Professional Development Courses Launched
New for the summer of 2006, the MIT Center for Real Estate has introduced three professional development courses. These new offerings — Advanced Real Estate Development, Brownfields Redevelopment, and Entrepreneurship in the Real Estate Industry — complement the growing list of courses we make available to industry practitioners.
The three new classes were created in direct response to feedback from the real estate community. In January 2006, the Center sent surveys to 10,000 MIT/CRE students, graduates, industry partners, and prospective applicants, inviting suggestions for continuing education topics that would have the greatest interest and value. The resulting courses are geared toward active professionals who want a deeper understanding of their own field or the opportunity to explore topics outside their specialty.
Advanced Real Estate Development
This course analyzes the real estate development process primarily from the perspective of the equity participant, exploring the development of projects with inherently greater complexity or scope. Topics include the role of infrastructure in development, entitlement processes, and management of the development process. Real-world examples drawn from case studies and guest speakers illustrate how top developers handle these and other issues.
The first day of the two-day course will focus on complexity and infrastructure in the context of local and regional development projects, and will include a site tour of a nearby development. The second day will concentrate on uncertainty and risk management in the context of national and international projects. Course participants are assumed to have a fundamental understanding of real estate development and finance.
The course is taught by Tony Ciochetti, the Thomas G. Eastman Chair and Chairman of MIT/CRE, and also a Visiting Professor in the Department of Land Economy at Cambridge University in England. Dr. Ciochetti's research interests include commercial mortgage credit risk and the role of real estate within pension plan portfolios. His work has appeared in numerous leading scholarly journals. He is currently the President of the Real Estate Research Institute, and he serves on the Board of Directors of Real Estate Economics. Before beginning his academic career, Dr. Ciochetti spent 12 years working in the private sector in the areas of commercial real estate development and consulting. He holds a B.A. in Finance from the University of Oregon, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Real Estate and Urban Land Economics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
For over a decade, brownfields – environmentally contaminated properties – have generated new market, investment, and development opportunities, spawned new financing, technology and insurance products, catalyzed a host of environmental and economic policy initiatives, and created complex transactional, vertical development, and property management issues. This course examines the multi-disciplinary dimensions of the development of brownfields from the perspective of the developer.
Students will explore the opportunities and constraints of brownfields re-use, including the incentives and barriers posed by recent laws, technologies, and products. Guest lecturers from two of the industry's largest brownfields redevelopment firms, Cherokee Investment Partners and AIG Environmental, will outline the issues of economic viability, investment opportunity, and risk management that accompany development of single-asset or multi-asset portfolios. The course is designed for those with a basic understanding of real estate or environmental issues, but who have little or no experience with environmentally contaminated properties.
The course is taught by Cynthia N. Brooks, founder and president of the Greenfield Environmental Trust Group, which specializes in brownfields redevelopment. Having redeveloped contaminated properties for sixteen years, Ms. Brooks is widely regarded as one of the nation's earliest pioneers and leading experts in brownfields transactions, value creation, and reuse implementation. Her award-winning work has catalyzed such innovative federal programs as the EPA's Superfund Redevelopment Initiative and the Department of Defense's task force to accelerate the clean-up and transfer of decommissioned military bases under the Base Realignment and Closure Act. Ms. Brooks graduated summa cum laude with a B.S.E. in Civil Engineering from Duke University, and she earned her M.B.A. with honors from the Harvard Business School.
Entrepreneurship in the Real Estate Industry
This course considers the principles of entrepreneurship in the context of the real estate profession with emphasis on practical application. Using lectures, class projects, case studies, and guest entrepreneurs, the course explores new ventures in terms of critical success factors, sales and marketing, the “elevator pitch” as a barometer of success, business planning, financing, corporate governance, and legal issues. Topics include strategies for maintaining sustainable competitive advantage, managing entrepreneurial human resources, and guiding the evolution of the new enterprise. The course is designed for real estate professionals with or without entrepreneurial experience.
The course is taught by Bill Aulet, Senior Lecturer and Entrepreneur in Residence at the MIT Entrepreneurship Center. A successful entrepreneur, Mr. Aulet has over 25 years of experience in high technology business operations and financing, and has raised over $90 million in funding. Mr. Aulet began his post-college career by playing professional basketball for a year in Europe. He then joined IBM for 11 years in a variety of technical, sales, marketing, staff, and financial positions, and as CFO for the New England sales and service region, he was responsible for over $700M in annual revenue. He completed his work at IBM to run two private companies and to lead one of the most significant recent turnarounds in New England as CFO for Viisage Technology. Mr. Aulet graduated with honors from Harvard University with an S.B. in Engineering, and earned his Master's in Management Science from the MIT Sloan School.