Fifth Redevelopment Agency Chief in Six Years Quits

By Dana Hedgpeth
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Anthony C. Freeman, president and chief executive of the quasi-public National Capital Revitalization Corp., resigned after two years at the helm of the group, which is charged with redeveloping parcels throughout the District.

Freeman is the fifth leader the organization has had since it was created six years ago. D.C. Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) has introduced legislation to abolish the NCRC and another quasi-public organization, the Anacostia Waterfront Corp. That group is charged with redoing the Southwest and Southeast waterfronts.

"Change happens," W. Ronald Evans, chairman of the board of directors, said of Freeman's departure. Turnover in the chief executive post "hasn't affected the amount of progress we've made," he said.

Freeman said he helped arrange such deals as setting up the redevelopment of Waterside Mall in Southwest, bringing a Target store to a project in Columbia Heights, and helping jump-start the transformation of the former wax museum near downtown into a mixed-use project.

But Evans said the change in leadership shows the instability of the organization.

"It creates another vacuum at NCRC," he said. "We keep getting back to the fact that these agencies have not realized the potential we thought they would." The NCRC has "gone through several directors, and that's a lot of turnover." The D.C. Council is to hold hearings on whether to abolish the NCRC and AWC in the coming weeks.

Freeman said he would return to the private sector. His successor is projected to be named next month.

"I've completed my mission and put the organization on the right foot and closed a lot of deals," Freeman said. "It's good for me to move on to another opportunity."

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