The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has named new officials to its top two jobs overseeing its planning and real estate development operations.
Shyam Kannan, who comes from Bethesda-based real estate advisory firm RCLCO, replaces Nat Bottigheimer as assistant general manager for planning and joint development. Kannan was a principal and director of the firm’s economic development practice.
Metro General Manager Richard Sarles announced in May that Bottigheimer would be leaving the agency to follow his wife to New Jersey, where she landed a job at Princeton University. Kannan’s last day at RCLCO was last week but he has not yet begun work at Metro. He could not immediately be reached for comment.
Joining Kannan is Stanley Wall, a developer and real estate consultant who began his own District-based firm, Wall Development Group, in 2006. Wall has advised the District and Prince George’s County governments on development projects and replaces Steven Goldin, who announced in February that he would be leaving the agency’s top real estate job after two years.
In an interview, Wall said he began at Metro July 30 and was trying to continue the momentum Goldin had begun trying to un-stick some of the agency’s long-stalled development projects.
“The first order of business is to carry forward some of the initiatives that we started,” Wall said.
Among the priorities he mentioned are continuing to make progress on a major mixed-use project in New Carrollton and an agreement with the General Services Administration that would locate large federal agencies near Metro stations. “We’ve already re-engaged in discussions and negotiations with GSA to carry it over from a concept to a real project,” he said.
Neither hire requires the approval of the Metro board because they fall under the purview of Sarles, according to agency spokeswoman Caroline Lukas.
Muriel Bowser, Ward 4 D.C. Council member and Metro board member, said she supported Wall’s hiring. “I’m very pleased that Metro is hiring an experienced real estate person to come on board to really develop the Metro stations that have been wanting for attention, especially Congress Heights, Anacostia and New Carrollton,” she said.
In 2010 then-Mayor Adrian M. Fenty nominated Wall to the District Zoning Commission. The D.C. Council failed to approve the nomination, and Wall said he is no longer a candidate for the post. He said he plans to step away from his company once an existing project, a 16-unit condominium project on H Street NE, is complete. Work is expected to begin in October.
Wall added that developers interested in doing business with the agency need not be shy. “We’re open for business in terms of developers who see properties that they consider attractive,” Wall said. “Feel free to reach out to us.”
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