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2020 Update from CEO, Bob Youngentob

EYA Company News | EYA

2020 Update from CEO, Bob Youngentob Blog Feature

By: Bob Youngentob on January 14th, 2020

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Dear Friends of EYA,

Best wishes for a happy and healthy new year. Our intent is regularly to update you on EYA’s current projects through its affiliated entities and more importantly to provide you with our perspectives on opportunities and challenges facing all of us in the DMV regarding residential development.

Looking back, 2019 was an exciting year for EYA. We saw the sell-out of four major projects, Grosvenor Heights, Montgomery Row, Westside at Shady Grove Metro, and The Brownstones at Chevy Chase Lake. Equally important, we opened two new communities, Cabin John Village and Tower Oaks, both of which got off to successful sales starts. These two new projects represent our first deals with our new investment partner Bernstein Management Corporation (BMC). We also closed with BMC on a new community at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station, which will open for sales this spring. We continue to work closely with JBGS on both a new mixed-use project at the Ft. Totten Metro and in the Brookland neighborhood, both of which will open in 2020.

EYA’s multifamily construction activity continues to thrive. Robinson Landing, a partnership with JBGS and Mitsui Fudosan, is coming together well. The condominium project will be a landmark mixed-use project on the Old Town Alexandria Waterfront. The first condominium settlements are expected this summer. In addition, EYA, Bozzuto, and Carlyle successfully exited our 325-unit rental project, The Daley, at the Shady Grove Metro. The Lindley, a 12-story mixed-income building in partnership with the Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County at the future Connecticut Avenue Purple Line light rail station, continues in lease-up and was recognized with a national award by the Urban Land Institute. The Jack Kemp Award for Excellence in Affordable and Workforce Housing recognizes projects that can be models of success for workforce and affordable housing. Our pipeline of future multifamily projects is strong and we are continuing to look for and evaluate new multifamily opportunities.

Our land development capabilities continued to expand as EYA served as master developer for major lot sales programs at Westside at Shady Grove Metro and at Tower Oaks. Entitling and developing lots for major national builders will be an ongoing strategic opportunity for EYA and our financial partners.

In 2019, EYA continued on its strategy of both densifying aging neighborhood retail centers and converting obsolete office (zoning) density to residential uses. With partners like Edens, Federal Realty, and Regency, EYA has created significant new land value by achieving residential entitlements in well-located walkable neighborhoods. Boston Properties entrusted EYA with a major conversion of unmarketable suburban office density to a thriving new residential community at Tower Oaks which opened in late 2019.

In addition to our successful entitlements, sales, and construction, 2019 saw the implementation of many new strategic initiatives. The most important of which was the promotion of McLean Quinn to President and Milli Arakawa to CFO. Additional promotions included Aakash Thakkar, Evan Goldman, and Jack Lester to Executive Vice President. These promotions represent the beginning of a multi-year sustainability initiative designed to ensure that EYA will be around for many years to come.

While the outlook for residential development in the Washington region continues to be positive for 2020 and beyond, there are a number of challenges. All jurisdictions are discussing a growing housing shortage, especially at lower and moderate incomes. Trying to meet that challenge is a key strategic focus for EYA.

 EYA looks forward to working to meet these challenges by:

  • Delivering more moderately priced homes in walkable locations
  • Designing more efficient and cost-effective homes
  • Identifying land opportunities that are geographically diverse and offer the potential of lower price points
  • Partnering with local governments and housing authorities to deliver mixed-income communities

Our banking and equity relationships provide ready access to significant amounts of capital and we look forward to working with our past team of consultants, subcontractors, and partners as well as developing new long-term relationships to continue to meet the ever-growing demand for quality urban housing throughout the Washington DC region. We encourage you to reach out to us on opportunities where we can work together to meet this growing housing demand.

Happy New Year,

Bob Youngentob, CEO