by: Brett A. Mendell, MPS/RE ‘10
Entrepreneurship at Cornell Celebration
Brings Hope and Inspiration
n April 16 and 17, 2009, the annual Entrepreneurship@Cornell Celebration brought together over 500 current students, alumni, faculty and staff to participate in a two-day symposium celebrating the entrepreneurial spirit in a variety of industries, including venture capital, real estate, health services, hospitality, energy, agriculture and computing and information science. Eleven colleges and programs participated in the event. Attendees were treated to the final presentations of four business competitions, including: • the Big Idea Competition for Cornell undergraduates with enterprising ideas • the Cornell Venture Challenge, a Johnson School and BR Ventures-sponsored competition providing Cornell-affiliated faculty, students and staff the opportunity to obtain funding to turn their business ideas into viable businesses • the Hotel School’s Bottled Water Competition, seeking creative solutions to the environmental harm caused by bottled water; and • the SustaInvest Portfolio Pitch Competition, challenging students to propose and defend a mock portfolio of sustainable investments worth $100,000. The event honored 2009 Cornell Entrepreneur of the Year, Jay Walker (ILR, ‘77), founder of Priceline.com and chairman of Walker Digital, a privately held research and development lab based in Stamford, Conn. Walker is currently leading a team that launched yappr.com, the world’s leading Web site for English-language learning. On April 16, 2009, Walker delivered the keynote address, “Org Dot Com,” before a large audience. Walker professed the consistency of public service
and profitability. According to Walker, entrepreneurs in pursuit of public service need not choose between the for-profit and nonprofit worlds. Rather, digital networks make it possible to create a new entrepreneurial model that enables the potential of large-scale commercial success while also addressing global problems. “Now is the greatest time in human history to be an entrepreneur, the digital network is a lever that be used to help millions of people and make a profit at the same time,” Walker stated. According to Walker, the most rewarding experience associated with starting a business and managing it successfully lies in its effect on other people, “The most rewarding experience is to create jobs and opportunities for people in my company and my team and right close to that, is to create solutions to problems that ultimately millions of people benefit from. There is no question that large scale success touches large numbers of people.” Prior to the Walker keynote address, Alex Zikakis (MBA, ‘91), President of Capstone Advisors, launched the conference symposium with a Program in Real Estate-sponsored presentation, entitled “Entrepreneurial Positioning in a Down Market.” Capstone Advisors is a diversified real estate investment, management and development company that has been an equity investor in over $4 billion of residential development projects, has developed a variety of retail centers in Southern California, and has served as a third party asset manager on many other properties. Reflecting on his experience with previous down markets, Zikakis noted the particularly grim current market conditions and the opportunities they present. “The greatest opportunities present themselves to entrepreneurs in these difficult times,” Zikakis stated. “However, some older players may disappear,” referring to the recent demise of previous capital sources including investment banks and commercial mortgage-backed securities. Emphasizing his point with hyperbole, Zikakis noted that “Everyone is wiped out.” Zikakis discussed
the current opportunities in distressed equity and mezzanine debt investments in land development and home-building ventures, a particular area of expertise for Capstone Advisors. “The Federal Reserve has more than $7 billion of Acquisition and Development loans on its books that they are trying to sell. Many of these loans have personal recourse.” Zikakis pointed to the opportunity to acquire these positions at steep discounts. Earlier at the Entrepreneurship@Cornell Celebration, participants had the opportunity to attend the Technology and Resource Expo, a showcase for business startups, Cornell technologies and for other Cornell clubs that embody the spirit of entrepreneurship. The Technology and Resource Expo provided ample networking opportunities between students and alumni. In the evening, President Skorton hosted a gala dinner to honor the celebration and Walker, the Cornell Entrepreneur of the Year, who launched the celebration with his keynote address.
Alex Zikakis addresses the symposium audience.
The symposium took place in the Statler Hotel.
by: James Spanelli, MPS/RE ‘09
Case Studies in Urban Planning:
The March Conference Deconstructs D.C.’s NOMA District
n March 28 and 29, 2009, Cornell’s College of Architecture, Art, and Planning hosted its fourth annual Case Studies in Urban Development (CSUD). Washington D.C.’s NOMA (North of Massachusetts Avenue) district served as the focus for this year’s case study. The program, titled “Point/Line/Plane: Transited Oriented Development in the Nation’s Capital,” was held on Cornell’s campus.
The Case Study told the ongoing story of NoMa – a developing mixed-use neighborhood north of the U.S. Capitol and Union Station in Washington, DC. In the early 1990’s, the 35-block area was not cohesive enough to warrant the term “district”. Unsafe and wrought with crime, the neighborhood was filled with vacant lots and served as a dumping ground for litter. This setting attracted the homeless and drug addicts. The neighborhood served as a nomad’s land, despite its proximity to the seat of the nation’s government. However, eastward growth trends and the lucrative office market informed players, such as James Curtis, that this neighborhood was changing. The neighborhood would eventually give way to market forces and become a natural expansion zone for the thriving DC downtown markets. However, a catalyst was needed. The addition of a new metro station and tireless community organization provided that catalyst - spawning the NoMa district. The new metro station, named New York Avenue, was located along the heavily travelled Red Line, just one stop north of Union Station. The station brought development and new residents–persons who would not otherwise have ventured into the district. During the boom year of 2007, private developers invested over $1 billion in the neighborhood included within the NoMa district. Over the next ten years, investors have plans to develop more than 20 million square feet of office, residential, hotel, and retail space. Held over two days, the CSUD conference was divided into three segments. Friday’s speakers offered background information from a Washington DC planner’s point of view–contextual, pragmatic, and methodical. The keynote address was delivered by Michael Sorkin, Distinguished Professor of Architecture and Director of the Graduate Program in Urban Design at the City College of New York. Sorkin provided the inspirational view of an urban visionary. Informing and inspiring, Sorkin insisted that we take control of our environment by imagining the change, conceiving the form it will take, and collectively realizing the future. Saturday morning’s speaker recounted the story of NoMa through the disappointments, obstacles, and frustrations over the 17-year timeline. During that time, admirable urban achievements were realized partially due to the transformative power of transit. Speakers at the conference included: Elizabeth Price, President of the NoMa Business Improvement District; James Curtis, Managing Partner of the Bristol Group; Harriet Tregoning, Director of the D.C. Office of Planning; Rustom Cowasjee (B. Arch. ’80), Managing Director of Design and Construction for Tishman Speyer’s Washington, D.C. Office; Mark Sexton, Principal of Krueck & Sexton Architects, and artist David Batchelor. CSUD is a series of annual conferences that intends to provide students, faculty, and area practitioners with the opportunity to learn from building projects that exemplify interdisciplinary approaches to successful urban development and design. Previous CSUD conferences featured Seattle, London, and San Francisco projects. The series is funded by Cornell alumnus Matt Witte (B. Arch. ‘79). For more information about the NoMa BID, including an interactive development map, see the BID Web site at http://www.nomabid.org.
NoMA DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
Director: David Funk Administrator: Bryan Vliet Student Editors: Randy Hagedorn Chris Haine Lars Kollmann Brett Mendell James Spanelli
To inquire about copies or receive more information:
Program in Real Estate Cornell University 114 W. Sibley Hall Ithaca, NY 14853 firstname.lastname@example.org www.realestate.cornell.edu
The area described as NOMA, North of Massachusetts Avenue in the nation’s capital, was this year’s case study district for the annual March conference.
by: Brett A. Mendell, MPS/RE ’10 and James Spanelli, MPS/RE ‘09
First and Second-Year Program in Real Estate Students
“Develop” Projects and Skills
wo core real estate development classes are taught each spring in the Program in Real Estate–first year students are enrolled in a specialized residential development class and the graduating second year students round off their training with the Capstone development project. Both intensive course address real world site where students grapple with real world constraints, zoning issues, contextual adjacencies, and the multitude of site conditions that come with any development project. This spring, after ten years, Brad Olson taught his last residential development course in tandem with his successor Pike Oliver, who collectively brought more than sixty-five years of land development and master planned community experience. The residential development course focused on a 30-acre site in Sayreville, New Jersey. The Capstone project focused on a 23-acre transit oriented mixed-use development proposal in Reston, Virginia, and was led by Mark Foerster, the recently appointed Olson Faculty Fellow recipient and Executive Vice President of Northern Capital Group. Foerster was joined by Anton R. Christiansen, architect and principal with the Ithaca-based Holt Architects.
space. The scope of the project provides the students with flexibility in terms of design and real estate product type. Students experience the process as would a prospective real estate investor by first touring the proposed site with the local developer who identified the site’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats and provided copies of the Phase I environmental study. In preparing the project deliverables, the teams create a site analysis, market analysis, development concept, specific program of goals, basic outline of design concepts, and a detailed financial analysis. Students must provide the basic development hypothesis of the site by justifying the appropriate mix of real estate product types and the allocation of land for each product type. The culmination of this project was a final presentation and report to representatives of the actual developer and Cornell University faculty.
First year students survey the Sayreville site.
The 23 acre Reston development site highlighted in pale yellow.
Second-Year Students Apply Their Knowledge to a Potential Transit-Oriented Development Site
Again, working in teams of five to seven persons, the Capstone Development course taxes the students’ skills by requiring the production of a market study, design concepts, financial projections, and scheduling assumptions to arrive at a final project: a complete and persuasive development prospectus. This year’s site, a 22-acre property in Reston, Virginia, is located adjacent to the Dulles Toll Road connecting Dulles International Airport and Washington, DC. The currently underutilized site has strong potential for transit-oriented development, for the property is situated between Reston Town center and a planned Metro stop along the toll way that will connect Dulles Airport, Tyson’s Corner and downtown Washington. The Metro stop’s planned completion date is 2015/2016. Boston Properties, a publically traded REIT, owns the property and has engaged Cornell students to stimulate future development
First-Year Residential Development Class “Builds” in Sayreville, New Jersey
Controlled by a prominent planned community developer, the Sayreville, New Jersey site is a knotty plot of dirt marred by hills, easements and protected wetlands, providing the students with a particularly fertile challenge. The development course incorporates reality-based collaboration among the various real estate disciplines (represented in the Program in Real Estate), including architecture, engineering, finance, law, and brokerage. Working in teams, the students have the freedom to determine the market opportunity and decide on a program that is reflective of the highest and best use for the site. This year, the five teams proposed mixed-use programs incorporating various multi-family products, recreational areas, and retail
ideas. Although the current zoning is representative of the surrounding suburban office projects, the town of Reston and the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan foresee a much higher density mixed use -a transit-oriented development that will be the literal and figurative gateway to Reston Town Center, accessed by the new metro station. After a thorough regional market analysis, the students were given the freedom to determine the site’s program reflecting the site’s highest and best use. The five Capstone teams proposed transitoriented mixed-use programs with varying combinations of hotel, office, retail, residential structures, and cultural event spaces. Each team illustrated and detailed their proposals with schematic drawings, plans, sections and massing models to demonstrate the quality of place being proposed. Costs and investment opportunities were detailed in tandem with site design. A panel of six land planning
continued… see FIRST AND SECOND on page 4
by: James Spanelli, MPS/RE ‘09
FIRST AND SECOND continued from page 3
Newark, New Jersey is the Focus
of Preservation Finance Rehabilitation Opportunities
he Cornell Program in Real Estate prides itself on its broad offering of real estate and real estate-related courses from the many colleges comprising Cornell University. This diversity of coursework is wonderfully illustrated by Cornell’s course entitled, “Economics and Financing of Neighborhood Conservation and Preservation,” or “Preservation Finance,” as it is known. This past Spring, the College of Architecture, Arts, and Planning, through its Graduate Program in Historic Preservation, offered Preservation Finance taught by David Listokin, visiting professor from Rutgers University’s Center for Urban Policy Research. The course explored the economics of historic preservation including topics such as: 1) how tax structures impact real estate re-development in urban areas; 2) how preservation and historic designations affect property values and contribute to regional economic development, and 3) how federal, state, and local incentives are often available to bridge the financing gap for preservation development projects. The course further explored rehabilitation as a superior strategy for creating jobs and wealth, lifting property values, generating taxes, and invigorating real estate development. In fulfillment of the class requirements, the students were given a historic property for which they were required to devise a development and economic plan for rehabilitation. In late February, students traveled to Newark, New Jersey to tour six historic properties owned by the Newark Preservation Office. Students spoke with city planning and preservation employees,
and real estate professionals evaluated the students’ work after formal public presentations. At the beginning of the semester, the class traveled to Reston. There, they conducted market research and heard presentations from local market experts. John MacClain, Deputy Director at the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University, addressed the group and discussed the evolution of and outlook for the Washington D.C. economy. MacClain was followed by seven speeches from local market experts and regional representatives. Among the presenters was Patricia Nicoson, the President of Dulles Corridor Rail Association, who discussed the status of the metro line project. A trademark of the course is collaboration between design and PRE students. Recognizing that architecture and real estate development are closely linked in the professional world, the class serves as a laboratory for learning to effectively communicate with one’s development counterparts. Mark Foerster is Executive Vice President of Northern Capital Group, Inc., a real estate investment, management and development company based in Rochester, New York. From June, 2005 through May, 2007, he was Executive Vice President of Macerich East Development, LLC, Macerich’s east coast development affiliate. Currently, he is also the interim CEO of the Farash Corporation, a Rochester-based corporation that owns 5,000 apartment units and 400,000 square feet of commercial space in New York and Florida. Anton Christiansen has more than eighteen years of professional architectural experience. A designer for HOLT since 1990, Anton combines outstanding design capabilities with insights into innovative, sensitive and effective solutions. He is a principal with the firm, and a LEED accredited professional. Anton is strongly committed to the study and implementation of sustainability, having spent time studying the European approach to sustainability in Munich, Germany.
local brokers, and developers to understand the properties and their potential in the Newark marketplace. The students returned to Ithaca where they spent the remainder of the semester structuring a redevelopment plan–deriving new uses for the fallow structures, estimating the income potential and commercial costs from the redevelopment, and modeling the investment sources with equity and gap financing. Recognizing the obstacles in achieving financially viable uses for historic structures in economically challenged areas, the course was intended to illustrate the importance of tax benefits (i.e. the 20% federal income tax rehabilitation credit, state tax rehabilitation credits, local property tax abatement incentives, brown field rehabilitation tax credits, and urban enterprise zone and TIF [tax increment financing] districts), and how these tax benefits can be used to bridge the financial gap restraining redevelopment projects in economically depressed urban communities. Visiting lecturer David Listokin is a leading authority on community and fiscal impact analysis, housing policy, landuse regulation, and historic preservation, and has written and edited 25 books, including The Subdivision and Site Plan Handbook (Rutgers University Center for Urban Policy Research, 1980), Development Impact Assessment (Rutgers University Center for Urban Policy Research, 1978), The Fiscal Impact Handbook (Brookings Institution, 1985), Living Cities, Landmarks Preservation and the Property Tax (Rutgers University Center for Urban Policy Research, 1981), and Mortgage Lending and Race (Rutgers University Center for Urban Policy Research, 1985).
527-533 Mt. Prospect Avenue: a 9,000 sqft, 19th century mansion evaluated as one of the Preservation Finance Case Studies.
by: Randy Hagerdorn, MPS/RE ‘10
PRE and AREC
“TREK” to New York City
n March 5, 2009, the Associate Real Estate Council (AREC), an interdisciplinary graduate student real estate club, embarked on its annual “Real Estate Trek” to New York City. The purpose of this two-day trip was to highlight a variety of real estate careers available to students and to provide first- and second-year students with the opportunity to network with alumni and potential employers. Forty students, thirty-five from the Program in Real Estate and five from the Johnson Graduate School of Management, participated in the event. The Trek included a stop at the offices of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Michael P. Kercheval, President and CEO of ICSC greeted the students and offered opening remarks. Elise Jaffe, Senior Vice President of Real Estate for The Dress Barn, Inc was the keynote speaker. Dress Barn has over $875 million in annual sales and operates more than 800 stores in 46 states. Jaffe discussed the issues driving national retail outlets to acquire and develop new and existing properties. Trek participants proceeded to the United Nations Building where Ernest E. Hunt, Senior Investment Officer gave a presentation on the United Nations Pension Fund strategies for international investment in real estate. Following the speech, students toured the United Nations Building. That evening, Cornell Real Estate Council members and students convened at the Cornell Club for dinner and a panel discussion concerning the current economic recession. Speakers on the panel included J. Allen Smith (BS, ‘80; MPS, ‘86), CEO of Prudential Real Estate Investors; Cia Buckley, Partner at Dune Capital Management, LP; Carl Neuss (BS, ‘76), Principal and CEO Of Pacific Cascade Group; and Doug Weill (BS, ‘88), Managing Director Credit Suisse. Rob Hellman (AB, ‘76), Managing Director at David Landau & Associates served as the panel moderator. The panel answered questions focused on finding rewards in real estate in the midst of financial chaos and severe economic recession.
Students listen to the ICSC CEO Michael Kercheval at their national headquarters in Manhattan.
Trek participants peer over Manhattan from within a leasable floor of the 7 World Trade Center.
The following day, students returned to the Cornell Club for breakfast followed by a presentation on the state of the real estate job market by Anthony J. LoPinto, Managing Director & CEO of Equinox Partners. An employer showcase followed which included the following companies: GE Capital, Prudential Real Estate, Urban American, Ivanhoe Cambridge and SelectLeaders. Trek participants then traveled to Lower Manhattan where Silverstein Properties hosted a lunch at 7 World Trade Center the first of six buildings to be erected at or near the World Trade Center site and Manhattan’s first LEED Gold certified office tower. Prior to the September 11th disaster, Mr. Silverstein purchased the World Trade Center towers and subsequently now serves as the owner and developer of the new buildings. After lunch hosted by Silverstein Properties, participants were treated to a presentation on the vision behind the development of the World Trade Center site. Presenters included Robin
Panovka (AB, ‘83), partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, David Worsley (BS, ‘83; M. Eng. ‘84), Senior Vice President World Trade Center Properties and Dara McQuillan, Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Silverstein Properties. Maria Kozonis, a first-year PRE student said, “Mr. Silverstein’s vision for the World Trade Center site is inspiring. The site with its new towers, reflection ponds, and museum will not only serve as a memorial to the victims of 9/11 but also serve as a tribute to America and the principles of freedom.” Finally, the group concluded the day with an investment management discussion led by Doug Sesler, Managing Director and co-head of the Real Estate Investment Banking Division at Merrill Lynch. If your company may be interested in hosting a visit by Cornell students for future events, please contact the Associate Real Estate Council at AREC@cornell.edu.
by: Chris Haine, MPS/RE ‘10
Cornell Team Receives Honorable Mention
in ULI/ Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition
his February, one of the five Cornell graduate student teams received an Honorable Mention in the Seventh Annual Urban Land Institute / Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition. The team, composed of Dan Kelleher (Master of Regional Planning, 2010), Chris Koenig
been posted on the ULI/Hines website at www.udcompetition.uli.org. The ULI/Gerald D. Hines competition is an annual graduate-level student competition focused on interdisciplinary learning and team-work for real estate and design students. This year’s competition received submittals from over 90 teams representing 40 universities in the United States and Canada. Each team is composed of five students and must have representatives from three disciplines. The five students of the “Urban Succession” team came from landscape architecture, city and regional planning, and real estate.
(Master of Regional Planning, 2010), Maureen Bolton (Master of Landscape Architecture, 2010), Zachary Boggs (Master of Landscape Architecture, 2010), and Chris Haine ( Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate, 2010) was recognized for their urban design project named “Urban Succession.” The project, shown below, has
The honorable mention for the ‘Urban Succession’ team represents a milestone for Cornell University which has fielded teams in this competition every year since its inception yet never having placed so highly. The ranking will hopefully inspire more opportunities on this campus for the type of interdisciplinary, collaborative work needed to solve complex urban design problems. During the first week of March, a special gallery exhibition of all five Cornell student-team projects was held in the John Hartell Gallery in Sibley Hall. At the opening-night reception Dr. David Funk, Program in Real Estate’s Program Director ,
stated “The Hartell Gallery exhibit is a great event where students, faculty and friends from all over Cornell gather to view all the Cornell team projects side-by-side for the first time.” While the Gallery exhibition marked the conclusion of the 2009 ULI/ Hines Student Urban Design Competition for Cornell, students were inspired for next year’s competition.
Team Members (From Left to Right): Chris Koenig, Dan Kelleher, Maureen Bolton, Chris Haine, Zachary Boggs at the Hartell Gallery Exhibit on March 2nd.
by: Chris Haine, MPS/RE ‘10
Renowned Architect Peter Eisenman Speaks
at Real Estate Industry Leader Seminar
n February 19th, the Cornell Program in Real Estate welcomed renowned architect Peter Eisenman to speak to the Cornell Program in Real Estate weekly Industry Seminar. In the 1980’s, Eisenman was a prominent figure in the deconstructionist architectural movement, a style based in reassessment of traditional definitions of architecture and known for its fragmented and disjointed forms. However, Eisenman’s work transcends any simple classification of form or style. Eisenman’s work implements a unique blend of modern philosophy, theory, social commentary and architecture. In his conversational presentation, Eisenman addressed a range of architectural topics that were especially relevant to future real estate professionals. Consistent with his architectural approach, Eisenman emphasized the positive impact that bold, new architecture can play in enhancing a community’s quality of life. Citing Frank Gehry’s famous Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, Eisenman described the positive economic, social and political benefits that Bilbao realized during the past twelve years as cultural tourists flocked to the museum to experience its architecture. Eisenman also described the complicated process and positive economic effects realized by Glendale, Arizona through the University of Phoenix Stadium, one of his most recently completed projects. Eisenman presented the architectural designs he and three other New York City architects (Richard Meier, Charles Gwathmey and Steven Holl) submitted for the reconstruction of the World Trade Center site. While their plan was not selected as the winning plan, Eisenman’s imprint was evident on the bold fivetower design. Eisenman has designed award-wining urban design projects, innovative
facilities for educational institutions, and a series of inventive private houses. In 1967, Eisenman founded the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies (IAUS), an international think tank for architecture in New York, and served as its director until 1982. Prior to establishing a full-time architectural practice in 1980, Eisenman worked as an independent architect, educator, and theorist. Eisenman holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University, a Master of Science in Architecture degree from Columbia University, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Cambridge University (UK). He holds three honorary Doctorates of Fine Arts, from the University of Illinois, Chicago, the Pratt Institute in New York, and Syracuse University. In 2003, he was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Architecture by the Università La Sapienza in Rome. He also was the Arthur Rotch Professor of Architecture from 1982 to 1985.
Eisenman has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Arnold W. Brunner Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He is a member of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
by: Lars Kollmann, MPS/RE ‘09
Cornellians Hiring Cornellians
The PRE Alumni Network Makes Connections
hat was an important strength of the Program in Real Estate (PRE) in better economic times has become an invaluable asset in the current downturn–the industry outreach and the professional network that the PRE provides through its career management, its more than 150 Alumni, the advisory board and the Real Estate Council. The Real Estate Council was founded by a handful of members in the 1970’s. Today, the council boasts 1,250 members worldwide and is the largest university-based network of real estate professionals in the country. It is the founding sponsor of the Cornell Real Estate Review and is dedicated to advancing real estate education and outreach. Council members regularly visit Cornell to give guest lectures or to participate in a variety of other events which enable students to connect and to build relationships. On one such occasion, at the career fair at the annual Cornell Real Estate Conference, Ravi Padmanaban, a second-year PRE student, came across Dan Stravinsky, a Cornell alum and VP of Human Resources at Berkshire Property Advisors. Berkshire Property Advisors is a real estate operating company based in Boston that manages and rehabilitates multifamily properties held by Berkshire Income Realty, a REIT, and various Berkshire multifamily value funds. After an extensive conversation with Stravinsky, Ravi realized that he wanted to pursue opportunities with this company. Later, Berkshire came to Cornell to interview candidates; Ravi was one of the selected candidates. Ravi was interviewed by Frank Apeseche, Cornell alumnus and C.E.O. of Berkshire. Given Ravi’s background, he made an excellent candidate and Berkshire offered him a position as a Business Development Manager. In speaking of Ravi, he states that “This position was attractive in that it provided an entrepreneurial environment and exposure to the strategic implementation of new business concepts.” Berkshire also hired PRE student Josh Ladle as a 2009 summer intern to focus on a data warehouse project as well as work in the asset management group.
In addition, several other Cornellians have heeded the call and recently hired PRE students for internships. • Tyler Williams accepted an offer to intern with Westport Capital Partners in Westport, CT. The position was created through the efforts of Russel Bernard (’80), Managing Principal at WCP. Westport Capital Partners LLC is an investment management company focused exclusively on opportunistic and distressed real estate investments, and focuses on on off-market situations and the ability to provide creative solutions to complex situations. • Tyler Grooms accepted an internship with Los Arboles, an asset management company in Tukwila, WA that manages approximately $1 billion in privately held real estate ranging from raw land and agriculture to luxury hotels and office buildings. The internship is expected to focus on valuation and asset management. The contact was established through Robbie Fritz, a 2008 graduate from the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. • Stephen Lee will spend the summer with his mentor Duane Stiller(’84), the President of Woolbright Development, working in the field of Retail Development in Boca Raton, FL. The focus of the internship will be on leasing and asset management. • Dan Kianmahd is interning at a firm headed by one of the Program’s strongest supporters, Bob Toll (AB ’63). Kianmahd will work for Toll Brothers City Living in Brooklyn, NY. City Living is the urban development division for Toll Brothers. Kianmahd’s tasks will include general research, evaluation of potential acquisitions, and providing assistance to the project management teams. Jon Cohen further continuedthe tradition of Cornellians at Toll Brothers by interning in the Connecticut office. He will focus on the identification, acquisition, and development of appropriate sites. “(The internship) is a ‘real world’ application of what we experienced this spring in the residential development course,” said Cohen.
• Paul Koch will intern with the Ashley Group. Stephen Ashley made the position available through the PRE career service office. Paul will work at the company’s main office in Rochester. The position will focus on consulting regarding company performance and conducting market research for potential acquisitions. • Chris Haine is spending the best of seasons in Ithaca working with Frost Travis of Ithaca Rentals and Renovations and Travis & Travis Real Estate Developers Inc. Haine will be working in commercial, retail, and multi-family real estate sectors providing support in various development and asset management projects. The position should provide the opportunity to expand Haine’s real estate asset management, operations, leasing and development knowledge. Even in this challenging economic climate, Cornell alumni are opening their professional networks, keeping the Cornell ties strong, and enhancing the opportunities available to PRE students.
by: Brett Mendell, MPS/RE ‘10
Cornell Real Estate REview
Selects 2009-2010 Editors
he Cornell Real Estate Review (“CRER”) has named Chris Haine PRE ‘10 and Brett Mendell PRE ‘10 as Co-Editors of the 2009-2010 CRER publication. Each year, the CRER, the country’s only student-produced scholarly real estate journal, selects editors from the PRE’s second-year class. Haine brings over ten years of work experience in architecture and project management and served as an assistant editor on the CRER during the 2008-09 academic year. Mendell brings over ten years of writing and editing experience from his years practicing business litigation. Prior to that, Mendell served as an Associate Editor on the Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal. During the past year, Mendell worked with Haine as an assistant editor on the 2008-09 CRER. “Being named Editor of the Cornell Real Estate Review is the most acclaimed graduate assistantship position in the Program in Real Estate,” said David Funk, Director of the Program, adding “Chris and Brent continue a tradition of exceptional CRER leadership.” The editors are responsible for cultivating and reviewing articles from real estate faculty and industry professionals, managing the CRER staff, and marketing and producing the CRER. Outgoing co-editors James Spanelli PRE ’10 and Lars Kollman PRE ’10 consider Haine’s and Mendell’s experience of “shadowing” the co-editors during the 2008/2009 academic year to be invaluable. “The continuity of the Review’s management is very important. We really believe that their experience this year observing and participating in the publication process will yield dividends next year as they improve on lessons learned; we expect them to produce an outstanding 2009 journal publication,” said Spanelli. Kollman added, “Even more than experience, their skills really complement each other. Chris [Haine] brings excellent design skills from his architecture training and Brett [Mendell] brings strong editing skills from his years of litigation. They make a great team.” The Cornell Real Estate Review was founded in 2002 as a student-managed publication to draw attention to relevant real estate topics, both in academia and the workplace, through its annual publication. The journal seeks original work by industry professionals, faculty, and students for publication. The Spring 2009 Cornell Real Estate Review will be published in June, and will be posted online shortly after publication. Past editions are available for free as well through the Cornell University Library system and can be searched through the Archive tab on the Cornell PRE website at: http://crer.realestate.cornell.edu/index.php/home. If you would like to be added to the CRER mailing and circulation list, have any ideas for next year’s editorial staff, or simply would like to learn more about publishing in the CRER, please email the CRER staff at: email@example.com.
by: Randy Hagedorn, MPS/RE ‘10
PRE Graduation Traditions Endure
ach May, Program in Real Estate students prepare for graduation. Students look forward to the festivities and fun surrounding graduation as a conclusion to two wonderful years before they embark on professional real estate careers that will provide new responsibilities and opportunities. Like other colleges and universities, Cornell University has many interesting graduation traditions that help unify past and present generations of graduates. Some graduation traditions are universal and date back to the earliest universities. Others arose recently and are unique. One universal tradition that perseveres is commencement, which remains the focal point of most graduations. The commencement ceremony honors and celebrates the achievements of graduating students. While Cornell incorporates a convocation to which guest speakers are invited, it does not award honorary degrees. For this reason, Cornell does not permit guest speakers at the commencement. Only the President of the University speaks to students and family members. Robert Abrams, founder of the Program in Real Estate, explains, “The objective is to place the emphasis on the graduates and not some outside celebrity.” The graduation ceremony builds on this student-centric tradition. Graduation is held at Schoelkopf Field and limited to one hour. Graduating students walk through rows of applauding faculty as the students make their way to the stadium. Brad Olson, former director of the Program in Real Estate, states, “I really like the Cornell tradition of lining up by Day Hall to honor all of the graduates as they pass by.” The Program in Real Estate understands the importance of traditions and has a few of its own. Program Director Dr. David Funk explains, “The Saturday before graduation is reserved for a welcome event, which this year (as well as last year) is a boat cruise on Lake Cayuga. In previous years, the Program Director held an evening dinner party at the Director’s house.”
On graduation day, Program in Real Estate graduates carry the Program banner as they make their way to the filled stadium. Every year, PRE graduates attend the graduation ceremony with 80-100 friends and family members. After the graduation ceremony, students return from the stadium to a tent just outside Sibley Hall where students and their families enjoy lunch and an opportunity to socialize with other students, their friends, and family. Following lunch, a faculty member from the Program delivers a short address to the graduates. The MPS/RE degrees are awarded in the “shadow” of Sibley Hall, emphasizing the close relationships formed between PRE students and faculty during the students’ two years here. The graduation festivities conclude with a traditional class photo on the steps of Sibley Hall. Graduates receive a photo collage of their graduating class as a memento. Beginning this year, the Program in Real Estate is starting a new tradition -- a graduating student will serve as Marshall for the graduates. This year, Matt Monson (PRE ’09, MBA ’09) has been selected for this honorary role.
Gleeful PRE students promenade to the stadium for the university’s graduation on Sunday, May 24th, 2009.
When asked his favorite graduation tradition, Professor Brad Olson replied, “My favorite tradition is one we started some years ago that follows the Program in Real Estate Ceremony--but I can’t tell you about it or it won’t be a surprise!” Good luck to all of the graduates and much success in your real estate careers!
2009 graduates met in Arts Quad in front of Sibley Hall for a reception and awarding of degrees.
The procession entering the stadium.
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PRE Launches e-Newsletter
The Program in Real Estate (PRE) recently launched a monthly e-Newsletter distributed to alumni, Cornell Real Estate Council members, real estate practitioners, and friends of the Program. The e-Newsletter is designed to provide insight into the Program happenings and identify newly available Cornell real estate research and resources. “The e-Newsletter has been a great medium to connect Cornell Real Estate Council members to the Cornell Program in Real Estate on a monthly basis,” declared Dr. David Funk, Director of the Program. “It allows those who have ties to the Program to keep in touch, and we hope that it provides access to resources that are of some benefit to the real estate industry as a whole.” The e-Newsletter has been spearheaded by Josh Ladle (MPS/RE ’10) as part of his graduate assistantship within the Program. He will continue as e-Newsletter editor during the 2009-10 academic year. The e-Newsletter will provide regular highlights of faculty research, a calendar of upcoming Program events, and graduate student profiles, as well as valuable insight into top real estate companies and the ever-changing marketplace through recorded videos of weekly industry seminar speakers. “This is probably the most accessed portion of the monthly e-Newsletters,” says Ladle. “We’ve recently highlighted such companies such as, Prudential Real Estate Investors, and Perry Capital, and, judging by the click-through-rate on these links, people want to know what is going on in these companies and what their top executives have to say.” Perhaps the most relevant—and timely— piece in each month’s e-Newsletter is the SelectLeaders/Cornell Job Barometer Update, which gives a monthly pulse on the commercial real estate job marketplace. With an unusually high number of real estate practitioners looking for jobs today, the SelectLeaders/Cornell Job Barometer Update offers readers a better understanding of what types of jobs are being posted to key online job boards (Monster, CareerBuilder, SelectLeaders, ICSC, E-Financial, etc.) and where those jobs are located throughout the country. “Knowing where the jobs are is a huge advantage,” says Kim Swartz, Coordinator of Career Services at the Cornell Program in Real Estate. “In this particularly challenging hiring environment, the Job Barometer Update gives job seekers an edge.” To sign-up to receive the monthly e-Newsletters, visit www.realestate.cornell.edu, scroll to the bottom of the page, and enter your email address by the tagline, “Want to join our mailing list?”