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This blog is used to share information with alumni, students and friends of the UW Madison Real Estate and Urban Land Economics Program.

 

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Graaskamp on the Road, Chicago

Posted By Emmet Gaffney, Thursday, December 7, 2017

 



This past Thursday, November 30th Badger real estate alumni, students, and sponsors gathered in Chicago for the latest installment of Graaskamp on the Road series. The event, held at the Chicago Cubs front office building at Wrigley Field, saw Tom Ricketts, owner of the Chicago Cubs, receive the Graaskamp Building Communities award for his work on revitalizing the Wrigleyville neighborhood since his acquisition of the storied baseball franchise in 2009.

 

After accepting the award, Mr. Ricketts spoke to the crowd about his tenure at the Cubs, focusing on how he rebuilt the franchise on the field, and, simultaneously, has worked to develop the area immediately surrounding the park into a dynamic urban neighborhood. The goal, Mr. Ricketts elaborated, was to make Wrigleyville into a thriving destination even when there aren’t Cubs games being played. With the development of the Cubs’ front office building and the new Hotel Zachary, coupled with programming in the adjoining park such as yoga, concert series, and ice-skating, Mr. Ricketts and the rest of his team have begun to re-create a sense of community. Moreover, the Cubs’ have given back to the City of Chicago, and have donated over $25 million to build baseball fields across the metropolitan area and serve under-privileged communities through charity.

 

The following Friday, December 1st, the group was given an opportunity to tour the under-construction Wrigley Field, where major renovations are being made to enhance the fan experience. The development team has done a fine job balancing the history held in the bones of Wrigley with contemporary design concepts.

 

The event was co-sponsored by the Graaskamp Center for Real Estate and the Wisconsin Real Estate Alumni Association in partnership with Zeller Realty Group, Oxford Capital Group, Stantec, Brennan Investment Group, AMLI Residential, Colliers, and Elmdale Partners for sponsoring the event. Additionally, major thanks to Real Estate Club Co-President Fordy Gates (MBA ’18) for helping coordinate the event!

 

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Student Spotlight

Posted By Emmet Gaffney, Wednesday, November 29, 2017

 


Bethany will serve as Co-President of the real estate club beginning in January 2018.  As an undergraduate, Bethany attended Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts where she earned her BA in Philosophy. She is from Austin,Texas.

 

Experience in RE

 

Q: Have you had any internships in RE?

A: This summer I worked at Invesco with the Acquisitions team.

 

Q: Tell me about some of your achievements in RE

A: Today I am a member of the AREIT team, which actively manages a portfolio invested in equity REITs. I am the teaching assistant for the introductory undergraduate real estate class, originally taught by Graaskamp, and I have greatly enjoyed that. Next semester I will be co-President of the Real Estate Club, currently I serve as co-VP.

 

Academic Questions

 

Q: What have been your favorite RE classes?

A: My real estate equity investment course drew me to the AREIT team. Real estate finance is the first course MBA students take in the department, so it will always hold a special place for me – I learned so much. Professor Yavas kept us laughing, too.

 

Q: Have you been involved in any projects, such as case competitions, appraisal projects, urban housing development projects?

A: We are in the middle of a particularly interesting affordable housing development assignment for our Urban Land Economics course. Professor Luque has put together such a comprehensive project that combines classroom knowledge with real-world sites and means of financing – it feels very hands-on. Our team has had a lot of fun creating our proposal.

 

Q: If you still have some time until graduation, what are you most looking forward to?

A: Our final AREIT Board Meeting in the spring! Regardless of the outcome, it will feel very rewarding.

 

Involvement Outside of the Classroom

 

Q: Are you a member of WREAA?

A: Currently I am a student member.

 

Q: How has your WREAA membership been beneficial to you?

A: WREAA is where I found the opening for my internship this summer.

 

Q: How long have you been a member of the Real Estate Club?

A: I have been a member of the Real Estate Club since starting the program in September 2016.

 

Q: Tell me about your significant experiences in REC

A: The most significant benefit from the Real Estate Club, in my mind, is the opportunity to hear from industry leaders at the club meetings. I have not yet come across a speaker that wasn’t excited to speak to the students, to share stories, to offer advice – and generally these talks are more candid, and more helpful, than run-of-the-mill conference-type keynotes. I remember being very impressed by it at my first meeting.

 

Personal

 

Q: What’s do you do when you’re not focused on RE? Do you have any hobbies?

A: I really love when you’re busy enough that the first answer that comes to mind when you hear this question is sleeping. Besides that, I love to travel, cook and exercise. I was a swimmer through college, so when the weather permits swimming outside –  that’s my favorite.

 

Q: What’s your favorite movie or book?

A: I grew up in the golden age of J.K. Rowling, so I always have to include the Harry Potter series in my favorite books answer. Today, I’m really enjoying the new detective series that she writes under her pseudonym, Robert Galbraith. Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In was also a very important read for me as I was considering business school.

 

Q: What’s your favorite city? Where do you want to work after school?

A: Don’t make me choose! Austin, Boston, Portland, Chicago, NYC… Ultimately, though, I’m looking to work in Chicago post-graduation. I’ll just have to toughen up for that weather.

 

Q: What business line within RE do you think you want to go into?

A: I had a great experience at my internship this summer, so near-term my goal is a position in investment analysis on the acquisitions side that sets me on a long-term path to portfolio/client management. 

 

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Student Spotlight

Posted By Emmet Gaffney, Tuesday, November 21, 2017

 

 


 

Nick Brown (MBA 2018) will serve as Co-President of the real estate club beginning in January 2018.  Nick is originally from San Diego, California where he attended Sonoma State University. Earning a BA in Political Science with a minor in Business Administration.

 

Experience in RE

 

Q: Have you had any internships in RE?

 

A: I worked for a residential developer prior to coming to Wisconsin. This past summer I interned at Pacific Life.

 

Q: Tell me about some of your achievements in RE

 

A: I received the WREAA Graduate Scholarship and PREA Scholarship

 

 

Academic Questions

 

Q: What have been your favorite RE classes?

 

A: Real Estate Finance, Commercial Development, Excel Modeling, ARGUS

 

Q: Have you been involved in any projects, such as case competitions, appraisal projects, urban housing development projects?

 

A: I’m a member of our AREIT program. Our team of three actively manages a $1.7m portfolio and invests in equity REITs. I serve as our Portfolio Manager and cover the Office and Lodging sectors. It’s been a great experience as we have to value each REIT, build stock pitches, and ultimately receive approval from our Director before investing.

 

Q: What are you most looking forward to during your final semester?

 

A: I’m looking forward to getting our AREIT portfolio fully invested, serving as co-president of Real Estate Club, taking the commercial valuation class, and traveling to Hong Kong and France for our international trips.

 

 

Involvement Outside of the Classroom

 

Q: Are you a member of WREAA?

 

A: Yes

 

Q: How has your WREAA membership been beneficial to you?

 

A: I’ve had two mentors who are apart of WREAA; Rob Goeckel last year and Chris Carrol now. I’ve also used WREAA to reach out to alumni who work at companies that I’ve applied to / am interested in working at. This was invaluable in obtaining my internship last summer. Lastly, WREAA also awarded me the Graduate Scholarship which was extremely beneficial for me and my family.

 

Q: How long have you been a member of the Real Estate Club?

 

A: Since coming to Wisconsin last fall.

 

Q: Tell me about your significant experiences in REC

 

A: I served as Co-Vice President this semester and will be Co-President in the spring. I went on the Dallas club trip earlier this semester which was a great time.

 

Personal

 

Q: What’s do you do when you’re not focused on RE? Do you have any hobbies?

 

A: When I’m not at school or working, I like being outside and traveling. I especially enjoy playing sports, working out, and hiking.

 

Q: What’s your favorite movie or book?

 

A: It’s a hard question but my favorite movie is probably The Dark Knight. My favorite book is The Power of Habit.

 

Q: What’s your favorite city? Where do you want to work after school?

 

A: Being from San Diego, I love going home and hanging out at the beach. After graduation, I want to live and work in Chicago.

 

Q: What business line within RE do you think you want to go into?

 

A: Finance. I want to work in acquisitions or lending.

 

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EJ Plesko Award

Posted By Emmet Gaffney, Thursday, November 9, 2017

 


This past Thursday marked the latest installment of the E.J. Plesko Distinguished Speaker Series, an award that features speakers who embody the “Wisconsin Tradition” in their spirit, imagination, entrepreneurial skills and enthusiasm for improving the quality of the built environment. The E.J. Plesko Distinguished Speaker Series was created to bring the considerable real-world development expertise of alumni and board members to all University of Wisconsin real estate students. It was funded in 2007 by a gift from the late E.J. Plesko, former Graaskamp board member, who was the founder and past president of E.J. Plesko & Associates, Inc.

 

This year’s award-winner was Michael Gould, President of SilverCrest Properties, LLC. Michael F. Gould formed SilverCrest Properties, LLC in mid-1990s, focusing attention solely on the senior housing market and senior housing operations. SilverCrest Properties has built and manages independent, assisted living and memory care campuses in several Twin Cities communities, including Richfield, St. Louis Park, New Brighton, Eden Prairie, Lakeville, Maple Grove as well Rochester, MN, Des Moines, IA and Converse, TX.

 

A Vietnam War veteran, Mr. Gould presented the club with wonderfully nuanced career advice and insights into the industry. Senior Housing, he illustrated, is a complex asset-class that requires acute attention to your residents, as well as a breadth of knowledge about tangential fields, such as healthcare. The meeting served as a nice complement to the already-diverse set of speakers that’ve visited the club already this semester.

 

The next meeting will be on December 7th and will feature Mike Keiser and Mike Keiser Jr. of Keiser Golf Course Developments. Please don’t hesitate to contact the club Co-Presidents Grady (gcapobianco@wisc.edu) and Fordy (jsgates@wisc.edu) with any questions about the club, and be sure to check out www.realestateclub.org for more information.

 

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Young Alumni Profile

Posted By Emmet Gaffney, Monday, October 30, 2017

 


In the first installment of our Recent Graduate Feature, WREAA Social Media Ambassador, Emmet Gaffney, interviewed Matt Huberty (BBA Real Estate 2014, MS Finance 2015) about his time on campus, his professional career and interests.  Matt currently works for JP Morgan in New York City.

 

 
Time at UW

 

Q: While at UW, did you have any extracurricular activity related to the real estate program?

 

I participated in the Cornell and USC case competitions. If you are a student, raise your hand for every case competition. You’ll be happy you did. They force you to think more deeply about the real estate process, improve your presenting ability and offer a cash reward if you place high enough. I spoke about my case competitions at every interview, and would not work at JP Morgan today if not for the Cornell case competition.

 

Q: What was your favorite memory from the program or REC?

 

I was fortunate to work closely with Tom Landgraf and Erwan Quintin as a TA. Wisconsin has an extraordinary group of teachers. I also loved the Real Estate club trip to Austin, TX - we had some amazing BBQ.

 

Q: What other activities were you involved in on campus?

 

I was a tutor for Econ 101 (BLC), a club rugby player, an investment banking club member and an employee of the Waterfront’s property management staff, where I delivered mail and set up breakfast every morning for the residents.

 

Professional Career

 

Q: Where do you currently work and what is your role?

 

I work in JP Morgan’s acquisitions group covering major commercial property types in the southeast region of the US.

 

Q: Can you bring us through some of your duties in this position? Do you have any advice for students or new grads?

 

I read leases and model them into Argus. Using Argus and Excel, I model forward-looking cash flow for office, multifamily, industrial, and retail buildings. I compile and communicate the important business and economic factors of a transaction along with concisely communicating an investment thesis and its risks. I also coordinate due diligence efforts.

 

 

As far as advice, having a good attitude and attention to detail are key.  The biggest technical struggle for new analysts is understanding how argus calculates gross lease expense reimbursements. Learn this before your internship or job!  

 

Q: How has your Wisconsin connection helped you in your career so far?

 

The Wisconsin real estate program puts grads leaps and bounds ahead of Ivy League grads, but only if you take advantage of all it has to offer. The program teaches you real estate math. It teaches you real estate jargon. It will put you in touch with industry professionals and peers. It will build your technical skills (argus, excel and appraisals). In this hyper-competitive age where junior internship applicants already have 2+ real estate internships on their resumes, the Wisconsin real estate program offers a total competitive advantage. That being said, if you don’t take advantage of real estate club meetings, the alumni network, internship opportunities, and case competitions, then you are missing out on the most beneficial parts of the program.

 

Interests

 

Q: When you’re not doing real estate, how do you like to spend your time? Do you have any hobbies?

 

I like to do or plan anything family related.

 

Q: What’s your favorite city to spend time in?

 

New York City - there is more optionality here than in any other city. Austin, TX is also great. It’s a college town that reminds me a lot of Madison. The city has grown recently from technology companies increasing their footprint there (Google, Oracle, and Facebook). The city is vibrant and lots of fun. South Congress (SoCo) is great (not as fun as State Street, of course).  It’s a lot cheaper than New York.

 

Q: Do you have a favorite movie or book?

 

I highly recommend The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande. If you’re interested in economics, Poor Economics is interesting. Other People’s Money acutely highlights the pitfalls of institutional real estate investing and is a must-read for those in New York real estate.

 

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Wisconsin Real Estate Trends Conference Draws A Crowd

Posted By Emmet Gaffney, Monday, October 30, 2017


Hundreds of Real Estate Badgers, current and past, as well as friends of the UW Real Estate Program, gathered in Chicago on September 27th and 28th to take part in the Wisconsin Real Estate Trends Conference. Over 200 attendees made their way to the Windy City to participate in the program. 

 

The festivities kicked off on Wednesday night with a networking welcome reception at the beautiful Apogee Lounge at the Dana Hotel. The attendees enjoyed good food, drinks, and conversation amidst a crisp fall evening in Chicago.

 

Thursday’s events were held at the Mid-America Club on the 80th floor of the AON Building. The venue boasted striking views of Chicago, which provided a great backdrop for the day. The day started with a networking breakfast and then moved into The Age of Transformation, a session with John Mauldin of Mauldin Economics. Mr. Mauldin spoke about the future of business, technology, and society, which prompted lots of questions from interested members of the crowd. The next panel, Navigating Capital Market Cross-Currents in Uncharted Waters – featuring Karen Case, Jerome Fink, Adam Markman, and Chuck King – discussed the shifting dynamics in the capital markets and explored each panelists insight as to how to face the current deal landscape. Before lunch, attendees listened to A View from the Top which featured R. Scott Dennis and Jody Thornton. A key theme both men focused on was the importance of people, relationships, and teams in the industry, especially as a leader. Technical ability and industry knowledge is certainly crucial, they explained, but, as a leader, focusing on developing and investing in your people is paramount to success.

 

The keynote speaker at lunch was Jim Abbott, former MLB pitcher and Olympian, who gave a memorable speech about his personal experiences overcoming adversity. After lunch, Daniel Sullivan of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago gave an outlook of the U.S. economy and discussed the implications for monetary policy. The final presentation, Zero to Hero, featured panelists Norman Jemal, John Rutledge, and Eric Schultz, and moderator Michael Zelin. The panelists discussed projects they’ve worked on that included creatively rehabilitating historic property and how to contemplate the risks and returns involved.

 

The event closed out with a reception in the Frank Lloyd Wright room of the Mid-America club before attendees parted ways. Jack Gillett (BBA 2018), one of the students that attended the conference, was glad to have connected with current students, faculty, and alumni at the event. “The panels were fantastic and it was great being able to connect with lots of Real Estate Badgers. I’m excited to return to the conference for years to come as a proud alumnus,” Gillett said. The event embodied the collective spirit that defines Wisconsin Real Estate, and we’re looking forward to next year!

 

A special thanks to the following panelists and speakers who helped make the conference a success: Karen Case, Jerome Fink, Chuck King, Adam Markman, R. Scott Dennis, Jody Thornton, Jeff Bramson, Daniel G. Sullivan, Norman Jemal, John Rutledge, Eric Schultz, and Michael Zelin.

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Real Estate Club CEO Panel

Posted By Emmet Gaffney, Thursday, October 26, 2017



This past Thursday, October 19th the Real Estate Club hosted an impressive group of industry leaders – all of whom are CEOs or Presidents of their respective firms – to come speak at the second club meeting of the year. The panel was moderated by John S. Gates, CEO, PortaeCo, and featured Paul Zeller, CEO of Zeller Realty, Phil Hawkins, CEO of DCT, Chris Ludeman, President of CBRE Capital Markets, and Gregory Mutz, CEO of AMLI Residential.

 

The panelists had a breadth of knowledge and experience across the major property types, and were talking specifically about current and future trends in real estate. Major points of discussion included how autonomous vehicles will impact real estate, specifically talking about the repurposing of parking structures and public infrastructure, as well as the future of self-storage, technology for industrial properties, and technological amenities for multifamily apartment buildings. Speaking to a packed crowd of undergraduates and graduates, the combined expertise of the gentlemen was clear as they offered nuanced insight into the future.

 

After the meeting, the club members and panelists celebrated at Smitty’s Study Pub over beverages and hors d’oeuvres, before retiring to local watering holes on State Street for the night.

 

The next meeting will be on November 2nd and will feature Michael F. Gould of SilverCrest Properties. Please don’t hesitate to contact the club Co-Presidents Grady (gcapobianco@wisc.edu) and Fordy (jsgates@wisc.edu) with any questions about the club, and be sure to check out www.realestateclub.org for more information. 

 

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REC Trip to Dallas

Posted By Emmet Gaffney, Friday, October 20, 2017

 


Real Estate Club Co-Presidents Grady Capobianco (MBA ’18) and Fordy Gates (MBA ’18) had a tough choice to make in deciding where they would bring the club this semester. Lots of cities are still experiencing development and growth, but the Co-Presidents decided Dallas would be a unique destination with lots to offer. Thanks to the help of the generous Dallas alumni, Grady and Fordy were able to plan a memorable trip for the club. 

 

The trip began on Wednesday night with an alumni networking reception at The Rustic in Uptown Dallas, sponsored by Trammel Crow, Northwestern Mutual Life and WREAA.   Bright and early on Thursday morning students were provided with a market overview at the CBRE offices. CBRE brought the club up to speed on the Dallas market, particularly focusing on the dynamics of the local capital markets. After CBRE, the gang walked to the Trammel Crow offices for a visit of their headquarters as well as a tour of a brand-new development project. Around noon the club stopped for a lunch featuring delicious food trucks in Klyde Warren Park. The afternoon tours included a tour of the Dallas Cowboys practice facility and a tour of the Legacy West development.  

 

A dinner reception was hosted by WREAA at the modern American restaurant Stampede 66 in Downtown Dallas Lots of alumni came out to enjoy great food, drinks, and conversations with the current students. The Friday morning tours included a portfolio overview of Crow Holdings and a development tour with Sarofim Realty before the trip came to a close. Co-Presidents Grady and Fordy had the following to say: “The Wisconsin Real Estate Club trip to Dallas was spectacular. The group was able to meet with many local market experts and toured many of the impressive local projects that alumni are involved with. This trip would not have been made possible without WREAA and the strong and supportive Wisconsin Alumni. On behalf of the Wisconsin Real Estate Club, we thank you all for your amazing support.”  

 

Here’s to another successful Real Estate Club trip and we’re looking forward to next semester! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Grady (gcapobianco@wisc.edu) or Fordy (jsgates@wisc.edu) with any questions about the Real Estate Club. 

 

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A View from the Top

Posted By Emmet Gaffney, Wednesday, October 4, 2017

 


Last week at the Wisconsin Real Estate Trends Conference, we were honored to have R. Scott Dennis, CEO of Invesco Real Estate, and Jody Thornton, Executive Managing Director of HFF, headline an impressive panel right before lunch. The session was moderated by Jeffrey Bramson, Senior Managing Director at HFF, and focused on the lessons Mr. Dennis and Mr. Thornton have learned throughout their distinguished careers as leaders in the industry.

 

Classmates and fellow graduates of the University of Texas at Austin, Mr. Dennis and Mr. Thornton have nearly 70 years of combined experience in commercial real estate, both having long tenures at their respective firms. They provided unique insights and outlooks for the future of institutional investment in real estate, specifically talking about the consolidation of money managers, impact of unfunded pension liabilities on the industry, and reduction in leverage amongst institutional investors. Their nuanced perspectives were well-received by the crowd, and prompted lots of questions towards the end of the session.

 

A key theme both men focused on was the importance of people, relationships, and teams in the industry, especially as a leader. Technical ability and industry knowledge is certainly crucial, they explained, but, as a leader, focusing on developing and investing in your people is paramount to success. Their message resonated with the Badgers and UW friends in the crowd, all of whom attended the conference to reconnect with former classmates or colleagues, create new relationships, and share in the collective spirit that embodies Wisconsin Real Estate.

 

We’d like to thank Mr. Dennis and Mr. Thornton for taking the time to share their wisdom and expertise and we hope to see them again soon!

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The WREAA 2017 Scholarship Recipients

Posted By Mandy Kaegy, Wisconsin Real Estate Alumni Association, Inc., Thursday, May 4, 2017

 

The 2017 Dianne M. Orbison Scholarship Award


The Dianne M. Orbison Memorial Real Estate Scholarship Award fund was established by the Wisconsin Real Estate Alumni Association thanks to the generous contributions of her family and so many classmates and friends of Dianne’s who expressed strong wishes to honor her memory as a loving person, good friend and strong leader.   Dianne is remembered for her collaborative approach in business, as a volunteer and advocate for the University of Wisconsin, and as a person who was a barrier breaker.  This scholarship award is intended to serve as an inspiration to undergraduates, graduate students and alumni of the real estate program as they pursue the fulfillment of their personal and career goals. The Wisconsin Real Estate Alumni Association is proud to continue the tradition of this important scholarship begun by Dianne, one of the many ways she found of "giving back". 

 

Criteria considered in making this scholarship award includes community service, enterprise management skills, leadership, curiosity, love of learning, sense of humor, common sense, and ability to rise to a challenge.  The scholarship is awarded to a female graduate or undergraduate real estate students.


 

The Wisconsin Real Estate Alumni Scholarships

 

In addition to providing alumni and affiliate members with numerous networking, business development, and professional development opportunities, the WREAA also provides financial resources for student scholarships for the UW Madison Real Estate Program.  Generous donations made to the alumni association by dedicated alumni and friends make possible the allocation of funding for these scholarships. WREAA was able to provide one $5,000 Scholarship to a graduate student, and two $2,000 scholarships to undergraduate students in 2017.
 

 

 

 

The Stephen Malpezzi Tradition and Innovation Scholarship

 

The Tradition and Innovation Scholarship is awarded in recognition of the long-standing service and dedication of Real Estate Professor Stephen Malpezzi, who retired in 2016 from his teaching role at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

 

Applicants for the $5,000 scholarship were asked to write an essay answering the question "How will the Wisconsin Tradition in Real Estate Education impact your approach to your career and life following graduation?"

 

Emmet Gaffney, (BBA 2018) is the 2017 the recipient of the Tradition and Innovation Scholarship. 

 

 

 

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