Sign In

J.J. Smith


Managing Partner, Residential Group

Job Functions: Executive, Acquisitions & Dispositions, Asset Management, Development


J.J. is a proven real estate executive and multifamily expert with more than $6 billion in development executed across 40 states and multiple countries. He has led multifamily and student housing development and management operations for over a decade and is experienced in bringing various stakeholders together to forge development plans that are financeable and buildable. He is also seasoned in public-private partnerships, working directly with universities and colleges to achieve their financial and program goals.


Before joining CRG in March 2020, J.J. was with CA Ventures for 13 years, where he helped orchestrate the firm’s explosive growth from a small student housing start-up with under $100 million in assets into a global development and investment firm with over $12 billion in assets under management internationally across multiple real estate sectors. As the longest tenured executive at CA Ventures, J.J. oversaw the creation of over 40,000 units of housing representing more than $6 billion in real estate value creation while forming the various service departments and hiring the strategic leadership to execute that firm’s growth plans. He also started CA’s P3 (public private partnerships) group.


Overall, J.J. has completed more than 70 large scale projects. That includes one million square feet of retail and 250 hotel keys at major flagship universities across North America. He originally trained as an architect.



-Master of Business Administration, Real Estate Finance — University of Illinois at Chicago

-Bachelor of Science, Architecture — University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Areas of Interest

Deal Type
Acquisition, Development, Ground Lease, Loan Purchase, Opportunity Zone, Partner Buyout, Pre-Development, Recapitalization, Refinance, Rehabilitation