice cream has gone a long way for Bob Champion. The veteran developer began his career as a franchisee of Swensen Ice Cream shops, drawing on that experience to ultimately establish his own company: Champion Real Estate Co. Champion is building two mixed-use apartment complexes under Hollywood’s controversial new density plan, which allows high-rises near mass transit. Along the way, he has participated in virtually all of the major trends in California real estate development, including building hundreds of mini-malls during the 1980s, not something he is exactly proud of.

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