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REC Meeting Features Tips for First Ever Fall Career Fair

Posted By Paige Riemann, Wednesday, October 2, 2019




The Wisconsin Real Estate students have started the fall semester off strong with their first Real Estate Club meeting on September 12th and the Fall Real Estate Career Fair on September 16th. 

The first meeting had a large number of returning members and eager freshmen. It was focused on preparation for the Career Fair with discussions led by Graaskamp Center staff Mark Eppli, Director and Greg Reed, Assistant Director, along with Zach Pagel (BBA ‘16) who is a National Real Estate Representative at McDonald’s. 

Following networking among undergraduates and MBA students, the panel started by teaching the importance of first impressions, including the attention that should be placed on appearance and making eye contact. Eppli and Reed also emphasized the value that the department places on respect, and how students represent the program. The panel discussed the importance of preparation for an interview, and how to leverage the WREAA directory to see if there are any alumni at the firm. It was noted that all students have a complimentary WREAA membership with access to the directory. 

The students utilized the discussion from the first Real Estate Club meeting while at the Career Fair, where over 180 students and 40 companies were present. All real estate students were able to build connections with the goal of acquiring an internship or full-time position. This is the first year that the Real Estate Club has hosted a career fair in the fall. With more and more internship applications due in the fall, it is essential for students to have the opportunity to exchange resumés and learn about internships early into the school year. 

Kelsey Ault, a Junior in the Wisconsin Real Estate Program said, “The Real Estate Career Fair was an extremely valuable experience. The recruiters I spoke with were very personable and informative. For someone who would like to work outside the Midwest, I was happy to see firms from all across the country recruiting.” 

Thank you to all recruiters and real estate professionals who came to the Career Fair, we thank you for taking the time to discuss great opportunities with our students. We are looking forward to the Spring Career Fair! 

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An Interview with Sharon McCabe

Posted By Maria-Elena Svigos, Wednesday, May 22, 2019


This May, long-time UW Faculty Associate, Sharon McCabe, will be retiring from the Real Estate Program after 20 impactful years. As she wraps up her last semester on campus, WREAA Social Media Intern, Maria-Elena Svigos, spent some time with Sharon to learn about her journey through the program over the last two decades. They talked about Sharon’s time as a student on campus, her transition in and out of the professional world, and her experiences as an educator of thousands of undergraduate and graduate students.

The Back Story on Sharon
In 1975, Sharon came to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to begin her undergrad degree in Social Work.  After a year and a half, she realized that social work was not her passion and took a break from school.  In the next decade, Sharon’s motivation, adaptiveness and curiosity became apparent as she looked for new opportunities in the Madison area.  She sampled a wide range of occupations, beginning with a stretch as a semi-truck driver.  She then moved on to purchase and manage a local restaurant.  For a time, she even worked selling houses. 

After a ten-year break from school, Sharon decided it was time to complete her degree and at the age of 28, she came back to the University of Wisconsin. After taking the course “Introduction to the City,” which is still around today, she realized that her passion was for urban planning and real estate. She was eager to join one of the best Real Estate Programs in the nation and officially completed her undergraduate degree in real estate in 1989. She went straight through to the MS program after graduation and completed her Masters in 1992. While completing her undergraduate degree, Sharon held a work-study position with Madison’s Mayor’s Office.  During her graduate degree, Sharon started working for Real Estate Dynamics, Inc., an appraisal and consulting company started by UW alumni and faculty. She then moved to the City of Madison assessor’s office and spent eight years valuing all the commercial property in downtown Madison.  While at the City Assessor’s office, Sharon was asked to teach a graduate level appraisal class during the summer of 1998 for the Real Estate Department.

After teaching this class, Sharon was asked to teach undergraduate classes.  She eventually quit her job as City Assessor and committed to teaching full time.  Sharon was also very involved with the Wisconsin Real Estate Alumni Association over the years, serving as a Regional Director and At Large Board Member.  She continues to be one of WREAA’s most active advocates. Sharon has impacted countless students who have gone through the Wisconsin program, especially during her nearly 16 years as the Real Estate Club advisor, where she attended almost every club trip and biweekly meeting. Over the last 20 years, she taught graduate-level and undergraduate-level Real Estate Valuation courses in addition to the  Real Estate Process course. Sharon also helped to plan international trips for graduate students and led one trip to Expo REAL for a special group of undergrads. 

Here are some interesting insights and reflections that Sharon shared:

What was your favorite class to teach?

All of them, for different reasons! I like teaching Valuation just because it’s practical. I loved teaching 306 (Real Estate Process) because you get to introduce new students to the world of real estate and share your favorite stories.

What are some of the most memorable events or meetings that you have been a part of while teaching at the UW?
Real Estate Club trips! I will always remember going up 40 floors in the skip hoist to the top of a new development in Seattle that boasted the best views of the city. I love seeing historic buildings come back to life with new construction. In 2012, we visited the Liberty Hotel in Boston, which was a renovated historic jail. Also, we went to Union Station in Denver and saw the history come alive with its beautiful renovations.  I really enjoyed the large-scale and mixed-use projects like the Atlanta Braves Stadium, which is developing retail and office around it, as well as the Cowboys Practice Stadium. It was awesome to visit the Google Campus, the Amazon Campus, and Silicon Valley.  One of my favorites was the tour of Wrigley Field. I got to try on the Cubs World Series ring and meet the owner of the Cubs, Tim Ricketts!  Lastly, I like taking tours locally. I enjoyed touring the Hub under construction and remember the most incredible views from the rooftop.  We also toured Grand Central during construction and stood on that rooftop as well.

What is the biggest change that you have seen in the program over the years?
Because of changes within the industry, we now have a more financial-heavy program. This is necessary to keep up with the times and changing commercial real estate trends. Also, it’s great that there are many more undergrads studying real estate now than in prior years. We currently have over 400 undergraduate students in the major where it used to be a quarter of that size!  Another change is that we have WREAA’s online directory, which is a great tool to keep these students engaged with the network.

What has stayed the same?

There is still a passion for the industry. There is more competition around the country now, but we are still regarded as having one of the best Real Estate programs, Alumni Associations and Real Estate Clubs in the nation. The underpinnings of the program have continued; we will always have strong faculty members, lecturers, and guest speakers coming onto campus.

What are your retirement plans?
I’m not sure exactly what I’m going to do because I haven’t had the time to think about it! This job has been my life blood and all encompassing.  Even when I have time off, I’m never off. Retiring is giving me a chance to step back from that. I have had a narrow focus over the last twenty years. Now I will have no more tunnel vision. I can go on a walk and see what’s out there in the world and decide what I want to do.

How will you stay involved within the program?
I will definitely come back and guest lecture, attend Real Estate Club meetings and Graaskamp conferences, and of course attend Alumni Association conferences (someone will have to run speed networking!).

Why should students join the WREAA? Why is this organization so important?
Take advantage of all of this! (Points to the WREAA Directory, aka “the Book”). I encourage students to check out the WREAA alumni directory and reach out to our great alums.  Ask them for 15 minutes of their time to learn about what they do.  While alumni are busy, they always try to find time to help our students.  It is a great way to make connections and learn more about the real estate industry. Why wouldn’t students do this?!

If you could pass on one piece of advice to all students, what would it be?

Get to know your professors!

Also, take advantage of the Wisconsin Real Estate Alumni Association and the Real Estate Club. Show up, take advantage of every guest speaker, every trip, and every opportunity. Do not forsake outside learning because it is just as valuable as what you will learn inside the classroom.

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Student Spotlight - Andy Evans

Posted By Maria-Elena Svigos, Blue Vista Capital Management, Thursday, May 9, 2019


Introducing Andy Evans, one of Real Estate Club’s incoming Co-Presidents for the Fall 2019 semester. Originally from Denver, Colorado, Andy has family roots here in Madison and just completed his first year as an MBA candidate. Andy sat down with Social Media Intern, Maria-Elena Svigos, to discuss his past, his interests in real estate, and his goals for the Real Estate Club next semester. 


Where are you originally from and how did you end up at UW?


Originally, I am from Denver, but I have been making my way to Wisconsin for much of my life. My parents are from Madison and both went to the UW, so it was only a matter of time and a little luck that I decided to study real estate here.


What was your career experience prior to the Wisconsin MBA program? What motivated you to pursue an MBA in Real Estate?


Upon finishing undergrad degree, I worked as a financial analyst within an international IT consulting firm and spent time in Germany. After a couple years, I switched careers to work with a small real estate investment firm in Denver where we acquired multi family projects in Colorado and Florida. The properties we were acquiring had a lot of value created through our initiatives and management, so watching these properties change was truly fun, and that’s when I knew it was something I could do long term.


What are you most excited to do as REC President?


I’m looking forward to working with alumni and all students to bring great presenters to the real estate club meetings. Real world exposure combined with the academic rigor within the Graaskamp program is incredibly important and we want to expand on these principles. 


What are your post-graduation goals?


I would love to work in acquisitions and also work alongside asset management. I would like to end up in a position that offers the life cycle of a deal.


How has your WREAA membership been beneficial so far?


So far, the alumni have been the best. It’s a very unique structure how students and professionals interact. No other program offers this connection and that’s what makes Wisconsin so amazing.


What has been your favorite event or experience as a member of the Real Estate Club or the WREAA?


So far, it has been the Biennial. Talking with alumni and listening to how they have progressed in their careers helps paint a picture of what it could look like for current students futures. Not only that, but they like to have a good time, so that doesn’t hurt either.


How do you spend your free time?


In the summer I love to golf, and I have always spent my winters skiing. 


What are your plans for the summer?


I will be working for MetLife in their Chicago office supporting their acquisition, debt and asset management teams. I’m looking forward seeing their work and how such large deals operate. 

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Spotlight on 2019 WREAA Scholarship Recipients

Posted By Mandy Kaegy, Wisconsin Real Estate Alumni Association, Inc., Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Each year, through the generous donations made to the alumni association by dedicated alumni and friends, WREAA administers four scholarships. In addition to the Dianne M. Orbison Memorial Scholarship Award and the Stephen Malpezzi Tradition and Innovation Scholarship, WREAA was able to provide two $2,000 scholarships to undergraduate students in 2019. This post highlights the recipients of the scholarships administered by WREAA, Conor Mc Carthy, Matthew Soffer, William Han and Joan McCarthy.


Conor McCarthy (BBA 2020), a junior from Vancouver Washington, was chosen to receive the Stephen Malpezzi Tradition and Innovation Scholarship for 2019.  Conor is active on campus, serving on the executive board of UW-Madison’s Capital Management Club, where he is spearheading the club’s goal of recruiting female members and fostering their participation.  Conor also volunteers at The Open Seat, an on-campus food pantry. He is a double major in Real Estate and Finance and has secured a summer internship with Hammes Partners in Milwaukee as a Private Equity Summer Analyst.

Matthew Soffer (BBA Dec. 2020), the recipient of the WREAA Undergraduate Scholarship, hails from Tenafly, New Jersey.  He is majoring in both Real Estate and Finance and hopes to work in Public equity at a REIT, or at a private equity firm following graduation.  Matthew is the Campus Ambassador for the International Council for Shopping Centers (ICSC), the BBA Ambassador for UW-Madison, and Treasurer of Alpha Kappa Psi. He will head to Denver this summer to complete an internship as the Portfolio Management Summer Analyst at EverWest Real Estate Investors.

William Han (BBA 2020), is the second recipient of the WREAA Undergraduate Scholarship.  William, who is majoring in Real Estate and Finance, is from Glendale, Wisconsin.  He is involved in both the Wisconsin Investment Banking Club and the Real Estate Club on campus.  William also tutors K-5th grade students in after school programs at Schenk and Orchid Elementary in Madison through the Badger Volunteers program. William is making plans to spend the summer in New York City, interning with BNP Paribas as a Global Markets Summer Analyst.

Joan McCarthy (BBA 2020), is the recipient of the 2019 Dianne M. Orbison Memorial Real Estate Scholarship Award.  Joan is double majoring in Real Estate and Finance.  She was born and raised in Madison and is making plans to move to the West Coast following her graduation next spring.  Joan is active in Badger Business Professionals, where she has served as a volunteer event coordinator, VP of Foundation and currently holds the office of Co-President.  She will intern with CBRE in Los Angeles as a Finance Consulting Intern this summer. 

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Student Spotlight - Jared Schnoll

Posted By Maria-Elena Svigos, Blue Vista Capital Management, Tuesday, May 7, 2019


Today the WREAA features Jared Schnoll, one of Real Estate Club’s incoming Co-Presidents for the Fall 2019 semester. Originally from Milwaukee, Jared earned a BS in Real Estate and Finance from Indiana University and later worked in Chicago for four years before returning to Wisconsin to earn his graduate degree. Jared sat down with Social Media Intern, Maria-Elena Svigos, to discuss his past, his interests in real estate, and his goals for the Real Estate Club next semester. 


Where are you originally from and how did you end up at UW?

I grew up in Milwaukee and went to Indiana University for my undergraduate degree in Finance-Real Estate. After working in Chicago for four years in real estate lending, I decided it was the right time to go back to school for my MBA. I grew up a Badgers fan and have always heard great things about the highly-ranked real estate program at UW-Madison. After researching my options, I decided the Graaskamp Center was the best fit for me. I also had a ton of friends go to UW for their undergraduate degree and I always had a good time visiting them in Madison. It’s a great city to be in for grad school.


What was your career experience prior to the Wisconsin MBA program? What motivated you to pursue an MBA in Real Estate?

I worked at CIBC (f.k.a. The Private Bank) for four years as a commercial banker. During my time there, I was placed in the commercial real estate group where I managed relationships with institutional investors. In my role I originated bridge loans for value-add deals, tracked performance of existing portfolios, and handled legal negotiations for loan closings. Being able to see a variety of deals and business plan strategies sparked my interest to transition from the debt side to the equity side. I want to get my MBA to understand the details of real estate investing and open up an entire new network of real estate professionals.   


What are you most excited to do as REC President?

I’m excited to help the REC continue to get interesting and successful speakers to come to campus, develop networking opportunities for members, and plan cool trips to development sites. Another major goal of mine is to continue to find ways for undergraduate and graduate real estate students to start forming relationships now. Forming these relationships will benefit us all down the road when we are the leaders in the industry. 


What are your post-graduation goals?

After graduation I’m hoping to get a job in commercial real estate development or acquisitions in Chicago. Eventually, I hope to be in a position to invest in the deals myself. 


How has your WREAA membership been beneficial so far?

Becoming a member of WREAA has been extremely beneficial for me. In just one year, I have met countless alumni who are willing to give advice and help wherever possible. The WREAA network is truly an amazingly tight-knit group who values paying it back for the help they’ve received over the years. 


What has been your favorite event or experience as a member of the Real Estate Club or the WREAA?

My favorite experience as a member of the Real Estate Club was the trip to Miami. We got to see some amazing projects and the trip was a ton of fun. I had never been to the city before and enjoyed learning from local real estate companies about the different challenges they face. 


How do you spend your free time?

In my free time I like playing sports (soccer, basketball, golf), traveling (I spent 2 months backpacking in Europe before the MBA program), cooking/grilling, and spending time outside with friends and my dog.


What are your plans for the summer?

This summer I’m going to be interning at Venture One Real Estate, an industrial developer in Chicago. I will be supporting the acquisitions group and am looking forward to learning more about the industrial sector. 

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Congratulations to the Class of 2019

Posted By Maria-Elena Svigos, Friday, May 3, 2019


The UW Real Estate club graduation dinner sponsored by the WREAA was on held Monday night, April 29, at HopCat Restaurant on State Street. Over forty undergrads and MBA’s came to reflect on and share memories about their years at UW and to celebrate their upcoming graduation.



UW Faculty Member Sharon McCabe, who will be retiring with this graduating class, gave her famous send-off speech to the graduates. She had inspiring words of wisdom for the graduating class, who will be entering the real estate industry in many different sectors and across various markets of the country. In addition to other great advice, Sharon reminded students that “Success is not always measured by the job title you hold or the money you make, but by the number of lives you’ve touched.” Sharon reflected on some of the experiences she had shared with this graduating class – her very last set of students – and wished them well in their professional and personal lives after school.



Congratulations to the graduating Real Estate Class of 2019! The Wisconsin Real Estate Alumni Association wishes you the best of luck on your future endeavors and looks forward to your continuing involvement as alumni!

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REC Presidents Update Spring 2019

Posted By Mandy Kaegy, Wisconsin Real Estate Alumni Association, Inc., Thursday, May 2, 2019

As Co-Presidents of the Real Estate Club for the 2019 spring academic semester, Brian and I have been honored 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 with over 300 active members.


Spring Speaker Series

The Real Estate Club kicked off the spring semester with a meeting on January 31, featuring the CEO of Cube Smart, Chris Marr, as our keynote speaker. Chris gave an interesting talk about the company and some of the demand drivers behind the self-storage industry.



For our second meeting on February 14th, we had Michael Moran (MBA 2006), Head of Real Estate at Allstate. Mike is an alum of the UW MS program and it was great to have him on campus. He spoke about the company’s allocation to real estate, their investment process and what they are investing in today. For our third meeting on March 7th, we had another alum of the program, Alissa Adler (MS 1989) from Podolsky Circle in Chicago. Alissa did a great job engaging students in a more informal type meeting where she gave some excellent career advice for students coming out of the program. She was very insightful and open to answer questions from those in attendance.


On March 28th, the club, along with the Executive Director of the Graaskamp Center, Mike Brennan, presented the Innovator Award to Rob Bond (MS 1983), Co-Founder and President of Bond Companies. Rob talked about his company and some of the exciting development projects they are working on in the Chicago area and on the West Coast. We recently finished up our semester of meetings on April 18th with our Young Guns Panel. For this meeting we invited 3 graduates of the UW Real Estate Program, Zach Zanolli (MBA 2015) from Equity Group Investments, Ashley Caldis (BBA 2009) from Blue Vista and John Fredericks (BBA 2014) from the John Buck Company. It was great to hear from each one of our panelists regarding their time in the program and how they have progressed in their careers since graduation.



Spring Semester Club Trip to Miami

The Real Estate Club headed south on April 3rd for our Spring trip, where we got an in depth look at the Miami real estate market. We had over 30 Club members on the trip along with two UW faculty members, Sharon McCabe and Joe Walsh. For our first meeting in Miami on Thursday, April 4th, we met with Swire Properties, where we heard about their recent development of the Brickell City Center. After this, we met with HFF, where we were treated to lunch and a great capital markets presentation. Post lunch on Thursday we got to tour the Wynwood area of Miami and hear from one of the neighborhood’s founders, David Lombardi. David talked about Wynwood’s history, how it has developed into the arts and culture district of Miami as well as some of the projects they are currently working on. With the help of Chris Dicks and WREAA, we were able to organize a networking dinner on Thursday evening, April 4th, at Wynwood kitchen that saw a great turnout from local alumni. Finally, on Friday, April 5th we had the pleasure of touring the new Four Seasons Hotel development in Surfside with another UW alum, Mike Conaghan (MS 1991). Aside from some rain on Thursday morning, the trip was a great success, due in large part to the help of our local alumni. We learned about the intricacies of the Miami market and how it differs from many other major cities in the U.S. and saw some very impactful and inspiring development projects.



Special thanks to Jared Brunnabend (1999 BBA) of Bayshore Investment Partners and Felipe Izquierdo (2008 MBA) from JLL for their help organizing the trip and setting up meetings while we were in town. We worked very closely with both Jared and Felipe all spring to make the trip an unforgettable one. Big thanks also to Mike Conaghan for an incredible tour of the new Four Seasons development in Surfside. Mike was gracious enough to take us through the hotel as he explained the history of the project and the significance of the Surf Club over the years.


Other Club Events and Outings

In addition to Club meetings and the spring study trip, this semester has also contained numerous networking and educational opportunities for Club members. Our social chairs, Thomas Maguire (BBA 2019) and Nick Maslauski (BBA 2019), planned an ice-skating event at the Edgewater on March 8th. Due to some inclement weather that day, the turnout was less than expected, but it was still a great event.



Not letting the late April snow deter them, Thomas and Nick have also planned an end of semester event at the Union Terrace on Thursday, May 2.


On April 10th we toured the new Peloton Place project by Terrence Wall (MS 1989), which is located at the intersection of Park and Fish Hatchery Road. This multi-family project is in the early stages of development, but we were able to see the current progress and hear from Terrence about his vision for the site and his experience working with the city of Madison. Our plan is to revisit the site again in the fall to see the progress as they move through development. On Monday, April 29th, we will be celebrating our graduating seniors and 2nd year MBA’s with a Graduation Dinner at HopCat, so we are all looking forward to that event as well.


We hope that you will continue to engage with the Real Estate Club as we work to enrich the real estate experience at the University of Wisconsin. We believe the students benefit greatly from a strong network, and the Club owes a great deal of gratitude for the support from WREAA and its members. As Brian and I move on from the program we have two 1st year MBA students, Andy Evans and Jared Schnoll, who will be stepping in as Co-Presidents of the Club. You can reach out to any of 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!


Brian Cleary (MBA 2019) and Justin Kremers (MBA 2019)

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Recent Grad Panel Featured at Real Estate Club Meeting

Posted By Maria-Elena Svigos, Tuesday, April 23, 2019


The Real Estate Club held their last meeting of the academic year on Thursday by hosting a “Young Guns Panel” with three recent alumni guest speakers, Ashley Caldis (BBA, 2009), John Fredericks (BBA 2014), and Zach Zanolli (MBA, 2015).


The meeting began with Club Executive Board elections for the fall semester. The upcoming Presidents of the Club will be graduate students Andy Evans (MBA 2020) and Jared Schnoll (MBA 2020) and Vice Presidents will be David Clark (MBA 2020) and Mike Crivello (MBA 2020).


After speaker introductions, the floor was opened, and club members were able to ask panel members a variety of questions. The “Young Guns” shared information about recent deals, their experiences as students in Madison, their personal journeys within the industry and their passion for real estate and gave advice for current students entering the workforce.   All speakers gave thoughtful and beneficial responses to the members in attendance. As recent graduates of the program, these speakers easily connected with both graduate and undergraduate students. The panel shared their stories about the real estate industry and encouraged Club members to be passionate, open-minded, and motivated in order to create great experiences of their own in the industry.


We would like to thank the Real Estate Club and all its members for another great semester! We look forward to seeing returning members, new students, and more guest speakers in the Fall.

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The UW Real Estate Club Scopes Out Miami Market

Posted By Maria-Elena Svigos, Monday, April 15, 2019


The Wisconsin Real Estate Club and chaperons Sharon McCabe and Joe Walsh took a group of graduate and undergraduate students down to sunny Miami, Florida for their Spring Semester Field Trip last week. The MBA’s and BBA’s were eager to explore the booming Miami market, a city the Real Estate Club had not visited in over five years.


The trip began on Wednesday evening with a WREAA sponsored Networking Event at Batch Gastropub in Miami’s downtown Brickell neighborhood. Over appetizers and refreshments, club members casually discussed what the next few days would entail and what they were eager to learn. The night ended at rooftop bar, Sugar Miami, located at the Brickell City Centre, where the group would be touring the next morning.




The group met Thursday morning back at Brickell City Centre for their first introduction to the Miami market. City Centre, a development by Swire Properties, is a $1 billion, mixed-use project that spans over 5 million square feet of retail, multi-family and hotel properties. President of Swire Properties, Kieran Bowers, gave the group an informative presentation discussing the history of the 200-year old company, the timeline and execution of this major mixed-use development, and an overview other projects that Swire is currently developing throughout Brickell and downtown Miami.


The student's understanding of the Miami market continued to expand during their next stop at HFF, where Luis Castillo and his team gave an extensive Capital Markets Presentation. The team gave an overview of HFF and its capabilities, discussed the current economy and trends of the Miami market, examined capital allocation and current debt and equity markets, and finished with an overview of HFF's recent deals and case studies. Students agreed that the presentation was extremely helpful in understanding Miami’s real estate market.




The Club then headed to Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood.  Wynwood is an up-and-coming, artistic area best known for its industrial look, wall graffiti, and for hosting the Art Basel Mural Festival. The group met with “founder” of the neighborhood, David Lombardi, and his team at Lombardi Properties. David discussed the history of the neighborhood and the fruition of his dream to develop the area. Lombardi Properties, a close-knit family company, has developed and renovated many buildings in the neighborhood and has greatly encouraged the arrival of retail and artistic showrooms throughout the area.



The Real Estate Club explored the unique neighborhood and enjoyed viewing the celebrated mural art. The group gathered with alumni at the Welcome Event, hosted by the WREAA, at Wynwood Kitchen, just next to the famous Wynwood Walls. Over delicious Spanish food and refreshments, students conversed with numerous alumni about their impressions of Miami and their experience so far.


By 9 am Friday morning, the group headed to the new Four Seasons Surfside development, ready for the second and final day in Miami. Michael Conaghan (MS, 1991) Chief Operating Officer of Fort Partners, the developer of the Surfside project, gave students a tour of the entire property.  The development is comprised of a mixture of residential condos and hotel, built around the historic Surf Club but under the Four Seasons name. Michael described the timeline of the project and how the deal came together with Fort Partners. As an alumnus of the program, he provided students with advice about the professional world and how to utilize Wisconsin’s network connections. He says the most important thing to remember about any project or deal within the industry is to: “Be Nice.”


Alumni Jared Brunnabend (BBA 1999) and Felipe Izquierdo (MBA 2008) met the Club for lunch at their next stop, the famous Versailles Restaurant. Over discussion with alumni and fantastic Cuban cuisine, students got another taste of Miami. Most of the Club members agreed that this was their favorite meal, and they truly enjoyed and appreciated meeting with the two alumni again.


The Real Estate Club then moved to their final activity on the itinerary—exploring residential real estate in Miami by boat! Students enjoyed some of the Florida sun and the views of multi-million-dollar mansions located on the Venetian Islands, or Millionaire’s Row. After learning about office, retail, multi-family, industrial, and hotel aspects of the Miami market, this was a great look into the residential aspect of downtown Miami.


Thank you to all involved for their time and commitments in helping to make this an incredible trip. We would especially like to thank alums Jared Brunnabend (BBA, 1999) and Felipe Izquierdo (MBA, 2008) for taking the time to attend nearly all the events and for their help in organizing this memorable trip to Miami!

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Getting to Know Real Estate Department Chair, Timothy Riddiough: Exploring Academics, World Travels, and His Interests Outside of Real Estate

Posted By Maria-Elena Svigos, Blue Vista Capital Management, Monday, April 8, 2019


James A. Graaskamp Chair and Real Estate and Urban Land Economics Department Chair, Dr. Timothy Riddiough, has been involved in the Real Estate Program at Wisconsin for over 40 years. He started at UW-Madison as an undergraduate student in 1976, and later earned his Ph.D. from UW-Madison in 1991. He was a tenured professor at MIT before returning to Madison in 2001 as a faculty member and has been on campus since.


As Head of the Department, Tim represents the Graaskamp Program with presentations and speeches at conferences all over the country and the world. He is best known for his work on credit risk in mortgage lending, mortgage securitization, real options, REIT investment and corporate finance, and land use regulation. Tim is also a past recipient of the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association Best Dissertation and Best Paper Awards and is a fellow at the Homer Hoyt Institute for Advanced Studies and the Real Estate Research Institute.


He is actively involved on campus, teaching various graduate-level courses since 2001 and an undergraduate-level Real Estate Finance class last semester. He serves as a mentor and a resource on campus and keeps an open office door for undergraduate and graduate students alike.


In this interview, Social Media Intern Maria-Elena Svigos asked Tim a wide range of questions about academics, his world travels and his interests outside of real estate. Read on to learn more about Tim Riddiough!


What are you currently researching and what is the most significant discovery you’ve made from it?


The use of leverage in private equity investment. It looks like many LPs are reaching for yield and using leverage to do so. It might end badly for some or many taxpayers.


Upcoming real estate trends that you are excited about:

How technology, demographics and increasing income inequality will affect city form.


“I knew I wanted to be a business school professor when…”

I couldn’t hold a job in the private sector.


What is your most memorable moment as a professor?

Announcing the naming of the Graaskamp Center as a result of tremendous fundraising efforts of our alums and associated stakeholders.


“If I weren’t a business school professor or head of the Real Estate department, I would be…”

A shoe salesman. I worked my way through college selling shoes, and it’s always been my backup plan.


“If students _______, then I have done my job as a professor.”

can walk the walk and talk the talk by the time they graduate


Favorite country you have ever visited:

New Zealand. Been there five or six times now, and always want to go back.


Other languages you speak:

Pigeon English, sometimes gibberish.


Favorite place to vacation:

On a cruise ship, going just about anywhere. I thought I would hate it when I first tried it out, but it’s the only kind of vacation where I can totally relax – don’t have to worry about a thing. And the experience has this rootless American quality that I find attractive.


You’ve traveled the country (and the world) extensively. Please name the best city for each of these categories. City with the…


Best food?  Paris, with Hong Kong a close second. If Italy were a city, it would probably place first.


Most unique culture?  Cambodia, wonderful humble people.

Friendliest people? Children in Ho Chi Minh city, a little too friendly (hang onto your wallet).


Best public transportation system? Hong Kong

Best museums? Paris, hands down.


Most interesting architecture? Siem Reap, Cambodia. Amazing temples with these even more amazing trees growing in and around them.


Coldest weather? Stockholm


Coolest skyline? That’s easy, Hong Kong.

Best real estate students! That’s also easy, Madison!


What are your hobbies? I spend way more time on wine collecting and wine drinking than I should.


What are you currently reading? “The War on Alcohol.” It’s about prohibition in the US in the 1920s. There are fascinating parallels between that period and the period we are currently living in.


Favorite type of music and favorite artist: Country and Western, Johnny Cash.


What are your short-term goals for the year? Try not to screw up as department chair.


If everything went as planned, in 10 years, what would your day look like?


Sleep till 9, spend part of the day working on the book I’ve always wanted to write, have a good lunch out with my wife, stop over to see my grandchildren (at their place, not mine), cook dinner and have a good bottle of wine, watch a good hockey game. Alternatively, if I have any money left, travel and sightsee.

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