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Fall 2018 Real Estate Club Update

Posted By Mandy Kaegy, Wisconsin Real Estate Alumni Association, Inc., Friday, November 2, 2018
Updated: Thursday, November 1, 2018



As Co-Presidents of the Real Estate Club for the 2018 fall academic semester, we are honored and excited to help shape the future of the Club. Thanks in large part to tremendous support from the WREAA Board, its membership, and the Graaskamp Center faculty and staff, we believe the Club is stronger than ever. Out of a pool of approximately 350 BBA and 18 MBA real estate students, we are proud to have nearly 200 active Club members.


 Fall Speaker Series

The Real Estate Club kicked off the fall semester with a meeting on September 20th, featuring Tan Phillips, Head of Real Estate Strategy at Regions Bank, as our keynote speaker. The meeting was informative and educated students on banking’s role in the real estate process. The second meeting on October 4th was designed to help Club members understand the real estate investment environment within the retail sector. Our keynote speaker was Luke Petherbridge, President and CEO of ShopCore Properties, who did an outstanding job of describing the problems the retail industry is experiencing and how his firm is identifying investment opportunities within the sector. Our most recent meeting occurred on October 25th where Club members were afforded the opportunity to hear from a panel of CEOs representing firms outside of the four most common property types. Panelists included Bill Bayless, CEO of American Campus Communities, Ben Moreland, Executive Vice Chairman of Crown Castle, and Tom Heneghan, CEO of Equity International. Our very own Tim Pire (1990 MS, 1984 BBA) did an excellent job of moderating the panel, and he was able to provide a unique perspective given his experience as a former Managing Director at Heitman and current positions as a Board Member of Monogram Residential Trust and Director of the University of Wisconsin’s Applied Real Estate Investment Tract (AREIT).


The Club will be meeting again on November 15th to present the E.J. Plesko award to James D. Letchinger, President and Founder of JDL Development. Michael Brennan, CEO of Brennan Investment Group and Executive Director of the Graaskamp Center, will be in attendance to present the award to Mr. Letchinger.  Finally, our last meeting of the semester will be on December 4th, and will feature Matt Lucas, a Project Manager with Sterling Bay, who will be highlighting the developments the company is doing in the city of Chicago.


 Fall Semester Club Trip

The Real Estate Club hit the road on October 10th to Minneapolis to get an up close and in depth look at one of most active real estate markets in the Midwest. The Club met with alumni from Ryan Companies, CBRE, Dominium, and Mortenson Development to get a better sense of the market trends within Minneapolis and to tour various projects around the city. Special thanks to Anders Pesavento (2005 BBA), Andrew Twito (2008 BBA), Isaac Accola (2016 BBA), Ryan Watts (2000 BBA), Owen Metz (2006 BBA), Neal Route (2012 BBA), Eric Omdahl (2014 BBA), Nate Podratz (2000 BBA), and Laura Bodine (2012 BBA) for making the trip such a great success.


Over 30 Club members toured ambitious and exciting projects around the city. On the first day of our visit, we led off with Ryan Companies who gave a presentation and tour of their massive Downtown East redevelopment project around US Bank Stadium. Later that morning we met Ryan Watts (CBRE) and his client, Gordy Stofer of United Properties, to learn more about the economic trends affecting real estate and the growth Minneapolis is experiencing in the North Loop submarket. We finished off the day with a presentation and tour of Dominium’s A-Mill Artist Lofts, an incredible redevelopment of the old Pillsbury factory into affordable housing for local artists. We finished off our visit to Minneapolis on Friday morning with a presentation and tour of Mortenson’s apartment development, The Rafter. The Club geared up with hardhats and vests to tour this active development site to get a first-hand look at the construction process and the different amenities being offered in the Class A multifamily developments. Overall, the trip was a tremendous success, and we cannot thank the local Minneapolis alumni and WREAA enough for their critical support.


Other Club Events and Outings

In addition to Club meetings and trips, this semester has also contained numerous networking opportunities for Club members, including happy hour get-togethers as well as a Pontoon Porch outing in late September.  We will be celebrating our graduating seniors with a Graduation Dinner in December, and we have also begun planning our spring semester Real Estate Career Fair, which will be held on February 18th.  If you are interested in hosting a booth for the Career Fair, feel free to reach out to us for more information.


We hope that you will continue to engage with us as we work to enrich the real estate experience at the University of Wisconsin and continue to build upon the strong tradition of the Wisconsin Real Estate Club.  We believe the students benefit greatly from a strong network, and the Club owes a great deal of gratitude for the overwhelming support from WREAA and its membership. In that spirit, we hope now that you have read about our busy semester you will consider engaging with (and hiring!) the Club and its membership. Please reach out to us directly with questions, input, or if you are interested in participating.  Please also feel free to check-in on us via our website at www.realestateclub.org. Thank you!


On, Wisconsin!


Hans Helland (MBA 2019) and Matt Allard (MBA 2019)



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