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The Washington Business Journal posted a headline earlier today that probably had some people scratching their heads: “William C. Smith founder dies at 86.”
Sounds familiar. Then again, that’s a generally familiar sounding name.
But if you live or work in Adams Morgan, you’re bound to see it several times on Columbia Road. The same goes for plenty of other parts of Northwest, Southeast, and others around the city.
It’s the name behind one of D.C.’s most recognizable property companies, with 12,000 residential units across the area. According to Smith’s obituary in the WBJ, “No company has played a larger role in redevelopment of D.C. neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River in the past decade, including the company’s construction and charitable contributions to the education and arts facility in Congress Heights, The Town Hall Education, Arts & Recreation Campus (Thearc).
According to the piece, the original Smith retired a few years back, “but remained active in the company.” Son Chris Smith is now the company’s C.E.O.
Correction: This post previously stated that the company’s current CEO is Smith’s grandchild—-it is, in fact, his son.