Jim Underhill Named to as a Washington D.C. Most Powerful Real Estate Player

This article originally appeared on Commercial Observer.

James M. Underhill

CEO, Cresa

As the largest tenant advocate in the Greater Washington, D.C., area, Cresa’s differentiator is that it is 100 percent focused on supporting the needs of occupiers. It’s up to CEO Jim Underhill to ensure the “occupier-only” advisory firm continues its focus on client advocacy and grows the partnerships the firm has built internally with clients and externally in the community.

“I’ve been very fortunate to have had some successes along the way in my professional life, but what makes me most proud is when my family hears about me being a good leader — not just being good at executing a vision, but me being a person who genuinely cares about the people around him and the reputation we all leave behind,” Underhill said. “People may forget specific results, but they always remember how they were treated along the way.”

Cresa achieved record-high revenue in 2018 and is currently projected to exceed that figure in 2019.

The firm’s work over the past 14 months includes representing REGENXBIO, a biotech company focusing on gene therapy, in its long-term lease agreement for its new 132,000-square-foot headquarters in Rockville, Md. Earlier this year, Cresa partnered with health information network Surescripts to help with its relocation to a 45,000-square-foot site in Crystal City, Va. Additional projects include restructuring the lease agreements for the National Association of Manufacturers’ 40,000-square-foot site near Metro Center in D.C., and Fibertek’s 50,000-square-foot location in Herndon, Va. Other clients include Media Matters and the National Democratic Institute, both locally, and engineering company KBR on a global scale.

Beyond overseeing the growth of the company, Underhill views his most important job duty as “creating a culture of service that attracts talent who want to be part of the company’s future,” he said.

“The only time I really didn’t enjoy myself professionally was when I found myself in a big company where I just didn’t think I was having an impact,” he said. “That’s why I’m so excited about the potential of Cresa and what we can do here.”—K.L.