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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

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

Centers, Newsroom, real estate

New Twin Cities real estate index tracks gulf between traditional and distressed home sales

By: University of St. Thomas News Service

How much is my home worth? Twin Cities homeowners asking that question might find some encouraging news in a new residential real estate index that for the first time separates traditional, normal home sales from foreclosure and other distressed sales.

The Shenehon Center for Real Estate at the University of St. Thomas’ Opus College of Business today released its first Minneapolis St. Paul Residential Real Estate Index. The monthly index uses nine data elements to measure the strength and health of the residential housing market in the 13-county metro market.

Herb Tousley

The St. Thomas index was developed to provide a more detailed analysis of the Twin Cities residential real estate market than is available from the Standard and Poor’s Case-Shiller Home Price Index.

The widely used Case-Shiller index uses data from repeat sales of single-family homes. It does not distinguish, however between a traditional, normal market sale and a distressed sale. Traditional sales are those unaffected by foreclosure or the threat of foreclosure.

“The St. Thomas index is the first of its kind that we are aware of,” said Herb Tousley, director of real estate programs at St. Thomas. “In recent years we knew that the price had dropped for traditional, undistressed home sales, but we also felt that traditional-sale prices had not dropped as sharply as the Case-Shiller Index would seem to indicate.

Continue Reading

Centers, Local business, Newsroom, real estate, social media

Ask the Real Estate Expert!

This post is being cross posted from Real Estate Matters, another UST Business blog.

Do you have questions about the Twin Cities commercial real estate market, valuation of commercial property, real estate finance, development, property management, education and careers in real estate, or other industry topics?

Whether you’re a student, novice, or a seasoned industry professional, our expert is here to help!  Send us your real estate questions, no matter how simple or complex, and faculty from the Master of Science in Real Estate Program will respond to your questions weekly on the Real Estate Matters Blog and via Twitter @USTRealEstate.

Visit Real Estate Matters to submit a question.

leadership, Local business, Newsroom

What does it mean to be a leader?

Management and leadership gurus like Michael Porter, Marcus Buckingham, Robert Reich, Steven Covey and Peter Drucker all give a slightly different answer to the question “what does it mean to be a leader?” Rather than writing a long blog post dissecting each of their answers, I wanted to share examples of real leaders here in Minnesota.

Opus Corporation projects, such as the Minneapolis campus of the University of St. Thomas, Mariucci Arean at the University of Minnesota and corporate headquarters for Best Buy, Medtronic and Toro, all stem from Gerald Rauenhorst’s strong leadership. He continues to serve the Minnesota real estate community as a role model, leader and philanthropist.

At UST, we hold several events to honor leaders in the local, regional, and national business community who in one way or another have made a difference. One of these events is the Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame. Rauenhorst was inducted with five other leaders in 2010.

Continue Reading

FTMBA, Local business, Newsroom

The Little Idea That Could: The untold story about the development of Target Field

As today is the Twins‘ Home Opener we thought it appropriate to repost a feature from UST’s Real Estate Matters Blog on the untold story about the development of Target Field, written by Full-time UST MBA student Noah Freed.

Target Field

Target Field - Home of the Minnesota Twins

Attendees at February’s bi-monthly Real Estate Executive Insight Series were lucky enough to hear an insider account detailing one of the largest development projects in the recent history of the Twin Cities. However, the story of Bruce Lambrecht & Dave Albersman and their little idea to save Minnesota baseball was more than a recount of a development project-it is a uniquely American tale-one filled with tragedy, triumph, the encouragement that anyone who works hard enough can succeed, and of course baseball. Although this story ends in condemnation, after an 18 month battle over eminent domain, neither Lambrecht or Albersman make any apologies or seem to have any regrets, and, rightfully so, after hearing their recount of events.

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Entrepreneurship, EveningMBA, leadership, Newsroom

Spearheading a real estate development project AND being a student

Annalisa1Master of Science in Real Estate (MSRE) student Annalisa Cariveau grew up an only child in Mound, MN. Annalisa’s parents own and manage their own IT and communications company, her aunts started photography and graphic design businesses, her uncle created an international semiconductor test company in his basement, and the list goes on. Entrepreneurship seems to be in the Cariveau family’s blood.

When it came time for college, Annalisa sought warm weather and beaches, and chose the University of Miami. There she obtained a BS in Marketing with minors in Spanish, Sports Medicine, and Advertising. When asked why she obtained so many minors, she explained that she had so many interests!

During the final year of Annalisa’s studies at “the U,” she entered a campus-wide Business Plan Competition. During this contest, she developed extensive plans for a 150 million dollar luxury marine resort catered to powerboats. Continue Reading

Centers, Local business, Newsroom

St. Thomas creates Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame

Real-Estate-Supply-and-DemandAs chronicled in detail by a wide variety of news media, the real estate industry has suffered through a difficult period in recent years.  However, there are many examples of successful real estate professionals in the local area who have led innovative projects and maintained high ethical standards despite the challenges inherent in real estate.  Last week  The Shenehon Center for Real Estate announced the creation of the Minnesota Real Estate Hall of Fame to honor those leaders who have made substantial contributions to the local community. Continue Reading

Local business, Newsroom

Twin Cities Industrial Market Still Sluggish

Cross posted from UST’s Real Estate Matters blog, offering views and views about the world of real estate.

UST's downtown Minneapolis campusHere is a recent article by Burl Gilyard, a staff writer for Finance and Commerce, regarding the Industrial Property Market here in the Twin Cities. While the news is not great it does show some movement in a better direction.

The good news about the industrial real estate market in the Twin Cities? It’s not quite as bad as last year.

The overall Twin Cities industrial market posted negative absorption of 705,000 square feet over the last year, according to the annual survey by the Minnesota chapter of NAIOP. While the market is still losing ground, it’s a better showing than the negative absorption of 1.7 million square feet posted last year.

But it’s a stark change from the reporting periods of 2006-2008, Continue Reading

Centers, Local business, Newsroom

New Survey: Twin Cities Commercial Real Estate Market Showing Signs of Recovery

UST_MN_Commercial_Real_Estate_Su_Page_1The commercial real estate market in the Twin Cities is beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel, according to the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business’ first “Minnesota Commercial Real Estate Survey” released today.

The inaugural survey is designed to be a forecasting tool for the outlook on commercial real estate in the Twin Cities. Top decision-makers provide information about choices being made today which will affect economic events in the future, including vacancy rates, rental rate growth, development costs and new project financing. The research is conducted by Herb Tousley, director of real estate programs at St. Thomas, and Dr. Thomas Hamilton, associate professor of real estate. Continue Reading