1968 – 1972
WC Smith, originally William C. Smith and Co., was founded in 1968 by William C. Smith, Sr. He was previously a Vice President at Frank S. Phillips Inc. For two years he had been considering striking out on his own. In July 1968, he set up his own company and rented an office at 927 15thStreet NW. By the end of the month, he had three employees. The company grew slowly but steadily, primarily through word of mouth and the reputation of Mr. Smith. A big bump came in 1973 when the company took on the management of the Alonzo O Bliss properties,10 buildings with 900 units. The company had a reputation as an “apartment doctor,” taking difficult buildings and turning them around. Since 1968, the company has grown dramatically, creating a development division, investing in commercial, retail and luxury residential, and expanding the property management division
“The Shop” (now called Property Services) opens in Adams Morgan: Property Services provides repairs and renovations for WC Smith managed properties throughout the city.
Nancy Smith(Miller) joins the company
1973 – 1977
WC Smith begins managing Bliss portfolio, ten buildings with 900 units
Chris Smith joins the company
Home Rule Act: Congress passes the Home Rule Act, allowing DC residents to elect a Mayor and 13–member Council. The first Mayor is Walter Washington.
The Metrorail Opens: The first section is the red line from Farragut North to Rhode Island Ave, opens
John Ritz joins the company
The average rent at a WC Smith property is $155/month
1978 – 1982
WC Smith acquires 1401 Sheridan St NW
WC Smith purchases Hillside Terrace in southeast DC
Marion Barry is elected mayor
The company acquires 222 St. Paul St, which later became the Tremont Plaza Hotel. WC Smith’s first purchase in Baltimore, this property was mixed-use with apartments and commercial office space on the top floor. In 1986, WC Smith renovated the building and converted the apartments (and later the commercial space) into an all-suite hotel.
WC Smith holds its first company picnic
WC Smith gets its first computer
WC Smith purchases Hilltop House, a 91–unit building in Columbia Heights
The average rent at a WC Smith property is $258/month
1983 – 1987
The Tremont Hotel in Baltimore opens. WC Smith bought the property at 8 East Pleasant in Baltimore (adjacent to the Tremont Plaza) and converted into an all-suite hotel.
The first Mac computer is offered for sale
WC Smith acquires Jetu, 426 units in northeast DC
The company headquarters move to new offices at 1220 L Street NW
Washington Commercial Services, WC Smith’s first subsidiary company, is formed
Washington Heating and Cooling, a WC Smith subsidiary company, is formed
Kelley Smith (Worman) and Tracey Smith (Patch) join the company
1988 – 1992
WC Smith acquires the Twin Oaks apartments
WCS Construction and the WCS Development team are established
WC Smith acquires and begins the transformation of the Villages of Parklands. Parklands consists of 1300 units on 54 acres in southeast DC. In addition to renovating the apartments, the company builds the city’s first splash park, a daycare center, and upgrades the adjacent shopping strip.
WC Smith forms District Electric Services, a subsidiary company
The Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) begins. SYEP provides work opportunities for youth living in WC Smith–managed buildings. For over 25 years, these salaried positions have provided over 1200 young people with opportunities to gain work experience while simultaneously participating in workshops on health and wellness, college counselling, life coaching, and community service.
Debut of the World Wide Web
Sharon Pratt Kelly is elected Mayor of DC
1993 – 1997
WC Smith acquires the Dupont Apartments
The company completes the renovation of the 353–unit Washington View Apartments, in southeast DC
Marion Barry is elected Mayor
THEARC development starts. WC Smith incorporates a 501(c)3 non–profit organization, Building Bridges Across the River(BBAR) to oversee the development and management of THEARC, The Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus. It took several years of fundraising before construction could begin.
The MCI Center (now the Capital One Arena) opens at Gallery Place, sparking the revitalization of downtown DC
1998 – 2002
WC Smith buys The TremontGrand in Baltimore. Previously the Grand Lodge of the Maryland Masonic Temple, WC Smith saved the building from a planned demolition and restored the historic building as a special event space.
Anthony Williams is elected Mayor of DC
The 210 Townhomes at Oxon Creek are completed. WC Smith created the first homeowner’s club in the area to assist prospective homebuyers with the process of qualifying for a mortgage and purchasing their first home. Prices ranged from $99,000 to $159,000.
2003 – 2007
The company builds its first office building at 1100 New Jersey Ave SE. The following year the corporate office moves in.
WC Smith forms the Canal Park Development Association to plan and develop Canal Park
THEARC celebrates its grand opening with ten non–profit partners: the Washington Ballet, the Levine School of Music, the Corcoran School of Art, Covenant House, Children’s National Medical Center, the Parklands Community Center, the Boys and Girls’ Club, the Washington School for Girls, Building Bridges Across the River, and Trinity University
The Montreal Expos are brought to DC to become the Washington Nationals
WC Smith and 800 volunteers begin the first phase of the Oxon Park revitalization, cleaning the park, installing new playgrounds, repairing basketball courts and rebuilding the outdoor amphitheater
Apple produces the first iPhone
Adrian Fenty is elected Mayor of DC
2008 – 2012
Nationals Park opens in the Capitol Riverfront
WC Smith develops Asheford Court, 75 single–family homes
WCS Development oversees the establishment of Ward 8’s newest street–level retail shopping plaza, The Shops at Park Village. The Shops includes a 65,000 SF full–service supermarket and a sit–down restaurant.
WC Smith renovates 3333 Wisconsin Avenue, a luxury, multi–family apartment complex
Phase I of Sheridan Station is complete. It is the first multifamily building in the city to receive LEED Platinum designation. The last phase was completed in 2015.
The company rebuilds the baseball field at Oxon Park, initiating the second phase of Oxon Run revitalization
Vincent Gray is elected Mayor of DC
Canal Park opens, managed by a WC Smith non–profit subsidiary, Canal Park Development Association. The park includes a restaurant, skating rink, interactive fountains and an innovative stormwater management system.
2013 – 2018
Fairway Park with 406 units, opens in northeast DC, a transformation of a formerly troubled apartment community
The Skyland Workforce Center opens. The Center is a partnership of the Skyland Town Center development team and five nonprofits that provide employment services to the community. In its first two years of operations, the Center helped 200 people find employment.
Skyland Town Center Groundbreaking WC Smith and partners break ground on the Skyland Town Center, an 18–acre mixed–use project in southeast DC
Muriel Bowser elected Mayor of DC
Park Chelsea at The Collective opens
Sheridan Station is complete. WC Smith finishes work on all three phases of Sheridan Station, a 327–unit mixed–income community, made up of both rental and homeownership units
WCS Mortgage closes its first $100 million loan
WC Smith adopts Yardi, completing a major overhaul of the property management software.
Archer Park opens 190 affordable apartments on Mississippi Ave SE
The third building at THEARC opens.The new building provides an additional 93,000 SF and allows THEARC to expand to 15 partners.
Agora at The Collective opens, the second phase of the amenity–rich trilogy of buildings
WC Smith celebrates 50 years of building and managing communities in Washington DC
2019 and Beyond
City View opens, with 58 affordable units near Sheridan Station and Washington View
Avec on H opens, with 419 units and 44,000 sf of retail space.
The last building at the Collective, the Garrett, opens, bringing the total number of units to 1138 and the total amenity space to 105,000 SF.
250 M Street, the new headquarters of the DC Department of Transportation, opens in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood.
The Petworth Station renovation is completed, preserving 78 and adding 10 new affordable units near the Petworth Metro Station
The Crest, first phase of the Skyland Town Center, opens. Located at the intersection of Good Hope Rd, Alabama Ave and Naylor Rd SE, the Crest features 263 apartments and 84,000 SF of retail.