If you were to pull up a mental image of a developer, you might think of the old NIMBY cliche of a “greedy developer” who swoops in to a community, builds a bunch of really tall buildings, leaves with bags of money, and goes home for a dip in a gold coin swimming pool.
This week’s 26 Square Miles podcast guest, former Arlington Chamber of Commerce Chair Kevin Shooshan, does not fit that image. The family-owned development firm for which he works, Shooshan Company, is based in Arlington and has projects in the works in Ballston and Clarendon.
When they’re not working to build new housing, hotels or offices, Shooshan and his family members are active in the community. They have been involved in the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing, Doorways for Women and Families, the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network and a number of other local nonprofits.
During our interview, Kevin talks about the ups and downs of being a developer, the projects he’s currently working on, the next generation of young leaders in Arlington, the county’s slow permitting process, and whether the local office market will ever fully recover amid high vacancy rates (hint: it probably won’t).