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 office, industrial and retail developments and property
management across the country. Through Brian’s 22 years of experience in real estate, he’s overseen an
excess of $2B 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
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 the 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 and Charlotte’s science museum,
Discovery Place, the Charlotte Center City Partners Planning & Development Committee and recently
served on the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art Gala Host Committee, the Catawba Lands Conservancy
Steering Committee. Prior to moving to Charlotte from Atlanta, Brian served on the Board of Trustees of
Leadership Atlanta and ULI’s Livable Communities Coalition Council, the Governing Board of Atlanta
Medical Center, on Emory University’s Board of Visitors and the Woodruff Arts Center Roundtable. He is
a member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), NAIOP, ICSC and formerly of Atlanta’s Downtown Rotary
club. 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.