40 Under 40: Jair Lynch’s Greg Ward

Greg Ward is on a mission to promote sustainability — one development at a time. The director of development for Jair Lynch Real Estate Partners and LEED-accredited professional has experience that spans the entire development cycle, and his resume runs the gamut from new construction to full-gut renovations. Over the last three years, Ward has managed developments worth a total of $300 million, including the development of three public charter schools, which have provided space for thousands of K-12 students in the District. He also managed the award-winning team that delivered Metro’s new D.C. headquarters at 300 Seventh St. SW, which was honored by the Washington Business Journal as a Best Real Estate Deal of 2022 in the Best Sustainable Development category. Prior to joining the D.C. developer, which saw $13.7 million in revenue in 2022, Ward served as senior director of real estate and construction at Sibley Memorial Hospital. In that role, he led the development of more than 700,000 square feet for the Johns Hopkins Medicine affiliate, including a new 475,000-square-foot LEED Gold patient tower.

First major news event you can remember: The first thing that comes to mind, unfortunately because it overshadows any events prior, is Sept. 11.

What did you want to be growing up and why? I wanted to be a lawyer growing up solely because I enjoyed a good debate.

How you’d explain your work today to your middle-school self: I build buildings and places that enhance the way people live, work and play.

How do you think your industry has changed since 20 years ago? The resurgence of urban mixed-use developments. The desire for walkable neighborhoods and live-work-play environments has driven the development of mixed-use multifamily properties and reflects changing preferences for urban living over the suburbs, connectivity and experiential spaces, as well as shifting demographics, such as the growth of millennial and Gen Z populations.

First CD you ever owned: One of the early Sublime CDs

Sega or Nintendo? Tell us your favorite throwback video game: Nintendo’s GoldenEye and Mario Kart

A skill you have now as an adult that your childhood self would be surprised by: All of the skills that come with being a dad — changing diapers and having tremendous patience

A fashion trend from your childhood you hope never comes back: JNCO jeans

If your childhood was made into a TV special, what would the title be? “Building the Plane While Flying”

Favorite childhood sitcom: “Full House” was a great show growing up that combined the ups and downs of family life with childhood humor.

The music video you were most likely to vote for on “Total Request Live:” “Lose Yourself” by Eminem

The basics

Greg Ward, director of development, Jair Lynch Real Estate Partners

  • Age: 37
  • Residence: Annapolis
  • Education: Bachelor’s in civil engineering, Virginia Tech; MBA, George Washington University
  • Family: Wife Amelie; daughter Madeline, 3; newborn son William
  • First job: Mowing lawns around the neighborhood