MS.RED Spring 2013 Course Descriptions
A Country of Cities
This course, based on Professor Chakrabarti’s forthcoming book A Country of Cities: A Manifesto for an Urban America, hypothesizes that hyperdensity – defined as density above 30 units/acre – paired with robust transit infrastructure is a potential “silver bullet” for addressing many of the economic and social ills confronting the United States today. Structured as an analysis of urban policies that have led to America’s profligate use of land, and as a proposition on how to correct course with new policy initiatives for creating an “infrastructure of opportunity,” the book envisions a county of towers, trains and trees as the best path to keep our nation and our developing planet economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable. Given the nation’s role as a global purveyor of culture, America’s embrace of a far denser land-use pattern is imagined to influence the development pattern of countries with emerging economies, where billions are moving from poverty to middle class affluence worldwide.
The book is required reading, while the syllabus will offer additional, optional readings. The course will feature four lectures by Professor Chakrabarti (there will be no guest lectures), covering two chapters each, and one all-day student presentation that is mandatory for all. Pairs of students will construct and present opposing views on the projects they believe relate to the central thesis of the book. Each person will take the role of a skeptic or a believer and make compelling arguments for how the project supports or contradicts the book’s hypothesis. The assignment must conform to a 5/5/5 format, which includes a 5 minute oral presentation with 5 slides and a 5-page paper that is due a week after the in-class presentations. Thus, each student team will present for 10 minutes and submit opposing, individual papers. This class is open enrollment.
Advanced Legal Seminar: Commercial Leasing
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.
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.
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 Studio
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.
Corporate Real Estate
Finance Modeling III: Advanced Concepts
Global Practice Studio
In the world of capital like in nature, what works and adapts; spreads. Architects, planners and developers attempt to reproduce the structure of London, New York, Paris or Barcelona; the success of landmarks like the Highline, the Tate, the Guggenheim, the sense of place of Grand Central, Gare du Nord and King’s Cross Stations yet the formulas that gave us these localized interventions are often elusive or insufficient. Beijing or Mexico City population is 20 million and growing at a rapid rate, while the cities often used as models, Paris (2 million), Barcelona (1.6 million), New York or London (7 million) rarely reach that population or growth rate. In Generic City (1993), Koolhaas describes a future successfully dense yet indistinct city. In this scenario, people have blended beyond recognizable racial traces; cities have copied each other’s salient traits; all territories regardless
of geographic or climatic challenges have been conquered at a relentless pace producing similar cities all over the globe. In this narrative the generic city thrives yet upon arrival can be confused with any other. The transit hubs are seamless, density triumphant, and work ethic prevalent. Koolhaas positions this scenario as aspiration and as cautionary tale. Later in 2008, CCTV counters his own argument by providing Beijing with a distinct powerful icon.
• Are we to propose iconicity and identity as productive counterparts to density and capital expansion?
• What makes the iconic enduring or merely fashionable?
• What proportion of iconic to generic gives us a successful transnational capital?
• Can cities provide a more productive and stable identity and overtake nationalism or ethnic pride?
The agenda for this join studio is to produce possible real design proposals for development of a hyper dense and iconic mixed use transit oriented site of no less than 1 million square feet in London. (Specific site(s) to be release at January 23 presentation) The studio is composed of ten architecture students and ten development students. The goal imbedded in mixing Architecture and Development students is to arrive at proposals that are conceptual, strategic and quantifiable where economy plays a commanding role. Architecture students are lead by Galia Solomonoff while Development students are led by Vishaan Chakrabarti. Further the studio counts with the weight and support of Paul Katz and James Von Klemperer, principals at KPF, who will lecture and participate in key reviews. A set of visit to KPF offices in New York and London will provide access to current precedents (Hudson Yards, China Central Place, Beijing, Hong Kong Bridge) being developed and built by the firm. The aim is to become familiar with the complexities of creating similar applicable models of development for cities in different regions of the world where capital is expanding at a rapid rate.
(By application only)
International Housing Finance
construction technology, the course examines a number of facets which collectively determine the cost and supply of shelter. From a comparative perspective, property rights systems,
securities regulation and public policy interventions will be deconstructed with a normative proposition for developing a global set of best practices. Students will evaluate country specific finance systems from the point of origination to the point of maturation in the hands of the global investor. Secondary course topics will include alternative tenure, multifamily low income housing development and microfinance. The underlying hypothesis of the course is that the U.S. has fallen behind in terms of innovative solutions for the financing and production of housing across all demographic spectrums; and, as such, the future of U.S. policy should be grounded in a set of universal principles which promote equity and sustainability—financial sustainability.
International Real Estate Core
This course provides an introduction to international real estate development and investment with lectures on relevant capital market finance trends, legal system variability, portfolio management, alternative investment theories and vehicles, and cyclical market dynamics. The course takes students through a series of independent exercises which build a macro-economic, regulatory, and financial blue-print for investing in Brazil, China, India, France, U.K. and the United States (Regional Electives).
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.
Investment and Portfolio Management
Legal Ramifications in Complex Real Estate Transactions
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.
Political Environment of Development
Real Estate Finance III: Special Topics and Capstone
Special Topics (sec. 1) Josh Kahr- As the final in a three semester series, this course examines in detail, through a variety of scales, the hospitality, retail, housing and infrastructure sectors
Capstone (sec. 2) Min Suh- This course will provide an opportunity for students to apply and showcase their acquired real estate finance knowledge by participating in a wide spectrum of principal roles related to investment opportunities in case study format. The cases will draw from a wide range of real situations. Market participants for each case will be made up of student groups representing investing parties, lending parties, transaction agent, and selling parties taking on their respective asymmetric roles. Each case study is concurrently taken through various simulated phases of regulatory outcomes, financing, closed envelope bidding, equity fundraising, and closing to provide a perspective with agency and realistic outcomes driven by student choices. Students will be graded on the execution and collaterals of respective roles and peer review.
Please choose either Professor Kahr sec. 1 or Professor Suh sec. 2. You may not add both.
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.
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.
YOU: online, offline & inPrint
The course will focus on crafting your public presence and showcasing your properties in a compelling way. By creating your own refined website, you will learn to write concise brand plans for your designs and developments. The website content will be tested at multiple points by presenting and evolving your cutting-edge strategies with the guest lecturers. A systematic approach for making marketing decisions, concepts, principles, strategies and methods is emphasized by further defining your own bio and a case study school property. This course is targeted towards:
• Non-designers who want to expand their design vocabulary and become a better developer
• Designers who want to improve their design skills and evolve their pitch skills to clients
• All who are interested in advancing their own brand
Students with and without design training are encouraged to attend. Everyone can benefit from evolving their presentation skills - both verbally and graphically.