Student Class Trip to Europe May 30-June 5, 2005
In the spring of 2005, CRE Chairman Tony Ciochetti led a group of students to visit European real estate. The trip, which was a "prototype" for a course that will be offered in the future during MIT's winter Independent Activities Period (IAP), included a tour of various projects in London, meetings with real estate students in Cambridge, England, and visits to projects and firms in Frankfurt and Berlin, Germany. The complete itinerary, accompanied by many photos and summaries of selected events, provided by Sean Sacks, MSRED 2005, appears below.
Day 1: London - Monday May 30 (public holiday)
- Morning: Canary Wharf Tour.
- Afternoon: River tour down Thames from Greenwich to Westminster.
Day 2: London - Tuesday May 31
- Morning: King Sturge: UK and European market overview.
- Lunch: Richard Rogers Partnership: Thames River Masterplan and London Urban Task Force.
- Afternoon: Stanhope: Chiswick Park site visit and Stanhope development overview.
- Evening: RICS Social: Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and local alumni.
Day 3: Wed June 1
- Morning - London: Argent Group: King's Cross site visit and Argent development overview
- Afternoon - Cambridge: Lion Yard Redevelopment Project: Academic Session with Cambridge students.
- Evening: Social with Cambridge students.
Day 4: Frankfurt - Thursday June 2
- Afternoon: Jones Lang La Salle: Main Triangle. Speaker: Dipl.-Ing. H. Muth, CEO.
- Evening: Albert Speer & Partner: Projects. Speaker: Prof. A. Speer, CEO.
Day 5: Frankfurt - Friday June 3
- Morning: Tishman Speyer: Airport Center. Speaker: Dipl.-Ing. S. H. Brendgen, CEO.
- Afternoon: MAB: FrankfurtHochVier Presentation. Visit Construction Site. Speaker: Dipl.-Ing. H. Hagge, CEO.
- Evening: Max Baum Immobilien: Urban Renewal Project. Visit Waterfront Housing (PPPartnership). Speaker: Dipl.-Ing. M. Baum, CEO. SEB Open Ended Fund: Presentation. Speaker: Dipl.-Ing. B. Knoflach, CEO.
Day 6: Berlin - Saturday June 4
- Afternoon: Hines: Alexanderplatz, DZ Bank. Speaker: Dipl.-Ing. Schmuelling, Project Manager. Sony: Sony Center Potsdamer Platz. Speaker: Mr. Falk, General Manager DTZ Zadelhoff Tie Leung GmbH
- Evening: JLLS: Beisheim Center. Speaker: Dipl.-Ing. Weiss, Project Manager.
On June 1, Argent Group's Chief Executive Roger Madelin spoke with the MIT/CRE students about his experience with King's Cross Central, 58.5 acres ready for re-development in 2007 in Central London, adjacent to the multi-nodal King's Cross Station (6 tube lines, commuter rail, and Chunnel stop). Upon completion, King's Cross Central will encompass 7.5 to 8 million square feet of new development.
King's Cross, the largest piece of contiguous land in Central London represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity; perhaps fittingly, the public approval process has already taken more than four years. Argent has focused on "principles for a human city" and the multitude of public amenities that the project will bring to London and the surrounding neighborhood. The King's Cross Central project also leverages the concept of clusters by using carefully designed areas of retail and restaurants, residential, and a new 4.5 million square foot office concentration. All are knitted together through a series of public squares and walkable streets. Argent is fortunate to be financed through the British Telecom Pension Scheme, which provides very patient capital and very large amounts of financing for the project.
The key points of the development are:
- High density, mixed use development
- Refurbishment, investment and new uses (93,000 sq.m.) for 20 historic buildings and structures
- Around 50 new buildings
- A cluster of business/employment uses with critical mass
- Space for the full range of â€œCentral Londonâ€? businesses, perhaps 250 in total
- Retail, leisure, cultural and community uses
- Up to 30,000 jobs overall
- At least 1,800 new homes (3,800+ residents)
- 20 new public streets/routes and 10 new major public spaces, totalling 37% of the site area
- 3 new bridges over the Regent's Canal
All in all, the King's Cross session was an incredible opportunity to learn about both large-scale mixed-use development oriented around transit and the intricacies of the public process for projects of this complexity and impact.
On June 2, Albert Speer spoke with the MIT/CRE students about his firm's work in Germany and abroad. Albert Speer & Partner GmbH is an independent team of architects and planners with over 40 years of professional experience. The firm offers comprehensive service for a wide range of activities associated with regional, urban, and environmental development: master planning, traffic/transportation planning, urban design, architectural planning, project management, and construction supervision.
In Germany, AS&P in recent years has designed and completed the Victoria Tower in Mannheim and the award-winning Oval at the Baseler Platz. Increasingly, more and more work has been coming in from China and the Middle East. In China, AS&P has been very involved with Shanghai's International Automobile City, which encompasses "one city and nine towns." An area of over 142 hectares, local officials were particularly attracted by German design-oriented planning and detail. Green building and 48% energy efficiency are also significant components of the work in Shanghai.
For real estate students, the Albert Speer and Partners session presented interesting alternatives for commercial office design compared with the United States, and underscored just how important China and the Middle East will be as growth areas in new real estate development during the next decade.
SEB is a family of German open-ended funds invested primarily in Class A office products all across the EU, Asia, and the US. Different funds target different returns depending on the fund manager and fund profile. SEB was extremely generous in hosting the MIT/CRE students for a summary presentation about the funds managed by the firm, as well as a discussion about the entire German open-fund sector, all held in the beautiful setting of a historic Frankfurt mansion. The presentation was paired with a dinner deserving four Michelin stars, a guarantee that the evening will be remembered for a long time.