President, Commercial / Mixed Use
Brian Leary joined Crescent Communities as president of its commercial and mixed-use business unit in 2014. In this role, he directs the company's commercial and mixed-use developments across the country with an active investment and development portfolio in excess of 3 million square feet. Through Brian's 22 years of experience in real estate, he's overseen an excess of $3.5B in development.
Prior to joining Crescent, Brian held senior management positions with Jacoby Development, Inc., Atlanta Beltline, Inc., AIG Global Real Estate, Atlantic Station, LLC and Central Atlanta Progress. As the managing director of Jacoby Development, a national developer of corporate, mixed-use and retail projects, he launched ONE Daytona, a 4.5-million square foot joint venture with International Speedway Corp. Previously Brian served as president and CEO of Atlanta Beltline, Inc., - the organization executing the implementation of the BeltLine, one of the largest, most wide-ranging urban redevelopment projects in the United States. When complete, the $3B+ project will provide a network of public parks, multi-use trails, transit, public art and thousands of units of housing along a historic 22-mile railroad corridor circling Atlanta.
While vice president of AIG Global Real Estate, he oversaw the design and development of Atlantic Station, a 13.5-million square foot joint venture that, at the time, represented the largest urban brownfield redevelopment in the United States and currently includes approximately 1.5 million square feet of retail, 1.5 million square feet of LEED-certified Class-A office, 3,000 residential units and a 120-room hotel. In 1998, he successfully negotiated with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for Atlantic Station to become the first project of its kind in the United States. In addition, Brian's development experience spans the country with successful assignments in Hawaii, the Midwest and in Central Florida. His focus on urban development and sustainability included leading a national coalition to create a $2 billion alternative energy and energy efficiency tax-exempt financing program with the U.S. Treasury and EPA.
Prior to Atlantic Station, Brian worked for Atlanta's downtown development organization, Central Atlanta Progress (CAP). With CAP and COPA, Inc. (the non-profit development arm for the Centennial Olympic Park area) Brian helped implement the first tax-increment-financing (TIF) district in the State of Georgia.
Brian is a graduate of Georgia Tech's College of Architecture with an undergraduate degree in architecture with minor concentrations in land development and real estate, and in addition, holds a master's degree in City Planning from Georgia Tech. While focusing on transportation and land development in graduate school, he finished a redevelopment plan for the Atlantic Steel property that would provide the basis for Atlantic Station.
Over the years, Brian has spoken to groups across the United States on Smart Growth, real estate development and leadership. He has presented on Capitol Hill, the National Partners for Smart Growth, the Real Estate Roundtable, and previously served on AIG's & ICSC's Sustainability Committees. He has been published nationally and has taught at Georgia Tech where he currently serves on the College of Architecture's Executive Council.
Brian is a member of the Board of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, Charlotte's science museum, Discovery Place, the Charlotte Lab School and is a Vice Chair of the Urban Land Institute's Urban Development & Mixed Use Council. Prior to moving to Charlotte from Atlanta, Brian served on the Board of Trustees of Leadership Atlanta, the Governing Board of Atlanta Medical Center, on Emory University's Board of Visitors and the Woodruff Arts Center Roundtable.
With his wife Whitney, he chaired the Atlanta Police Foundation's Annual Gala and graduated in the inaugural class of the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership. He is also an alumni of the Atlanta Regional Leadership Institute, served on the Department of Homeland Security's Advisory Council's Academe, Policy & Research Committee, the US Mayor's Institute for City Design, and at the request of the Mayor of Atlanta, previously served as Chairman of the City's Public Art Advisory Committee. Brian also served on ULI Nashville's Development of Excellence Awards jury for 2016.
Brian, his wife and their two daughters reside in the City of Charlotte.