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Horning Hires Jamie Weinbaum As CEO, Eyes New Developments

Horning, a 65-year-old multifamily development firm that has a large portfolio across the D.C. region, has tapped a well-known local real estate executive as its new CEO.

New Horning CEO Jamie Weinbaum (right) with Horning Chairman Joseph Horning III, outgoing CEO David Roodberg and founder Joe Horning.

Jamie Weinbaum, who previously served as executive vice president of MidCity, started in his new leading role at Horning on Monday. In an interview with Bisnow Tuesday morning, Weinbaum said he is excited about the properties Horning owns that have redevelopment potential. 

"We have great opportunities both with some of our existing sites that may be ripe for redevelopment or repositioning, and also the opportunity to acquire additional assets, and to continue to try to have as big of an impact as we can in the region," he said. "We own a lot in the District and we also own assets in the surrounding suburbs. So there’s tremendous opportunity for us." 

The firm, which changed its name form Horning Brothers in September, owns a  portfolio that spans from Connecticut Avenue in upper Northwest D.C. to wards 7 and 8, all the way to Frederick, Maryland, Weinbaum said. Its largest completed developments include Tivoli Square, which helped catalyze the recent growth of Columbia Heights, and Stanton Square, which in 2018 delivered a new headquarters for nonprofit Martha's Table plus over 160 new residential units in Ward 8. 

Horning Brothers was founded in 1958 by Joseph and Larry Horning, and Joseph Horning III serves as the chairman of its board today. In 2002, it hired David Roodberg as CEO. Roodberg led the company for two decades before announcing plans to step down in July. 

Weinbaum said he was drawn to Horning because of its legacy as a family-owned real estate company that has worked in D.C.'s neighborhoods for more than a half-century. This is becoming increasingly rare in D.C.'s development industry, he said. 

"There have been a number of consolidations in addition to the institutionalization of real estate in the Washington metropolitan region, so to have companies like that that are family owned and have such a commitment to the communities in which they own and manage properties, is just a very tangible feeling of connectivity to the actual people’s lives they’re involved in."

Weinbaum knows well the importance of having community buy-in for redevelopments.

Jamie Weinbaum, then with MidCity, speaking at a Bisnow event in December 2018.

During his time spearheading development for MidCity, the firm faced organized opposition from some residents at its Brookland Manor property as it tried to redevelop it into a 1,700-unit mixed-use project. After an appeal held up the project for more than three years, MidCity received a favorable court ruling in 2021 that allowed it to move forward. 

MidCity also faced an appeal over a 360-unit Shaw project that delayed it by more than 18 months. 

"There are forces that certainly exist in the District that can make some of those opportunities also challenges,” Weinbaum said. “I don’t have any particular site in mind where that’s gong to be at issue [for Horning]. It was good experience to go through that at MidCity, and I’m optimistic about future development opportunities."

Prior to his time at MidCity, Weinbaum worked with local development firms Ditto Residential and The JBG Cos., the privately held predecessor to JBG Smith. He also worked on the public sector side, serving as the director of D.C.'s Office of Zoning from 2009 to 2011 and as a project manager in the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development before that. 

He began his career as an attorney at Reed Smith and Seyfarth Shaw before entering the development industry with EYA in 2007. Weinbaum has also served as chair of the Urban Land Institute's Washington chapter and currently serves as its governance chair.

“Jamie brings a broad range of both public and private sector experience, skills honed at some of our region’s leading real estate companies and in local government and non-profits," Horning III said in a statement. "Jamie has a genuine passion for real estate and a commitment to the city of Washington D.C., and our region. His engaging and collaborative approach, depth of experience, and embracing of our company values make him the right leader for the Horning team.” 

As Weinbaum works to move new developments at Horning forward, the firm faces a difficult economic environment for starting new construction projects. Interest rate hikes and uncertainty in the debt markets have made it harder to finance projects, and rising construction costs have made deals harder to pencil. 

"We’re not immune to those challenges, and it’s something that is top of mind for me, making sure that as a fiduciary of Horning that we make sound economic decisions and that we have the right backing," Weinbaum said. "That’s where having a really stable foundation and a secure portfolio of properties gives us a built-in advantage. We have tremendous opportunity out there, but it isn’t a situation where we must act on day one. It isn’t frenzy, it’s intention.”