CSG Urban Partners isn't exactly what National Capital Revitalization Corp. officials were hoping for in promoting entrepreneurship and job creation.
CSG stands for Charles, Simone and Greg -- as in Charles King, Simone Goring and Greg Jeffries -- three of NCRC's top development executives who abruptly left the government-sponsored economic development agency earlier this month to start a consulting and real estate development company.
Some say their sudden departure is not good news for NCRC, which is engaged in a power struggle with city officials over who will lead development of D.C.'s Southwest waterfront.
Others are worried their departure will delay important city projects.
"People will draw their own conclusions," says Ted Carter, NCRC's chief executive. "We'll be measured by our results."
Carter says the development agency's projects will continue on schedule and that he expects other staff members will step up. For example, the former wax museum site at Fifth and K streets NW, the agency's largest development project, is on track for developer selection by January. Right now, NCRC is weighing mixed-used plans from development teams lead by Lowe Enterprises, Akridge and Paradigm Development.
The right time
Carter says he was pleased with the contributions of Goring, Jeffries and King to NCRC (www.ncrcdc.com), though he is not worried about losing them.
"We have a deep bench," he says.
Jim Noteware, a Texas real estate veteran, recently joined NCRC to oversee its real estate operations, a newly created position that made him Jeffries' and Goring's boss.
Goring says Noteware's arrival had nothing to do with their departure.
"This all came about very quickly," says Goring, who spent about two years at NCRC and had been in charge of its projects in Columbia Heights, Georgia Avenue and the Southwest waterfront. Goring says her goal has always been to have her own development company and the current strength of the local real estate market made the timing right.
Jeffries also has been with NCRC for about two years, overseeing high-profile redevelopment projects such as the former wax museum site and the Skyland Shopping Center in Southeast.
King served in a consulting role, helping to manage the massive property portfolio NCRC inherited from the now-defunct Redevelopment Land Agency.
looking to 'team up'
NCRC and CSG broke ties quickly to avoid the appearance of any conflict of interest, Carter says, especially because the new company will be looking for work from the city as well as local developers.
In fact, CSG is already talking to NCRC about consulting work. Goring says the company also is looking for projects in wards 7 and 8, east of the Anacostia River.
Shortly after CSG partners told NCRC officials about their plans, rumors began to circulate that the former executives had been hired away by Hines/Smith/Georgetown, the development team selected to partner with the city in redeveloping the old convention center -- one of the most sought-after projects on the East Coast.
Bill Alsup, who heads Hines' Washington office, dismissed the rumor, saying his team hasn't talked to CSG. Besides, now that his team has been selected, Alsup says he can't add partners without city approval.
The Hines/Smith/Georgetown team promised 20 percent minority participation in each of the housing and retail components of the project. The team has lined up minority partners for everything but the rental housing.
Goring says she has not talked to Hines/Smith/Georgetown executives, but says the new company is interested in participating in major projects -- including the old convention center and the Southwest waterfront.
She says, "We would love to team up with somebody in the future."
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