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Exclusive: JBG Smith CEO Matt Kelly speaks about the Amazon HQ2 deal

When all was said and done Tuesday, JBG Smith Properties Inc. CEO Matt Kelly didn’t expect to be as relieved as he was.

Sure, Amazon.com Inc.’s big HQ2 reveal capped months of behind-the-scenes negotiations and public speculation. And sure, he was forced over the last year to remain tight-lipped to colleagues, friends and even family. Still, he was surprised at his reaction.

“This one was different,” Kelly told me. “This is the next level for the whole city, for the company, for National Landing, and even though you work on something like this for a very long time and you have an idea in your mind of what the finish line will look like, you’re never really prepared for it.”

Kelly has roughly 15 months under his belt as chief executive of JBG Smith (NYSE: JBGS), formed in July 2017 by the combination of The JBG Cos. and Vornado Realty Trust’s D.C. business, and he said the heavy lifting that resulted in that spin-merge paled in comparison to his company’s role in bringing…

Read the full story from the Washington Business Journal.



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