MSRED Spring 2014 Course Descriptions
Affordable Housing, Development and Policy
This course uses the affordable housing techniques discussed in previous semesters to design and plan an actual affordable housing development. Besides utilizing affordable housing techniques such as tax credit and tax exempt bond financing, the course will also look at the other aspects of affordable housing development such as design and constructability elements, community involvement and political considerations. Developers must be a “jack of all trades” to successfully execute a new project. Although a keen understanding of affordable housing finance is a necessity for any successful developer, development requires an understanding of several disciplines. Political considerations have stymied many feasible affordable housing developments. Design and constructability issues have severely delayed or bankrupted a financially feasible project. Finally, this course will also discuss the role of intermediaries and government agencies in the creation of affordable housing. (Affordable Housing Finance is a prerequisite unless you have permission from the professor.)
Asset Management and Ownership
This course will study the issues that impact an asset from initial investment through disposition, with a particular focus on leasing, repositioning strategies, hold-sell analysis, and operations. The focus will be to demonstrate how effective asset management works with property management, leasing, construction/development and accounting to maximize financial performance. Overall, the class will emphasize real-world issues and examples through the life cycle of an asset.
Capstone - Development Case Studies
The class will utilize various real estate development and investment case studies, in conjunction with outside real estate developers and investors within the industry. The cases will reach across a broad array of product types, situational decision making and business styles. Students will need to develop rapid development decision-making and management skills while working in a team-based process where all aspects of the real estate business will prove to be critical success factors. Training will use real world case studies of actual development sites, in real time, that require defining new development and repositioning plans and focusing on essential feasibility. This class is the synthesis and implementation of the skills learned throughout the student's immersions in development curriculum. A series of four intensive team charrettes will involve programming and design for selected sites. The final work product is a presentation to a committee of real estate professionals and faculty which will include the following deliverables: (i) Zoning and Regulatory Approval Analysis; (ii) Financial Feasibility Models; (iii) Return on Investment Analysis; (iv) Market Analysis Report; (v) Product Design Plans; (vi) Marketing and Implementation Schedule and Budget; and, (vii) Investment and Exit Strategy Report.
This course will look at commercial leasing from both a landlord and tenant perspective, and contain both legal and business analysis of the most important provisions and issues in leasing today. It will provide a firm basis for understanding space leases as the revenue stream behind building operations, financing and profits. Allocation of risks related to the provision of space in a building will be a consistent thread in the conversation. The reading will include clauses from standard leases and articles about the subject matter, as well as some court decisions that illuminate the complexities and conflicts.
Global Practice Studio
Rio Das Pedras (Brazil): A Case Study of New Approaches for Informal Settlements
With over 70,000 residents, Rio das Pedras is one of the largest and most vibrant informal settlements in Rio de Janeiro. This multidimensional studio will explore new approaches for upgrading informal areas by tapping inherent dynamics as a catalyst for development. Among the issues discussed will be infrastructure and mobility, vulnerability to severe weather and climate change, social housing and population growth, the existing informal real estate economy and the role of the favela for the region. Of particular focus will be strategies aimed at channeling both public and private investment through an economic, social and cultural cycle that can support development in the long term.
(MSRED By application only; M.Arch students will participate in the lottery.)
International Real Estate Core
The International Real Estate Development Core course will introduce students to the macro growth trends which are central to the changing opportunities within the global commercial real estate world, as well as the drivers, challenges and risks associated with the opportunities in the emerging world, and how to value the risk against the reward when entering a new and developing market. The course will broadly address the ways in which to evaluate one market against another, as well as the variety of possibilities of taking advantage of the benefits of international real estate strategies, from portfolio diversification, distribution of specific sector expertise in new markets with demand, to the identification of unique opportunities in frontier markets experiencing a dislocating positive inflection in economic or geopolitical conditions.
International Real Estate Regional Electives
The purpose of the regional electives is for students to research and to develop market specific knowledge and investment strategies. The course culminates with students presenting their portfolio allocations to an investment committee panel made up of industry executives from the institutional and investment banking industry. Each regional team is initially allocated a specific dollar amount by the industry investment committee. Students and professors return at the end of the regional elective to argue for more or for less, and must do so by presenting a nuanced, fact-based assessment of their region. This real-time evaluation requires students to develop market specific expertise through applied portfolio management. Over winter break, selected members from each team will travel to the specific regions with their professors to actively engage in testing the methods and strategies which they have articulated over the course of the semester. See BRIC-X.
New Directions for Development: Rethinking Workplaces, Buildings, and the City
The future of the workplace and the office building;
The impact of information technology on how and where work takes place, how this is affecting building types and urban developments;
The emerging demands of corporate organizations for new ways of using space, suggesting new requirements for building types and cities;
- Indications for how developers, designers and city governments should think differently about development in the future.
Post-Storm Development: Opportunities for Rebuilding and Innovation
Property in Common: The Nexus Between Architecture and Real Estate
Architecture’s relation to real property has been, to date, almost fully defined by the limited, yet significant, role architecture has played in real estate valuation. Real property adds a wildly speculative dimension to what is already a projective practice, and both architecture and real estate are now in the business, to some degree, of monetizing psychological life. There are persuasive contemporary reasons for undertaking this subject matter: the puzzling undervaluation of design both in the marketplace and in the public imagination; the difficulty in designing credible public space in American cities; a housing crisis that has revived political debates over fundamental entitlements; and multi-tiered conflicts between property, infrastructure and ecological systems that global development encounters at every turn.
This course looks at systemic and theoretical issues that underlie these contemporary dilemmas in architectural design and real estate development. Its goal is to examine points of confluence/nexus between property, real estate systems, and architecture that are significant not only for specific buildings or development projects but also for systems of sovereignty, finance, design, law, justice, and nature that such a nexus advances or inhibits. Property—in general and as manifested in contemporary real estate development —and architecture together form matrices that are simultaneously concrete, paradigmatic, and transcendental. These matrices give deeply consequential form, rule and norm to our physical and conceptual environments.
Real Estate Finance III: Capital Markets
The course will touch on all facets of public and private capital providers, as well as investors, with particular focus on commercial real estate in the public markets: the recent history of securitized real estate debt and equity; the structure of CMBS and roles of the major participants; the growth, structure, valuation and performance measurements of real estate investment trusts (REITS); and other deal formats. Current events will permeate all classes as capital markets is a fluid subject. The general topics include: Real Estate Industry Trends – past and present; Overview of Real Estate Capital Markets and Participants; Alternative Investments (CMBS, REITs, high yield, syndications); Financial and Ownership Structures; Rating Methodology; Bankruptcy; Capital Markets Instruments.
Retail Real Estate and Development
The success of the shopping center is driven by a combination of the strength of the real estate and the retailer. In the case of retail real estate, the success of the retailer is arguably more correlated to the fundamentals of the underlying real estate than the tenants of other asset classes such as office and industrial. The course will discuss retail real estate from the perspective of both the retailer and the landlord / developer. A thorough understanding of the retailer's business model will increase the likelihood of success for retail real estate investors and developers. At the same time, the class will review the primary considerations of the retail developer and owner, including tenant mix, shopping center design, leasing, and valuation. A strong emphasis is placed on leasing and financial valuation. The lease not only outlines the economics of rent and expenses; it also establishes various rights and restrictions of both the landlord and that tenant.
Tax Issues in Acquisitions and Developments
The Works: Infrastructure Challenges and Opportunities
The thesis is an important part of the real estate development curriculum. It is an individual investigation of the student's own choice that is supervised by a faculty member, and it is intended to demonstrate the student's ability to structure an argument about an issue or problem significant or clearly relevant to real estate development practice or the development profession. The thesis is the culmination of the three-semester course of study and should demonstrate a synthetic understanding of the research and professional skills and substantive knowledge bases which form the content of the curriculum of the Real Estate Development Program.
The course covers all major facets of underwriting the repositioning of income-producing commercial real estate from a lending perspective. Students will learn how to effectively underwrite transitional office, retail, industrial, multifamily and hotel properties. Emphasis is to be placed on loan structure, interest reserve analysis, LIBOR caps, reposition timing, credit evaluation, market analysis and sponsorship. Exit strategies including permanent takeout financing and loan sales will also be discussed.