real estate – Opus Magnum - Page 2
Browsing Category

real estate

Newsroom, OCB Alumni, real estate

A Day in the Life of UST Alumnus Grant Campbell of Welsh Property Trust

This post was written by Dan Jackson, MBA ’12 for our blog, Real Estate Matters. Dan completed many of his electives in real estate including participation in the spring 2012 REAL 714 International Real Estate Development course in the Cayman Islands.

Class of 2006 UST real estate alumnus, Grant Campbell, loves what he does, ”I enjoy the fact that every day is different. Every investment opportunity, every asset, every lease is different.  In this job, you need to be able to find ways to maximize value for both the company and our shareholders, and also for the tenants we work with.  This essentially involves figuring out what the key objectives are for those involved in a particular transaction  and finding the best way to meet those objectives for all parties involved, whether they be sellers, buyers, lenders or portfolio tenants,” states Campbell.

As Associate, Investments, for Welsh Property TrustGrant Campbell works as part of a team to source, underwrite, execute, manage and dispose of real estate investments.  He has been in the role for a year and half, but has been with the company overall for close to 6 years.  Campbell started out as a Financial Analyst in 2006, just prior to his graduation from St. Thomas.  In this position he underwrote potential acquisitions for the company.  Continue Reading

Career Services, Newsroom, real estate

UST Real Estate Analysis Reveals Story Behind Improving Market Numbers

Prices and sales volume continue to increase while the number of homes for sale is at a historically low level; these are signs that the market is taking steps in the right direction, according to the Residential Real Estate Price Report Index, a monthly analysis of the 13-county Twin Cities area prepared by the Shenehon Center for Real Estate at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business.

According to Herb Tousley, director of real estate programs at St. Thomas, today’s inventory levels are the lowest recorded for the month of May in the last seven years and about half of the housing supply that was available in May 2007 and May 2008.

In most years, traditional property new listings typically increase in the spring, so why is this not happening now? Tousley notes several reasons, Continue Reading

Centers, Faculty, Newsroom, real estate

St. Thomas real estate analysis: lower-priced homes are ‘flying off the shelves’ right now

April’s active market for single-family homes priced under $14o,000 is one of several positive signs for the Twin Cities’ real estate market.

While it’s not a term often used to describe the housing market, a University of St. Thomas real estate professor observed that “the market for single-family homes priced under $140,000 has become quite active. They are flying off the shelves right now,” said Herb Tousley, director of real estate programs at the university.

The finding was one of several signs of a healthier housing market that were outlined in the UST Residential Real Estate Index, a monthly analysis of the 13-county Twin Cities area prepared by the Shenehon Center for Real Estate at St. Thomas’ Opus College of Business.

Tousley said that new listings for the lower-priced homes are coming onto the market at a rate of about 1,100 per month and they are being sold at a rate of about 900 t0 1,000 per month.

“The number of homes on the market in this price range has steadily been declining since the beginning of the year,” he said. “Although many of these homes are foreclosures and short sales, there are several types of buyers, including first-time homeowners and investors, who are purchasing these properties at a fast clip.” Continue Reading

Faculty, Newsroom, real estate

Real Estate Development and CBAs – 5 Questions for Prof. Musil

Tom Musil

Thomas A. Musil, D.P.A., assistant professor in the finance department recently presented his research on Regulation of Real Estate Development Through the Use of Community Benefit Agreements. Here then are five questions with Prof. Musil:

Q. What are Community Benefit Agreements?

A.  CBAs establish a process for real estate developers to include community objectives as part of the development. The developer enters into a private contract, usually with a coalition of community, faith based and/or special interest groups in exchange for their support, cooperation or forbearance regarding the proposed development. The community group typically gets the developer to agree to include any of several components in the project or in the development process. This includes things like local hiring, hiring from under-represented groups, creation of minority owned businesses, and paying for support of the community coalition. In fact, in some cases the community coalition has an approval process and monitors the development activity and final management of the development.

Q. What are you hoping to accomplish with your research?

A. Very little is known about CBAs. There is scant evidence of how these agreements produce outcomes and enhance the project and/or the community. In my research, I specifically looked at 28 of the 50 projects nationally where CBAs have been used in the development process. I reviewed at each of these projects in terms of their impact on environmental justice – the fair treatment and inclusion of all people regardless of their race, color, gender, national origin or income. Of the CBAs reviewed, 28% involved hiring in the agreement, 57% required communication between developer and community, 53% contained requirements in terms of minimum wage or living wage jobs and 53% related to contracting with certain groups such as those who are local or typically harder to employ. Continue Reading

Local business, Newsroom, real estate

CBRE’s Service Strategy and Local Market Insights

Whit Peyton, Managing Director CBRE

Last week at UST’s Executive Insight Series, Senior Managing Director of CBRE, Whit Peyton, shared how CBRE has competitively structured services in the new marketplace and communicated local market insights.

With 30,000 employees worldwide, CBRE is a Fortune 500 firm and a global leader in commercial real estate. Through its global presence, the company has an intimate knowledge of virtually every major real estate market in the world.  In his role, Peyton is responsible for managing the CBRE’s Minnesota operations, which are staffed by over 580 real estate professionals.  His management duties include oversight of new business development, client relations, and related services.

In his presentation, Peyton reported impressive 2011 transactional figures. His offices completed just under 1,000 deals in 2011, with 1.56 billion in total consideration.   Peyton explained to competitively compete in today’s marketplace, their organization has worked to differentiate itself through delivering more integrated and vertical services to their clients.  Locally, their offices’ suite of services includes over a dozen areas of expertise, from asset management to project management to niche services (such as golf course services).  Through offering an array of real estate service offerings (pictured below), CBRE works to  position their clients’ investment properties to obtain maximum value while offering solutions “from main street to wall street”.

Read the rest of this post on our Real Estate Matters blog »

Ethics, Newsroom, OCB Commentary, real estate

A way for Commerce to Benefit Clients, Professionals and Society

Back in December Christopher Michaelson, Ph.D., assistant professor of Ethics and Business Law at the University of St. Thomas, Opus College of Business posted a commentary here on Opus Magnum, “‘Tis Better to Give than to Give Back.” This post sparked a conversation between Michaelson and Michael A. Pink, Chairman and Executive Director of Investing In Communities, a nonprofit social enterprise that enables individuals and businesses to fund nonprofits for free through brokered real estate transactions. Below are excerpts from that conversation – we encourage you to chime in with your thoughts in the comments.

Michaelson’s basic argument:

The very phrase, “giving back” implies a degree of culpability for having taken away, in contrast to simply “giving,” which one can do selflessly, without transactional motivation… None of this is to discourage or embarrass those who give back, which is a far better thing to do than to do nothing at all… this culture of giving back only partially remedies market imperfections and luck that allocate excessive rewards to be given back by a relatively small class of superstar executives and entertainers and superpower corporations and countries. Perhaps the greatest gift that the fortunate few and tomorrow’s entrepreneurs can offer to improve our shared future is social enterprise that – by inventing and promulgating products and services that make the world better – generates a surplus of well-being rather than a surplus that has subsequently to be given back.

Pink: The model we are building, which we call Investing In Communities, occurs outside the typical context of social enterprise and is independent of personal wealth. I would like to know where you think we are located on the continuum. It links a market “inefficiency” in the practice of real estate with the passion of those who support an organization. It’s a way for commerce itself, as it occurs, to benefit the client, the professional, and society. By facilitating the acquisition of business opportunity at below typical business development costs, a fraction of the “surplus profit” is made available to fund philanthropy. As the model scales, it will prove fundamentally sustainable, being self-propelled by two things that will never go out of fashion – profit motive and compassion. As we are able, we’ll work to expand this model beyond real estate, into the rest of commercial/consumer life. Continue Reading

Centers, Newsroom, real estate

Twin Cities’ home prices drop 10.25 percent during 2011

The median price of a Twin Cities traditional-sale home (not a short sale or foreclosure) dropped 10.25 percent during 2011, according to an analysis released today by the Shenehon Center for Real Estate at the University of St. Thomas’ Opus College of Business.

The St. Thomas Residential Real Estate Price Report Index tracks the median prices for traditional home sales, short sales (homes sold for a price less than the outstanding mortgage balance), and sales where the home’s mortgage has been foreclosed.

According to the latest report, the median price of a traditional-sale home in the 13-county Twin Cities market decreased from $212,250 to $190,500 during 2011, for a loss of $21,750.
A chart that accompanies this month’s index shows that in January 2005 (a month near the apex of the residential housing bubble) the median price of a traditional-sale home in the Twin Cities was $232,500. By December 2011 – a span of seven years – that median price dropped $42,000, or 18.06 percent. Continue Reading

Newsroom, real estate

Downs: Americans must be more Realistic for Economic Recovery

This post, from the Real Estate Matters Blog, is by Caryn Brooks, a student in the Master of Science in Real Estate program at the University of St. Thomas.


Real estate industry leaders gathered at UST on October 26, 2011 for the Hall of Fame induction ceremony and to hear Tony Downs, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. The next time you are on campus, stop by the new interactive kiosk on the skyway level in Schulze Hall. This high-tech display showcases the unique stories of each Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame member. Learn how local industry leaders shaped our modern real estate landscape.

Tony Downs’ reputation precedes him. Having authored An Economic Theory of Democracy at age 27, 23 books and over 500 articles, and being an active economist at the Brookings Institution since 1977, he has seen the rise and fall of the US economy many times over. At the 2011 Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame induction ceremony, the University of St. Thomas presented Downs with a Certificate of Professional Distinction. Downs presented the audience with an assortment of colorful jokes and a foreboding economic forecast.

Downs projects another 3-5 years of depressed economic conditions, due to the myriad of issues that he believes stem from Americans’ unwillingness to accept the reality of the economic situation, to make sacrifices, and to encourage realistic solutions from politicians. Continue Reading

Environment, Newsroom, real estate

Sustainable by design

This post by Kate Metzger comes from The Bulletin and is a great example of what UST is doing to become a more environmentally sustainable campus.

Anderson Student Center

The Anderson Student Center will open in January 2012 with a goal of becoming a LEED-certified silver building.

In 2008, Father Dennis Dease signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment along with hundreds of college and university presidents from across the country; and in doing so made a public declaration of the University of St. Thomas’ commitment to reducing its impact on the environment.

The Anderson Student Center will be a reflection of that commitment. As the ASC inches closer to its January 2012 opening, many efforts have gone into its design and construction to help ensure the environmental sustainability of the facility.

There are a number of rating systems that measure the sustainability of buildings. According to Dan Young Dixon, Opus’ lead architect for the ASC, the building will be assessed by the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED — Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design — certification system.

“The LEED certification that we are pursuing in the ASC is an important statement that reflects the care we have for our environment and for future generations,” said Mary Ann Ryan, St. Thomas executive director of campus life. “There has been a subcommittee working on the LEED certification in the ASC consisting of student affairs, dining services, physical plant and, of course, Opus representation.”

Continue Reading

leadership, Local business, Newsroom, real estate

Student Profile: Dustin Sayre, Project Development Specialist

DustinA specialist in the development of senior housing communities with Senior Housing Partners, a division of Presbyterian Homes, Dustin is on his way to completing the MSRE degree this December and continuing to excel in the development business.

What is your education and professional experience?

After I graduated from Northwestern College, I began a housing development internship at Presbyterian Homes.  During the one year internship, I was able to shadow the development process, which was very helpful since I didn’t have prior experience in real estate except for working as part of a construction crew.  Assisting with tasks like coordinating neighborhood meetings really gave me an understanding of the many facets of building a new community.  Once I completed the internship, Presbyterian Homes hired me on full-time and I have been working there for five years now.

Continue Reading