Updates from the Director
These past few months have seen much disruption but also many examples of strength and support. Our physical contact with students ended and we transitioned to all remote instruction. Many of the board members or their associates visited our Real Estate classes via Zoom. I want to thank each and every one of you who continued to support our students’ education during this difficult transition. We were unable to have many of our scheduled CREF events, including the Real Estate Titan’s event, but I want to thank Richard Baker, our Centers & Institute staff, and External Affairs for their support throughout. We look forward to planning a robust 2020-21 academic year schedule of events, and encourage you to check back frequently as details are updated.
As part of our response to the academic and event schedule disruption, we launched a series of Real Estate Webinars. These webinars are co-hosted by faculty and board members. The series was incredibly impactful according to the “views” across a number of platforms as well as the anecdotal responses received by myself and the other board members involved. I want to express my appreciation to all the participants, eCornell for hosting the webinar series, and the School of Hotel Administration Dean’s office for supporting the logistics. A special thank you is due Professor Linda Canina for helping to organize the series and assemble the participants.
By coming together and uniting our efforts the School of Hotel Administration, Cornell University, and the entire Real Estate community, have been informed and supported throughout this difficult period.
The Cornell Center for Real Estate and Finance (CREF) finished 2019 in great shape and we are looking forward to a productive 2020. Spring is an active time in the Real Estate world, and here at CREF we are no exception with multiple events in the works.
This month CREF will be teaming up with The Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship (PIHE), The Cornell Center for Innovative Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations (CIHLER) and The Cornell Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) to bring a very special Center and Institutes: Career Networking Event, focused on bringing together industry leaders with the some of our brightest and best university students.
May revs up with a minimum of four events around the country. The 2nd Annual Real Estate Symposium will feature six visiting speakers from different universities. Look for an analysis of current trends in the real estate market and engage with the faculty who conducted the research.
CREF is also in the final planning stages of our 5th Annual Titans of Real Estate Panel Discussion which will be held in NYC on May 8th. Please hold the date, follow-on details to be announced very soon.
We are also pleased to announce the 5th Annual ICSC & Cornell International Retail Real Estate Case Competition May 17-19. The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) will join in hosting this year’s competition in Las Vegas, Nevada, and Robert C. Baker Professor in Real Estate Professor Daniel Quan has agreed to lead this initiative as he has done in the past.
Lastly, we are planning a WX NYC Trek for our Women in Real Estate Initiative for later this semester.
Along with all these events, the CREF Board Faculty Mentorship Program is in full swing with most teams having connected at least once. CREF is looking forward to having face-to face trips in the spring and fall once the teams have defined their agendas.
On a personal note, I hope that the members of the CREF Advisory Board will let me know if they plan to visit Ithaca. I would be happy to host dinner, drinks or coffee, whatever works. Again, I look forward to a prosperous new year with you all.
This has been an exciting period for the Center for Real Estate and Finance. We have published our new mission statement and are in the process of updating our website. We have launched the “rebranded” CREF Index and are finalizing a process for CREF Board members to get a first look and to provide commentary as the index is launched each quarter.
CREF, because of all your generous support, was able to fund a trek for the Cornell Real Estate Club and to send a team to the UBC case competition. I am excited to inform you all that our team came in third and did so without two important team members who were unable to make it any further than Chicago due to weather. We are now in the planning stages for the Titans event on March 6, 2020, as well as preparing to co-brand with the ICSC on their case competition and a Real Estate Retail and Hospitality Roundtable in the coming spring semester. I am also pleased to report that CREF has committed to supporting the 11th Cornell IRECC in the fall of 2020.
I want to thank the board for their input during our last board meeting and especially recognize the efforts of Mr. Art Adler. He has generously given his time and counsel since I became the director on July 1, 2019. Of course, a special thanks also for hosting our board meeting at JLL’s headquarters in NYC.
We are set to have a great year and I want to take this opportunity to encourage each of you to reach out to me directly with any ideas or input you may have. Together I expect we can continue to have the Center for Real Estate and Finance enhance the growth and quality of real estate at Cornell.
The Center for Real Estate and Finance recently concluded its busy “competition season” this fall with the introduction of the Cornell CUHK Regional Real Estate Competition, Asia on October 8th, which attracted a strong university presence, hosting 8 teams from China, Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan and Indonesia. The top teams in our regional competitions in Asia, Australia and UK/Europe received an expense paid trip to New York City to compete in the 10th Annual Cornell International Real Estate Case Competition on November 13th. A total of 27 international universities competed for over $20,000 in prize money with University of Pennsylvania winning first place. Cornell University was represented by: Max Feng ’19, Linda Cao ’19, Amanda Cheng ’19, Karen Ding ’20, Mark Rittiboon ’19 and Becca Wang ’20. Many thanks to the industry judges and student teams that took the time to participate in all of our case competitions around the globe. It is a wonder to look back over the past 10 years and see how the competition has expanded and helped to cultivate so many students into successful real estate professionals. The competition is truly the foremost event of its kind.
The Cornell Real Estate Club ventured on two real estate treks this semester, focusing on networking and recruitment opportunities. The New York City trek took the students to PGIM Real Estate, Eastdil Secured, PJT Partners, and Goldman Sachs. Their trek to Chicago included visits to Hyatt Development, CBRE Hotels, AJ Capital Partners, HFF, Harrison Street Capital, Singerman Real Estate, Walton Street and LaSalle Investment Management.
I would also like to extend gratitude to the guest speakers that arrived on campus over the past few months to share their extensive industry knowledge with students via individualized club sessions, the classroom and full, school-wide information sessions. We filled their itineraries from morning to night with as many engagement opportunities as possible. Thank you to Richard Baker ’88, Cheryl Boyer ’87, David Israel ’09, Jonathan Korr ’09, Michael Nash and Jenny Wang ’12.
We look forward to a busy spring filled with more exciting events.
Arthur Adler ’78 & Karen Newman Adler ’78 Director
Center for Real Estate and Finance
A Team Effort
As we close calendar year 2014, I want to take a moment to acknowledge the many people who make possible the wide variety of activities found under the banner of the Center for Real Estate and Finance. Our goal in all of this is to complement and improve our students’ educational experience. As you see from the many events highlighted in this newsletter, we have a strong group of supporters. During this season of thanks we would like to extend our appreciation for everyone who contributes to CREF’s efforts. Let me highlight a few who have been instrumental in making the fall 2014 semester a successful one.
We thank Harry Macklowe for his recent visit to campus and providing an invaluable experience for the students in sharing his extensive knowledge of the real estate industry. Harry graciously took time not only to speak in the Dean’s Distinguished Lecture series, but he also met with students who wanted to gain his perspective on the industry.
Many thanks to the judges who shared their time at the Cornell International Real Estate Case Competition, especially the Cornell alumni who joined us: Chuck Rosenzweig ’85, JD ’88, Bruce Kimmelman ’91, Sanjeev Misra ’98, and Thad Paul ’98. As you see in this newsletter, the case competition has become the foremost event of its kind—and that is possible only through the support of many real estate experts and financial partners.
Thank you to the leadership of the Cornell Real Estate Club for all their efforts in cultivating an enriching learning environment for their fellow students and looking forward to continued growth within the club.
Last but far from least, thank you to our Advisory Board members. Your faithful support makes all the CREF activities possible and promotes the real estate minor, which is the largest undergraduate minor on campus.
As you see, we have had a busy fall semester, and we look forward to an equally fulfilling spring.
Director of the Center for Real Estate and Finance
Nothing is more exciting than the beginning of another academic year, with a new class of students joining returning students for classroom and field studies in real estate and finance. We at the Center for Real Estate and Finance (CREF) look forward to enhancing the students’ learning about these key aspects of the hospitality industry throughout this upcoming busy and exciting fall semester.
One of our important functions is to support the real estate minor at Cornell, which continues to be one of the largest undergraduate minors on campus, with over 300 students declared as of the beginning of this semester. Although the minor is available to students attending any school at Cornell, I should note that over 200 students at the School of Hotel Administration are enrolled in the school’s real estate and finance courses. We now have twelve faculty members supporting this educational effort, teaching courses that cover such topics as investment in real estate securities, real estate financial modeling, and investment and portfolio analysis.
In addition to our classroom teaching, the CREF supports the Real Estate Club, which now has 45 students as members. As you’ll see elsewhere in this newsletter, the club has a great roster of activities planned for the year. You’ll also read about another highlight of the fall semester in this newsletter, the 6th annual Cornell International Real Estate Case Competition. This is a major competition that brings in students from a wide variety of international colleges and universities to analyze an actual real estate transaction. Based on previous case competitions, it’s impossible to overstate the value of the interaction between the expert judges and students as they tackle the case.
As we do every year, we’ll also bring in industry experts for workshops on various specific industry strategies and techniques. In short, these are just a few of the ways that the CREF is satisfying our educational mission—with great programming, events, and classes. In closing I want to thank our advisory board members and others who help promote this educational agenda. None of this would be possible without your support.
Director of the Center for Real Estate and Finance
With the upcoming summer months, this is a good time to reflect on our many CREF achievements during the last academic year and to consider CREF activities in the coming year. Our three core objectives of student education, industry relevance, and academic rigor were well served with our various activities. Students were presented with opportunities to interact with real estate industry icons and our CMBS panel attracted widespread participation. Our faculty continues to produce top quality publications to further enhance our academic reputation. The very successful Cornell International Real Estate Case Competition continues to raise awareness among the international academic community that our real estate program is willing and able to take a leadership role in promoting real estate education.
While we’re happy with our success, we plan to continue our path in the coming year. While we will continue with many of our previous successful efforts, we are also exploring new and exciting events to further enhance CREF’s mission. We’ll make announcements as they come to fruition. As a supporter of our program, I would welcome any comments you may have on our activities. And as always, all of us in Real Estate and Finance at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration appreciate your continual support.
Director of the Center for Real Estate and Finance
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.
Academic Director of the Center for Real Estate and Finance
It is hard for me to believe that it has been four years since the official launch of the CREF, and that my service as academic director is coming to an end. We launched with nine CREF Industry Fellows and a small graduating class in the spring of 2009. We now have 27 Industry Fellows, over 350 students in the minor, a world renowned real estate faculty, and a record of accomplishment. The incoming CREF director, Prof. Daniel Quan, is looking forward to putting his stamp on the CREF and building on the foundations laid over the past four years.
With the recent graduation of the class of 2013, we shared the excitement that came with attending Cornell’s 145th commencement ceremony; here in the CREF, we celebrated the graduation of 100 of Cornell’s finest students who obtained the Minor in Real Estate. At our minor recognition ceremony, I encouraged the graduates to do three things; “please be investors for the minor”, “make no little plans for your lives and for your careers”, and lastly, “please hire from the Minor”. It was a good year for graduates, with students reporting a very buoyant job market and job prospects. We increasingly see real estate firms making Cornell one of their top recruiting stops when hiring real estate talent. Our “guerrilla marketing” tactic has been the use of our bumper sticker. We’re encouraging students to place them in highly visible locations in densely populated urban cores. Please let me know if you see them and send photos, I’d love to make a regular feature to be a photo of the sticker in iconic locations.
In this edition of the newsletter, you’ll find a variety of topics detailing the multitude of activities happening with the CREF. I’m very proud that Rob Kline ’84, CEO and co-founder of Chartres Lodging Group, and his family have endowed The Robert ’84 & Denise Kline Family Real Estate Capital Markets Lab, which will be known as the “Kline Lab” by students. This state-of-the-art facility will launch in the fall of 2013, and be used by several courses as a teaching facility for the “Trading Real Estate Securities and Funds” course and will be a research facility for students. The lab will host a myriad of real estate databases including Real Capital Analytics, TREPP, CoStar, FactSet, REIS, PKF Hospitality Horizons, STR Global, and SNL Securities. I also want to thank Rod Clough and Suzanne Mellen of HVS for their generous support of the CREF by joining as our latest CREF Industry fellows.
Lastly, I would like to thank those who have helped the CREF become an unqualified success; the CREF Industry Fellows for their continued support of our mission, the CREF Faculty for all of the extras I ask them to do in the name of the CREF, and to the staff, especially Kathy Terry, for their dedication, good humor, and attention to detail. Thank you to you all.
Things have really been cooking in the CREF the past three months: student interest in the Real Estate Minor is at an all-time high, employer activity continues unabated with a positive spring 2013 outlook, and CREF sponsored ten extra-curricular events—including an in-depth look at the redevelopment of the venerable Buffalo Statler Hotel and roundtables with Cheryl Boyer, president of WX–New York Women Executives in Real Estate, and Jonathan Grey, Global Head of Real Estate, The Blackstone Group. The CREF faculty continues to publish new knowledge, both in the real estate journals and on the CREF website. Pay us a visit at www.cref.cornell.edu. We’ve added three new industry fellows and appreciate two continuing members in the past three months. Please welcome The Mega Companies, RLJ Lodging Trust and Wells Fargo to the CREF Industry Fellows and kudos to Watermark Capital Partners, LLC and Westbrook Partners for continuing to support our efforts.
In this newsletter, you’ll find details on all of our fine work. What I’d like to convey in this welcome is the energy and interest around the center, the minor, and the programming that allows our real estate mission to mature and become an increasing part of the intellectual life of the School of Hotel Administration and Cornell University. Most important, with our focus on making a key difference in the students’ education, we are fulfilling the twin goals of providing academic knowledge and connecting that knowledge to the hands-on learning that is essential for accelerating our graduates’ career success and providing the industry with high functioning future talent.
Associate Professor and HVS Professor of Hotel Finance and Real Estate