Meet the French Team


Jim joined the French Development Company, Inc. in 2002 as a Development Partner and has been active in the field of housing for 25 years. Since 2008, he has been President and is responsible for the oversight of all real estate development projects. He has a firm understanding of project finance, capital budgeting, design, and planning for affordable housing and community facilities. Jim has a special interest in mixed income housing and sustainability initiatives. Many of his projects have included low income housing tax credits and he is seeking ways to finance projects that to lead greater regional equity in affordable housing.From 1993 through 2002, Jim was a senior planner for the Baltimore City Department of Planning. Prior to that he was a program manager in Baltimore City’s Department of Housing and Community Development and the Housing Authority of Baltimore City from 1987 through 1993. Jim was appointed by Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake to serve on the Baltimore City Commission on Historic and Architectural Preservation in 2012.  He is also a member of the Citizens Planning & Association Housing Committee, the Lambda Alpha Society for the Advancement of Land Economics and the MD Affordable Housing Coalition. Jim received his M.A. in Community Planning at the University of Maryland at College Park, his B.A. at the University of Pennsylvania and a Housing Finance Professional Certificate at the University of Maryland at College Park.

Vice President

Gardy has been a partner of the French Development Company, Inc. since 1988. He is the Vice-President of French Development Company and President of the Towner Management Company, Inc., a property management affiliateFrom 1985 through 1988, Gardy served as assistant vice-president of the French Company, Inc. He was a construction employee of the French Company, Inc. from 1983 through 1985.He received his B.A. from the University of Vermont, his Construction Management Certification from Catonsville Community College and a certification from Leadtec Services in 2000.

Development Partner

Since joining the French Companies in 2005, Barker French has worked primarily with Towner Management Company however, over the next year, he will become more involved in real estate development projects.  Barker brings a solid understanding of asset management and real estate finance concepts to French Development. Prior to coming to Towner, Barker was a Development Associate with Ruppert  Properties where he worked on budgeting and financial pro forma development for commercial projects.He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Maryland College Park in Mathematics and Finance and he is currently working on his MBA.

jay frenchJAY T. FRENCH

Jay is the founder of the French Companies and Chairman of the Board. He retired from the company in 2010 but had been actively involved in real estate development in Baltimore City since 1981. He also the Board Treasurer and CEO Emeritus for the Towner Management Company, Inc.From 1971 through 1980, Jay was a practicing attorney in Baltimore City and Washington D.C.He serves as a member of the board of directors for the Fairmount Savings Bank in Rosedale, Maryland.  Jay received his J.D. at George Washington University and a B.A. at Yale University. He served in the United States Marine Corp from 1965 through 1968.

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