MS.RED Fall 2012 Course Descriptions
(Un)Real Estate and the American Dream: A Deconstructive Intellectual History
This course attempts to tell a very big story-- that of the “American Dream” itself-- as articulated throughout the history of America’s land, infrastructure, buildings and natural/constructed environments, drawing from sources and interpretive methodologies throughout the intellectual history of Western thought. If America, as some historians and social commentators maintain, has served as the one “essential nation” in modern history, it is only because of our collective belief as a highly diverse pluralistic democracy in one essential metaphor—that of the American Dream, which again is “our fable, agreed upon.”
The course-- itself a broad historical survey of land ownership, planning, development and investment-- begins with a "mini-course" in textual analysis and post-modern hermeneutic theory to give students the understanding of the deep metaphorical/symbolic structures underlying all attempts to construct and express human realities, and then applies this approach to “(un)real estate” in all its historical manifestations throughout America’s national narrative of self, drawing on perspectives from evolutionary biology; law and economics; sociology; cultural anthropology; psychology; philosophy; quantum physics and theology.
The time span of the course runs from the days of the first European settlement of America to the current digital revolution, and examines certain persistent dialectical tensions that appear throughout the national narrative of (un)real estate and the American Dream, and their dynamic interaction throughout the course of historical time, such as:
- order/chaos -- animal/human/divine
- White/Black -- Male/Female
“Interested students are encouraged to view the full course description and syllabus on Courseworks, or contact the instructor directly with any questions.”
Alternative Investment Strategies in Commercial Real Estate
Construction Management + Technology
This course bridges the physical disciplines with the regulation and financial complexities of modern development. The course provides an overview of construction technologies, the construction process, and construction management. Course topics include cost estimating; value engineering; scheduling and management methods; contract documentation and administration (AIA); RFP/bidding; insurance; labor relations; civil and mechanical engineering; and, delivery systems design and implementation.
Good Design is Good Business
"Good design is good business" is the mantra of this course directed toward students seeking to acquire the essentials in modern architecture. The creation of a well-designed building is critical to the success of any development project. The course tracks practical architectural design across various real estate product types, including residential apartment buildings, office structures, hospitality, resort properties and retail properties. The course enables student to learn the impact of zoning and code regulations and how to select an architect and design team. The course will offer a real-life perspective on architectural design issues with visits to New York's top architectural firms. Through tangible case studies, using New York City as a laboratory for evaluating what makes good design, the student will learn to appreciate quality design and its major importance in a successful development.
Investment Strategies in a Distressed Environment
This course introduces students to the basic framework of commercial real estate investment through a lens of distressed and distorted assets and markets. Basic elements of bankruptcy procedure and valuation will be discussed, along with a specific concentration on those issues most pertinent to workout situations. Common characteristics and factors that lead to distress also will be addressed. Students will be exposed to cases and experts that bring forth legal, valuation, strategic, and other key considerations typical in commercial workouts—with maximum recovery from a lender, borrower, and joint-venture partner perspective. Prerequisite exposure to real estate finance, property valuation, CRE capital markets, negotiation, and real property law are strongly encouraged.
Launching a Real Estate Venture
Is your goal to start a real estate development company? In this course we will discuss the challenges and rewards of real estate entrepreneurship and explore alternative strategies for launching an entrepreneurial real estate venture. After learning about the role and structure of a business plan, students will focus on creating and presenting individual plans for their future real estate development businesses. A combination lecture and lab course, the professor will provide guidance and counsel, but each student will be expected to research their business idea and build a supportable case for their future business plan.
Multi-Resi Development Strategies: Optimize, Position & Market a Residential Building
Targeted for developers, architects, planners and contractors interested in expanding “domestic” vocabulary, evolving their marketing approach, understanding techniques needed to meet market expectations and redefining principles of residential development.
Every type and scale of a multi-resi building development demands a focused, informed, and well-executed design strategy. Each week the workshop will focus on the various tools and techniques needed to develop a successful strategy and gather the necessary intelligence to inform the development process from the inside-out and from the outside-in. Each session will focus on a shift of scales from micro to macro, providing you with the knowledge required to develop marketable buildings, create flexible residential layouts, curate meaningful amenity spaces and plan for miscellaneous features required to position a building within the market. By the end of the six weeks, we will be able to create a clear and well-defined positioning for residential developments, (leveraging shifting demographics, industry trends and a competitive landscape), that can be re-applied to improve the marketability of any type of development.
Public/Private Partnerships in Real Estate Development
This course explores public sector involvement in real estate development, and is designed to impart a set of skills necessary to manage the complex medley of governmental actors with conflicting goals and agendas in public/private development. Case studies are drawn from a variety of projects, primarily in the New York City metropolitan region. These case studies provide an opportunity to examine the motivations, powers and constraints of public agencies, as well as the approaches to planning projects, soliciting support, sustaining momentum and structuring public/private partnerships.
Real Estate Entrepreneurialism for Architects, Builders, Developers, Buyers & Sellers
This course is led by the one of the first practitioner academics to define the independent discipline of development. The lectures are design to fill in the gaps with practical knowledge and hard lessons learned from generations of practitioners. Students are provided with the know-hows of materializing their visions at the entrepreneurial scale.
Real Estate Finance II: Capital Markets
This course focuses on the debt and equity markets that are linked to real estate assets. Both the public and private markets are examined in detail. Topics include the history of real estate cycles, the US mortgage finance system, the agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS) market, the non-agency MBS market (subprime, Alt-A and jumbo), commercial mortgages and mortgage-backed securities (CMBS), structured products such as CMOs and CDOs, MBS valuation, real estate investment trusts (REITs), commingled real estate funds (CREFs), real estate limited partnerships (RELPs) and master limited partnerships (MLPs), derivative products, and asset allocation and real estate portfolio theory.
Real Estate Law Fundamentals
This course examines development and investment issues as they interfaced with property, zoning, contract, securities, and tax law. The course provides students the opportunity to actively engage legal professionals in mitigating and resolving contractual and regulatory risk.
Real Estate Private Equity and Capital Raising
This course will expose students to the fundamentals of real estate private equity, basic terms, players in the industry, various roles of professionals, legal and financial aspects of real estate private equity in today's environment and will teach a broad base of understanding in private equity real estate to prepare students in the concepts, terms and fundamentals that govern the real estate private equity markets. The course will be taught from the perspective of the General Partner in managing funds and the Limited Partner in investing in funds. Additionally, outside industry experts will guest speak on their real estate private equity experience. These leading industry professionals will include intermediaries and prominent LPs and GPs. The class will focus in particular on current fundraising issues as well as on the structuring of private equity transactions. The course should be of particular interest to students who want exposure to real estate private equity in the future, either as a General Partner, Limited Partner or Local Operating Partner domestically or internationally.
The Directors' Studio: Long Island City
Underwriting Intensive I — How to Underwrite Fixed Rate Loans on Stabilized Assets from a Lending Perspective
The course covers all major facets of underwriting income-producing commercial real estate from a lending perspective. Students learn how to effectively underwrite stabilized office, retail, industrial, multifamily and hotel properties. Emphasis is placed on credit evaluation, cash flow analysis, break-even analysis, market analysis, sponsorship and loan structure. Exit strategies including securitization and loan sales are also be examined.
Each participant will be responsible for using primary source material to prepare a case presentation of a waterfront site that analyzes how specific developers were able to utilize these skills to create viable residential, commercial and retail properties. Possible sites include Piers 1 and 6 in Brooklyn, the Ferry Building in San Francisco, Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia, the Yards in Washington, D.C. or additional sites in Boston, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Cincinnati, Toronto, and elsewhere.