In this month’s Employee Spotlight, we are pleased to feature EYA’s Senior Vice President of Land Acquisition and Development, Aakash Thakkar. A DC native, Aakash is passionate about creating great new communities that revitalize local neighborhoods and benefit the City’s residents. He has also been very involved in the EYA Foundation and is an active participant at many EYA volunteer events.
Current Role: Senior Vice President, Land Acquisition and Development
At EYA for: 9.5 Years
Aakash Thakkar was instrumental in bringing Busboys and Poets to Arts District Hyattsville. He is pictured here, to the right of Andy Shallal, founder of Busboys and Poets.
What do you enjoy most about your current position at EYA?
I love the entrepreneurial side of the business, working with municipalities, land sellers and the EYA team to create new opportunities for EYA. Also, EYA’s mission of urban-infill development and urban revitalization squares really well with my values. There is nothing more exciting to me than working on a project that will create a new neighborhood and with that, lead to revitalization in the surrounding area. EYA’s efforts in Brookland, Capital Quarter and U Street in DC, Chatham Square and Old Town Commons in Alexandria, and Arts District Hyattsville are all examples of how our work revitalizes neighborhoods, creates jobs, enhances the tax base and provides great homes for our residents.
I also enjoy working with communities and municipalities to both address their desires for their neighborhoods, while also ensuring that our projects are economically viable and will ultimately create great places.
What makes EYA unique or special compared to your work experiences elsewhere?
EYA is unique and frankly, awesome, for many reasons. It starts with our mission of urban-infill and our commitment to people, planet and profit. It is rare to find a company like EYA that is both highly profitable and has such an enormous, positive impact on the communities in which we build.
In addition to the mission, it’s the people. Smart, dedicated, results-oriented and focused on rowing in the same direction, and at the same time kind, generous and fun loving.
You have been very active with the EYA Foundation. What is the best volunteer project you participated in and why?
The fact that leadership at EYA is committed and willing to put financial resources into the Foundation is wonderful. It shows that we sincerely care about giving back above and beyond the great neighborhoods we create. My favorite events were the Anacostia Watershed clean-up and the school buff and scrub we did in DC a couple of years ago.
As a native Washingtonian, what do you think makes DC such a special city?
The revitalization of the City since I was a child has been tremendous. We have great restaurants, parks, public transportation, and more housing and office that keeps people working, living and playing in the City, day and night.
The diversity and openness of the City, welcoming to all types of people regardless of race, class and sexual orientation is also special in my book. To be a great City, I think you have to be welcoming too and have amenities for all types of people and DC does a good job at that.
What are your personal interests/hobbies?
I am fortunate in that my work is a true hobby of mine. I am definitely a DC geek and an urban revitalization geek. I am also into local and national politics, like to play and watch tennis and love spending time with family and friends.
What was the best vacation you ever took?
My family and I spent three weeks in Thailand and Loas visiting friends in late 2011. Great food, beaches, scenery and culture. I really enjoy immersing myself in other cultures, that’s a lot of fun for me!