Global Leadership in Real Estate and Design

In today’s increasingly connected urban centers, shifts in cultural preferences, design thinking, and spatial significations often reflect and parallel transitions in capital forces and economic realities, locally and across the globe. This course begins with the premise that globalization imposes forces and tensions that directly impact the formation and production of the urban built environment, and that future real estate and design professionals will have a competitive advantage if they are well-prepared to understand, navigate, and lead amidst cultural and economic disequilibrium and disruptions of the global realm.

This project-based course encourages a forward-looking examination of and exposure to complexity in today’s real estate design, development and investment process. The course integrates domestic and international field studies, lectures, and class discussion, and encourages students to rethink, anticipate, and reinvent practice paradigms in both the real estate and design fields that respond to exigent and projected transformative environmental, market, economic and cultural changes, while fully leveraging highly-interactive, semester-long engagement with accomplished real estate and/or design leaders.

The pedagogical focuses of this course are two-fold: to provide practice opportunities in an academic setting for students to sharpen their professional skills required to traverse global contexts as culturally sensitive and professionally savvy practitioners, and, to establish an intellectual framework for students to understand and embrace the interrelationship between real estate and design so that creativity and design thinking become a value-adding and differentiating component in real estate thought leadership and development.
The interrelationship between real estate, design, and their underlying conceptual and production process are explored thus through thematic analysis of cultural underpinnings, artistic formal deliberations, economic activities, real estate market performance, ownership structures, private and public joint venture, as well as the efficacy of public financing.

Each year, the Global Leadership in Real Estate and Design course focuses on two development/investment sites: one domestic and one international.

The two 2015 sites will be:

Urban Center Development in Berlin, Germany
Located adjacent to the former Berlin Wall, our 4.25 acre redevelopment site is situated in an up-and-coming inner-city neighborhood known as Anschutz-Areal that is now home to a mix of retail, office, residential, and entertainment uses. Throughout the semester, students will work in teams to create an urban-oriented design, development, and finance strategy for a retail project exceeding 900,000 gross sq.ft.

Sponsored by the lead project investor, and working under the guidance of the professors, students will act as professional consultants.

Urban Center Development in Midtown Manhattan, New York City
Our project site is adjacent to Grand Central Terminal and is to be proposed as an iconic high-rise tower and an urban redevelopment project that is the first step in the revitalization of the East Midtown neighborhood in Manhattan, New York City. Faced with budget constraints and aging transportation infrastructure, Mayor Bill de Blasio has proposed allowable densities of up to 30 FAR around Grand Central Terminal in exchange for strategic and substantive public realm and transportation investments. Throughout the semester, students will work in teams to create a design, finance, and development strategy for a distinctive, high-rise tower that may have uses including office, retail, hotel, and an observation deck.