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Shapack Partners Presents to RE Club and Hosts Career Workshop

Posted By David Walsh, Greystar, Monday, March 19, 2018

On March 8th and 9th, UW undergrad and graduate real estate students were presented with the opportunity to learn from the Shapack Partners team. Thursday’s Real Estate Club meeting consisted of a presentation by CEO and Founder Jeff Shapack on Chicago’s Fulton Market District, which Shapack Partners is responsible for developing and branding. The importance of branding a neighborhood was one of Jeff’s primary lessons to attendees. Because of the manufacturing focus of the area prior to redevelopment, rebranding did not face the common hindrance of garnering support from neighbor residents. Shapack Partners did, however, need to convince the Mayor of the value in branding Fulton Market District.


Fulton Market District is part of Chicago’s West Loop and hosts a sampling of nearly every asset class, including office, multifamily, retail and hospitality. Not every new build is constructed to its maximum entitle density. One case study presented to attendees of the meeting was 185 N Morgan St., a one-story building with fast casual food options such as Shake Shack and Do-Rite Donuts. Jeff explained that in their opinion, it was more important for the health of the neighborhood that this affordable dining option opened quickly than construct to maximum density. Community members also requested a large event space in the area, which Shapack is incorporating in an upcoming office building as a convertible basketball court.


On Friday morning, the meeting was predominantly structured as Q&A time for students with Jeff and his team. Attendees learned about the responsibilities of all roles in the company, including analytics, legal counsel, architecture, and media. A common theme reiterated by members of Shapack Partners was that in this small firm, the role you were hired for is not your only responsibility. Instead, everyone is involved in many facets of the process.


It was also during this time that Jeff explained the role of art in Fulton Market District. Shapack Partners believes that if they have strong locations for their real estate, these are also prominent locations for artwork. They provide walls of their buildings as canvases for skilled neighborhood artists, which then are photographed and shared on social media. These opportunities help artists advance their careers while increasing community involvement. Shapack Partners also emphasized that they light the artwork extremely well at night which has the additional benefit of making the neighborhood safer.


Jeff Shapack and his team brought a very engaging and relevant presentation to Madison last week, and students who attended the events walked away with a deeper understanding of the creative aspect of real estate development. 

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