Georgetown Company Names Ex-Ernst & Young Partner Vishal Chawla as CFO
The Georgetown Company has appointed Vishal Chawla, a partner at Ernst & Young until 2019, as chief financial officer, replacing Robin Rasamny, who is retiring, Commercial Observer has learned.
Chawla has been with EY since 1996, and has been a partner on the real estate services team for eight years. “He’s going to be a great addition to us,” said Georgetown CEO Adam Flatto.
Rasamny, who has been with Georgetown for more than four decades, has helped oversee many of its most high-profile acquisitions and developments, including the redevelopment of 787 Eleventh Avenue in Manhattan, the conversion of the Herald-Examiner building in Los Angeles, and the development of Easton Town Center, a retail destination in Ohio.
“Replacing her is something we’ve been pushing off,” Flatto said.
Chawla will join the company as it’s facing the pandemic and the resulting economic crisis. While the company has weathered the storm well so far, Flatto said, residential occupancy is down, and retail has yet to return to normal levels.
But times of crisis also mean opportunity, and Georgetown is positioning itself for opportunities that arise from displacements, Flatto said. “Having Vishal on board will equip us well to take advantage of those situations.”
The company’s development projects are taking advantage of where they are in the development pipeline to adjust the design to a post-COVID world, Flatto said. At Georgetown’s site on West 30th Street, just off of the High Line and Hudson Yards, for instance, the company is in the design phase of a 25-story office building with large floorplates.
“We can incorporate all the best-in-class thinking for a post-COVID world,” Flatto said. “Operable windows, touchless features, UV lights in the air supply system, and many more.”
The same goes for a massive office redevelopment the company is pursuing in Atlanta’s central perimeter. Georgetown purchased the 265,000-square-foot former Gold Kist headquarters, at 244 Perimeter Center Parkway, in February in partnership with RocaPoint Partners. Georgetown, along with New York-based architecture firm S9, is currently designing the first of the two-phase redevelopment, which will retrofit and expand the existing building.
The company has also promoted Daniel Gohari, its controller, to CFO of its management arm, Park Madison Property Management.