Benjamin Smith Benjamin Matthew Smith Founder

Mission & Values


Growing a second century of excellence with a passion for responsive service that creates thriving places to live, work, and honor our community.


  • Trust – Believing the best of each other
  • Integrity – Doing what is right when no one is looking
  • Respect – Acknowledging the character and contributions of each colleague
  • Community – Collaborating to enhance our team and neighborhood
  • Achievement – Completing worthy goals with high standards

Our History

Since 1908, B. M. Smith, Inc. has served South Arlington and greater Northern Virginia through management of multi-family and free-standing residential housing and commercial properties.

A Brief Chronology

The history of B.M. Smith & Associates, Inc. reflects the story of one family and its longstanding commitment to building community through principled development of housing and commercial properties.

Early Years (1879- 1907)

B.M. Smith’s father, Henry W. Smith, immigrated from Canada, supporting himself by farming with his father. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to establish the Arlington Transfer Company in 1894, providing transportation along Columbia Pike and offering tours of Washington, DC, first by horse and carriage and later with five motorbuses. With the success of his first venture he then invested in The Blue Ridge Coal Company, located next to where the Pentagon exists today. He and his wife, Julia Shreve, lived at the northwest corner of Columbia Pike and South Courthouse Road, current site of the 2121 Columbia Pike apartment building.

1908 Benjamin Matthew Smith, following the entrepreneurial spirit of his father Henry, founded B.M. Smith, Inc. as a real estate business in South Arlington while maintaining active engagement in local, civic, religious and philanthropic organizations.

1920’s B.M. Smith moved to the 2400 block of Columbia Pike and established his residence. This area was subsequently redeveloped and has a number of commercial establishments including Rappahannock Coffee and Roasting.

1932 In 1932, Arlington County was officially formed. In its second year, B.M. Smith was appointed as an interim board member and in the two subsequent years served first as acting chair and then chairman of the Arlington County Board.

B.M. Smith also was a member of the Arlington Hospital Board of Directors and served as Arlington County School Supervisor among many other civic activities.

1939B.M. Smith sold the Buckley and Graham land tract of 53 acres to Gustave Ring, a well-known developer. Arlington Village, an award-winning apartment complex was built on this site, directly behind the 2400 block of Columbia Pike.

1960’s In anticipation of the metro line coming to Columbia Pike, B.M. Smith built an office building one block off Columbia Pike at the corner of Wayne Street and South 9th Street.

1961The Key Apartments were built at 2112 Columbia Pike. Smith family members subsequently purchased this apartment building in 1984.

1966Henry and Julia Smith’s original farmland at the corner of Columbia Pike and Courthouse was converted to an apartment building at 2121 Columbia Pike.

1968 Benjamin M. Smith established an independent philanthropic foundation, the Washington Forrest Foundation (WFF), with the donation of real estate.

1969 Bob and Edith’s, Arlington’s oldest diner, was built on the homesite of Alice Petty (B.M. Smith’s sister).

1970’s In 1972, B.M. Smith developed a third apartment building, 2200 Columbia Pike, on the southeast corner of Columbia Pike and Courthouse Road across the street from Henry and Julia Smith’s original farmhouse and land. Additional single-family units were developed on South 9th St and South Adams Street.

1980’s – 2010 During this period the firm grew to manage 29 commercial properties in South Arlington and the greater Northern Virginia region.

1999 The Rite Aid Pharmacy at 2820 Columbia Pike (originally Bob’s Big Boy) was built on the homesite of Cora McIntosh (a Smith family relation).

The B. M. Smith Family and their Partners granted use of the property fronting on Columbia Pike between South Walter Reed Drive and Edgewood Street for use as a park. “Pike Park” is the present home of the weekly Farmer’s Market

2011 Penrose Square residential apartment and commercial center opens. This multimillion redevelopment project of an older shopping area was undertaken by B.M. Smith & Associates to bring restaurants, shops, services, and upscale apartments to Columbia Pike’s Penrose neighborhood.

B.M. Smith today B.M. Smith & Associates continues its longstanding commitment to the Arlington community while also investing in land and properties throughout Northern Virginia and locations across the United States.

B.M. Smith supports the south Arlington community through participation in the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, support of Penrose Park community events, and participation in the Arlington Chamber of Commerce.

The Future B.M. Smith, Inc. looks forward to maintaining an ongoing presence and investment in South Arlington, home to the Smith family for over 120 years, while selectively expanding when meaningful opportunities arise. Our commitment remains one of principled property investment and management that benefits the local communities.


B.M. Smith, Inc. has a longstanding commitment to serving the community in which we live and work. Our founder, B.M. Smith was an early leader in the community. He served as chair of the Arlington County Board, as a board member of Arlington Hospital, and as the Arlington County School supervisor among many civic activities.

Today, we continue that tradition through leadership roles and active involvement in organizations with an emphasis on the highest standard of community development and property management.

Recently, B.M. Smith family and partners dedicated land to establish Penrose Park and provided easement for the establishment of Pike Park where the local farmer’s market operates.

Meet the Partners

  • Edward Peete Edward Peete Partner and President

    As a real estate developer for over 30+ years, Edward C. Peete brings exceptional experience to housing development in urban settings with a particular sensitivity to the detailed management process required to bring a project from inception to completion while navigating local ordinances, community concerns, and the interests of joint investors. Edward and his brother David are partners at BM Smith, a real estate investment and management company founded in 1908 by their grandfather. They also are partners in the management of several Smith family properties, managed through BM Smith. Prior to his full-time involvement at BM Smith, Mr. Peete pursued a career in real estate development. In 1986 he founded the Ed Peete Company and served as President and CEO. The firm developed single family, townhouse, multi-family, and mixed-use projects in the Washington DC metro region, with over 916 residential units completed and 56,000 square feet of commercial space. Most of the developments were within Arlington County, VA with a focus on in-fill development. Currently, Ed leads the development of Embrey Mill Town Center, a 117,000 SF retail center to be located in Stafford, VA. Ed is the recipient of over 16 industry awards recognizing the innovation and quality of his development work along with multiple awards from Arlington County and the Smart Growth Alliance recognizing his commitment to development that is sensitive to transportation and land use requirements in the region. Mr. Peete maintains professional membership with the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association and the National Association of Homebuilders. A native of the Washington area; he earned a Bachelors degree in Finance, Real Estate, and Urban Development at American University.
  • David Peete David Peete Partner

    Spanning a professional management career of over 30 years, David offers knowledge of real estate investment and management, with a particular focus on senior housing, marketing, and the effective use of technology for operations and project management. David and his brother Edward are partners of BM Smith, a real estate investment and management company founded in 1908 by their grandfather. They also are partners in the management of the Smith family properties, managed through BM Smith. David served as President of the management company from 2013 – 2022. Additionally, he co-manages many of the family’s real estate partnerships and trusts. Prior to his full-time involvement at BM Smith, Mr. Peete pursued a successful career at Sunrise Senior Living, a national and international leader in senior housing with over 450 properties under management, many of them also owned and developed by the firm. During his tenure Mr. Peete first served as an Executive Director and was then promoted to Vice President of Marketing. Later he served as Vice President of Knowledge Management, overseeing the establishment of technology-based operating systems for management of properties and staff development. Sunrise was acquired by Ventas, a public REIT (NYSE:VTR). Mr. Peete was also the founder of Assisted Living University and a Senior Vice President of Acacia Living. Both firms focused on information technology as key to effective education and care management within the senior community. David was closely involved in business development, marketing, technology, and operations on a day-to-day basis in both of these ventures. David is a recipient of the National Associate of Home Builders 2004 “ICON of the Industry Award” as well as over 35 national and international awards for multi-media, education-based communications and program development throughout the senior living industry. Mr. Peete has been an active member of the Washington Forrest Foundation board of directors since 1996 as part of his long-standing commitment to the Smith family tradition of community involvement and investment in Northern Virginia. He is presently Vice Chair of the Foundation. He also serves as Vice Chair on the Board of Directors for the Columbia Pike Partnership (CPP). Mr. Peete is married and the father of three children. He coached community-based youth soccer and tennis teams in Fairfax, VA from 2003-2010. David holds an undergraduate degree from Tufts University and a Masters in Public Health (MPH) from Yale University.
  • Guy Gravett Guy Gravett Partner and Principal Broker

    Spanning a professional real estate career of 30years, Guy M. Gravett brings in-depth knowledge of real estate brokerage transactions from both the buyer and seller side. Mr. Gravett is presently a partner and the Principal Broker of BM Smith, a real estate investment management and development company founded in 1908 by his grandfather. He continues as Principal Broker of Farms and Acreage, Inc., a real estate brokerage company that he purchased from his mentor, Verlin Smith, in 2004. Guy’s work has included helping to create and implement a disposition strategy for such high profile projects as Moorefield Station and Arrowbrook Centre. Mr. Gravett holds a Bachelors of Science in Real Estate from Florida State University. Mr. Gravett’s professional affiliations include: Northern Virginia Association of Realtors (NVAR) Northern Virginia Building Industry Association (NVBIA) National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) Urban Land Institute (ULI) International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Northern Virginia Apartment Association (NVAA) Property Management Association (PMA) Arlington Chamber of Commerce Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO) Norther Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) Committee for Dulles
  • Leslie Smith Ariail Leslie Smith Ariail Partner

    Spanning a career of over 35 years, Leslie Smith Ariail brings a wealth of experience to the oversight, interior design and landscaping aspects of property development and management. Leslie is a partner of BM Smith, a real estate investment and management company founded in 1908 by her grandfather. She is also a partner in the management of the Smith family portfolio of properties, managed throughBM Smith. Prior to her full time involvement at BM Smith, Ms. Ariail worked first as an assistant clerk for the House Committee on the District of Columbia and then spent the next twenty years in many volunteer community leadership roles that drew on her expertise in both design and horticulture. During this period she also oversaw the construction of ten private residences and was the board representative for the construction of 2 large schools. Ms. Ariail has been a partner with B.M. Smith since 1990. During her tenure she has played an active leadership role in landscape design, implementation, and management. She has also been instrumental in guiding the interior design of many projects. Among her extensive community based commitments: Chair of St Agnes School Building Committee, 1987-1990 Board of Governors and Alumni Board, St Agnes School, 1975-1990 Garden Club of Alexandria, Board chair and committee leadership, 1983-2000 Historic Alexandria Foundation, Director, 1997-present American Horticultural Society, Director, 2002-present Davidson College, Architect Selection Committee for Visual Arts Complex, 1986-1993 Arlington Community Foundation, Board, 1991-2002, Emeritus, 2003-present Outstanding Virginian Day Committee, 1991-present, Vice Chairman 1994-2000 Historic Garden Week in Alexandria, VA, Chair, 2000 Ms. Ariail is the mother of three grown children. Leslie holds an undergraduate A.B. degree in Art from Queens College and continued graduate study in Art at Catholic University.