Everyone Loves Victor
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Victor Hoskins is off to Virginia. For over a decade, he's been at home in both parties and seemingly every jurisdiction: a top aide to Gov. Ehrlich in Maryland, Mayor Vince Gray in DC and County Executive Rushern Baker in Prince George's. And literally at home as a power couple.
Here's Victor with wife Diane (co-head of Gensler worldwide) in Copenhagen in July. These Georgetowners are going to have more time to hang when he leaves his current post on Dec. 31 as Deputy County Administrator for Economic Development in Prince George's County, and starts up as Director of Economic Development in Arlington County on Jan. 20.
And that's the reason he's given for the change. Our Google Map seems to corroborate what he told us this weekend: a 4 mile instead of 24 mile commute each way. If you figure five days a week, that's a savings of 10,000 miles a year, which at two minutes a mile will allow them to watch an extra 225 old movies.
Which is one of their favorite recreations. This is the 1947 movie Victor tells us they're planning to watch in the next few days.
They're also planning to spend a few days on vacation in Chicago—so you know they're serious people, since it's JANUARY! But they have a good reason to go there: Diane's mom lives there, and Victor's brother, too. They're both from the same neighborhood, though they didn't meet until they were both at MIT—she was doing architecture and he was in city planning taking an architectural history course.
Although he served only six months in Prince George's, he looks back on a lot of accomplishments. With 15 direct reports and 1,100 employees, he had responsibility for three Departments: Public Works and Transportation; Environment; and Permits, Inspections and Enforcement. A favorite moment was in September helping lead the first mission to China of County Executive Rushern Baker (at the podium), where they announced the County's first EB-5 investment—for $13.5M in mezz debt for the $63.5M Metropolitan in College Park. They also arranged for a Chinese investor to purchase 109 acres at a transit station near DC. (Attention developers: It'll be selecting a local partner and building perhaps 1,000 residential units. Maybe more—the investor's last project, in China, was 550,000 units.)
Other fond memories: Launching the branding campaign for the county—including wrapping buses with the new graphics. Starting programming activities at New Carrolton—like pop-up retail, farmers markets, and an ice rink or skate park, depending on the season. Like he helped bring to Capital Riverfront and St. E's before permanent activities arrived, and like Prince George's is hoping to do in Suitland. Helping negotiate the first public-private partnership for stormwater retention as the County's rep on a regional board. And, of course, working with his team on recruiting the FBI to WMATA's Greenbelt or Lerner's Landover sites, though that is ongoing.
And: Hosting 2,500 for CoreNet's
As for Arlington, where he takes over for the late and respected Terry Holzheimer, the challenges he sees are the big vacancy rate, like 17% in Rosslyn, and the coming rolloff of 600 leases and 10M SF over the next five years. His mission: make the R-B Corridor and Crystal City the Brooklyn of Washington. Added bonus, besides the intrinsic satisfaction of a job well done: it will be walking distance from home.