The UST Opus College of Business Master’s in Real Estate program welcomes the new class to the 2012-2013 academic year! Take a look at a brief snapshot of the students in this year’s class.
NAME: Eric Thiewes
I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Housing Studies and a minor in Construction Management from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. I have eight years of construction, housing development, and housing finance experience. Currently, I work at Minnesota Housing Finance Agency as a Senior Housing Development Officer in the Single Family Community Development Division. I work with developers and city administrators helping them develop and finance housing programs such as owner occupied rehabilitation projects. I also help finance developers that acquire, rehab and sell affordable single family homes and build new construction homes throughout Minnesota.
Why did you choose the MSRE program at UST?
I choose the MSRE because I wanted to further my educational background in real estate focusing my studies on commercial real estate and multifamily housing developments. This is really the only Master’s program here in the Twin Cities that specializes in real estate finance.
What are your future career goals?
I would like to continue down a path of housing finance but would like to explore career possibilities in commercial real estate finance.
What do you enjoy most about the real estate industry?
The real estate industry is always changing. There is always a need for commercial buildings, market rate and affordable housing, or redevelopment of existing buildings or vacant land. The real estate industry is a constant challenge, from locating the best development site, financing the deal, handling legal issues, market demand, or dealing with the changes in the economy. I enjoy problem solving and learn through new unexpected situations.
What is your favorite non-real estate pastime and why?
I enjoy training and competing in triathlons in my free time. I enjoy the variety of training disciplines rather than becoming really good at one event.
What is your favorite local development and why?
My favorite development that I have worked on as the developer and now the lender/finance agency is Eco-Village in the Hawthorne Neighborhood of North Minneapolis. This four block cluster is south of Lowry Avenue, east of Lyndale Avenue and historically has been known as the Minneapolis neighborhood with the most crime and most foreclosed and vacant properties, largely due to predatory lending. Local non-profits, city leaders, state and federal resources came to rescue this neighborhood in disrepair. These partnerships have revitalized the neighborhood by acquiring foreclosed and vacant properties in this neighborhood and rehabbing the homes with energy efficiency upgrades such as solar water heaters, energy efficient appliances, HVAC, windows and doors. They have also built two LEED Silver certified homes and plan to build a passive solar house in the near future. The residents enjoy working in the community garden, demonstration garden, and tree garden where residents of the neighborhood learn gardening techniques, eat home grown food, and participate in a yearly tree distribution and planting for the neighborhood residents. The residents of the neighborhood have seen a large reduction in crime, decline in dilapidated homes, and feel safe and proud that they invested their time and energy to make their neighborhood vibrant again.