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RE Club Ships Up to Boston

Posted By David A. Walsh, Wednesday, March 14, 2018


On February 28, close to thirty Real Estate Club undergraduates and grad students flew east to visit the booming Boston market for the spring club trip. Attendees were treated to an excellent line-up of networking events, meetings and tours over the two-day field trip, which was sponsored by the Wisconsin Real Estate Alumni Association (WREAA). The first event was a cocktail reception on Wednesday evening with Boston area UW alumni at Post 390 in the Back Bay neighborhood. Alumni and retired UW-Real Estate Professor Stephen Malpezzi spent a few hours hearing about what the program and attendees are working on and sharing career advice for students as they graduate and pursue careers in real estate.


Thursday began with an overview of the City of Boston hosted by the Boston Planning and Development Authority in their City Hall model room. Attendees were introduced to the layout of the city, the history of its growth, and some of the challenges they are facing with continued growth. Following this meeting, club members visited Transwestern RBJ, which was acquired by CBRE just a few days prior. Their team provided a tour of the Boston office and spoke about their role and challenges in leasing office space in different neighborhoods of Boston.


Lunch was provided by AEW while numerous leaders of their firm went into depth regarding their specifications, fund strategies, and economic projections. This meeting was a highlight of the trip for many students because AEW took the time and resources to speak at length about many facets of real estate, from research to capital raising to core, non-core, value fund, and REIT management. Senior Joe Curtin said that what stuck out to him, “Was the amount and importance of research to their success as a company,” spanning global economic, political, and demographic trends. Thursday afternoon included an on-site meeting with a representative from Skanska’s Boston team at their new Seaport Boulevard development. Skanska has constructed three new buildings on this street in the last six years and was able to educate students about the timeline of growth in this newly popular area of Boston. Following this meeting, club members had free time to explore the city. Many went to the Harvard campus to explore, while others chose to explore the shopping options of the city. Thursday evening culminated in a tasty dinner in the North End neighborhood, best known as Boston’s Little Italy, with UW alumni.


Friday morning, club members heard from Sarah LaGosh, Managing Director at Eastdil Secured. Sarah provided insight into the capital markets and recent transactions that Eastdil has been involved with in the Boston area. Afterwards, the club visited Newmark, VMD Companies, and Atlantic Management at the Newmark office to learn about the acquisition of the Necco factory and what makes the industrial property unique.  Because of the Nor’easter crushing Boston with high winds and rain on Friday, many attendees had flights back to Wisconsin cancelled. The team quickly adapted and found a bar showing the Wisconsin vs Michigan State Men’s Basketball game, and then spent the evening enjoying good company, conversation, and views of the Boston skyline generously hosted by the Capobianco family. Some participants stayed for the weekend as planned, others had unplanned extended stays, and two students even drove a rented car back from Boston. By Monday, everyone had returned safely to Madison with an appreciation for the Boston real estate market and new relationships with Badger alumni.


Thank you to all the Alumni, faculty, club leadership, and the Wisconsin Real Estate Alumni Association (WREAA) for their generous donation of time, connections, and resources for making this trip possible.   A big shout out as well to alums Jacob Maliel (MBA ‘08) and Jill Hatton (MS ‘82) who helped to organize this outstanding student trip.

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