Welcome from CREF Director

As I write this message, I have just returned from the successful conclusion of the fifth annual Cornell International Real Estate Case Competition. I want to congratulate the Cornell team which placed third overall, but also acknowledge the student competitors from all fourteen teams for their excellent effort. Teams have traveled from as far as China and the UK to compete in this event each year. Thanks again to sponsors and judges for their support of this important competition, which is the largest of its kind.

The Case Competition is just one of a whirlwind of activities that CREF has scheduled, some of which are still in the planning stage. I want to briefly highlight some of these initiatives, beginning with our partnership with WX, the New York–based Women Executives in real estate, whose members have become mentors for our students. We’re especially looking forward to having WX members come to campus and share with our women real estate minors about their professional experiences and about the WX scholarship program.

Speaking of educational resources, we are seeking connections with the parents of our 300-plus students in the real estate minor. We want to invite parents who are involved in real estate to come to Ithaca for a panel discussion (and also to visit their children). This will expand our resource base by providing our real estate minors with access to top real estate executives.

We also plan to take advantage of the amazing real estate laboratory known as New York City. To give our students the details of more specific real estate deals, we’ll visit the Google Building in the Meat Packing district, to learn about how that deal was structured. The students will be treated to an in depth deal-level discussion about the sale to Google by Frank Sullivan, the architect of the transaction. Another remarkable real estate development in NYC is 432 Park Avenue, and we will learn from Macklowe properties about their plans. This will be the tallest residential building structure in NYC and will transform the surrounding areas. We also will take a retrospective look at the evolution of the CMBS market, so that students can learn how the commercial mortgage-based securities market has changed over the years. We will assemble a panel consisting of the pioneers of the industry to hear their views about what the future holds for this important sector.

In closing, I want to thank my predecessor, Professor Jan deRoos, for his work as founding director of CREF. We intend to continue the momentum he created, and add to CREF’s many co-curricular activities, all with a goal of supporting our real estate and finance students. Thanks also to our CREF fellows and advisory board members for their continued support. I want to join Professor Jack Corgel in inviting our board members for a breakfast reception during the ALIS conference in Los Angeles this January. We’ll update you on our future plans. Watch for more details shortly.

Daniel Quan
Academic Director of the Center for Real Estate and Finance