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CityInterests Co-Founder Alan Novak Dies At 83

Rooney Properties President Jim Lee and CityInterests co-founder Alan Novak

Developer Alan Novak, who co-founded CityInterests and spearheaded major projects from luxury hotels to master-planned communities in low-income neighborhoods, died last week at 83. 

Novak passed away May 23 at his home in D.C., and the medical examiner's office is still determining a cause of death, the Washington Post reports

Before co-founding CityInterests in 2005 with Peter Farrell, Novak worked in law, consulting, venture capitalism and art collecting. He served on D.C.'s Commission of Fine Arts for four years in the 1980s, during which time he was involved in the creation of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Georgetown's Washington Harbour development. 

Novak has developed several luxury hotels, including the $160M Mandarin Oriental on D.C.'s southwest waterfront. He also built HarbourSide, a $150M mixed-use project on Georgetown's waterfront that includes the new Swedish Embassy. 

CityInterests' Alan Novak, second from left, with the development team and city officials breaking ground on an apartment building at Parkside in May

CityInterests in 2004 bought a 26-acre site in Ward 7 near the Minnesota Avenue Metro station, one of the poorest areas in D.C. The developer then planned the Parkside mixed-use community and has completed two multifamily buildings, one of them a senior affordable project, 100 townhouses, a primary health center, an early childhood learning center and a public park. 

The team broke ground earlier this month on the next component, a 191-unit workforce housing project. At full build-out, the project is planned for 3.1M SF of development, including 1,500 housing units, plus office and retail. 

“You have to have the things that make a neighborhood function before you think about bricks and mortar — education, health care amenities, food, parks and recreation, infrastructure, transit," Novak told the Washington Business Journal in 2011, discussing the Parkside project. 

Novak, the son of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe, grew up in Queens, New York. He received his bachelor's degree in economics from Yale University in 1955 and graduated from Yale Law School in 1963. Novak is survived by his wife of 58 years, Kath "Kate" Wijkstrom Novak, their twin sons, his sister and three grandchildren. 

Related Topics: Georgetown, Alan Novak, CityInterests