MSRE – Real Estate Matters
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Uncategorized, UST Student Profile

Student Profile: Tim Lawrence, Site Selection Specialist & Retail Real Estate Broker

TimLawrenceWith expertise in geography and location analysis, Tim Lawrence helps retailers and developers find the perfect site.  Now, Tim is expanding upon his real estate knowledge in the MSRE program.

What is your educational background and professional experience?

I majored in Geography and English at the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire.  Because of my interest in Location Analysis, one of my professors recommended a master’s program at UNC-Charlotte.  I completed the MA in Geography at UNC-Charlotte, a program focused on Location Analysis, particularly retail location.

I became interested in under-served retail markets, particularly inner-city retail potential.  While in that program, I was hired to complete research projects for two wonderful companies that were on the brink of rapid expansion into under-served markets.  At Supervalu, I built a sales forecasting tool for potential new Save-A-Lot store locations.  Supervalu was one of the first retail chains to conduct detailed market analysis studies decades before I had the opportunity to work for the same department.

After that, at Family Dollar, I interned with the real estate department.  I conducted a customer-spotting project to determine trade area parameters.  Using this information, we were able to create a model to use for evaluating prospective sites.  Family Dollar soon hired me as a Real Estate Manager, a position I held for six years, both in Charlotte and the Twin Cities.  I found this to be an excellent opportunity to gain retail real estate experience and exposure to dozens of retail markets throughout the country to complement my background in retail market planning and analysis.

Currently, I operate my own commercial real estate brokerage, Terrager Corporation, with a focus on location consulting for developers and retailers.

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Executive Insight Series

David Marquis, Director of Corporate Real Estate for Target, to Speak at UST on October 18th

Corporations view real estate from a unique perspective. Learn how Target has handled their retail and corporate real estate from David Marquis, Director of Corporate Real Estate for Target Corporation.

targetDavid Marquis leads a real estate team responsible for delivering retail and non-retail facilities to support Target’s growth. Marquis joined Target’s real estate department as a development manager in 1992. He was promoted to real estate manager in 1995 and regional real estate manager in 1998. He has held his current position since 1999.  Marquis serves on the Board of Directors for BOMA. He also serves on the Transportation and Transit subcommittee for the Minneapolis Downtown 2025 Plan and is a member of International Council of Shopping Centers and CoreNet. Marquis graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Minnesota.

UST’s Executive Insight Series events are free and the public is welcome but please register here.  Also, don’t forget to register for the 2011 Real Estate Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.  The registration deadline is October 14th.

Uncategorized, UST Student Profile

Student Profile: Caryn Brooks, Multifamily Housing Professional

What is your educational background and professional experience?

CarynBrooksI graduated from the University of North Carolina with a degree in psychology and began my career in real estate as an Assistant Property Manager at an apartment community in Chapel Hill, NC.  About 8 months later I was promoted to Property Manager of a community in Raleigh and then decided to pursue opportunities with national apartment management companies.  In 2004, I signed on with Oakwood Worldwide and moved to Minneapolis to manage LaSalle Apartments.  A few months into the position, Oakwood announced the sale of its entire portfolio to a REIT, Archstone-Smith.  Archstone sold off its Midwest properties and in 2006, TE Miller Development, a local family-owned apartment management company acquired the property.  TE Miller had recently purchased 3 other properties and was in need of someone with on-site experience to supervise its portfolio of 1,100 units, so I stepped into the role of Regional Property Manager.

Overseeing a variety of different communities was an incredible learning experience.  In 2008, TE Miller began construction on York Place Apartments in Edina, and I was fortunate to be able to work with the owners to fine-tune development proformas and the details of the community from establishing a unit mix and rents to meeting with contractors to select amenities and unit finishes.  My goal with the project was to make decisions that would be cost-effective, sustainable, and allow for the property to be efficiently managed and marketed well into the future, since the owners planned to manage the property long-term.

It’s amazing to be able to watch the whole development process from start to finish and make decisions at each step of the way, knowing those decisions will impact residents’ daily lives for the next 40+ years!

Around this time, I also became very interested in the sustainability of buildings and became a LEED Accredited Professional.  I realized I needed a more solid base of commercial real estate and finance knowledge to continue doing what I loved – development, so I decided to pursue a master’s degree.
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Executive Insight Series, Uncategorized, Upcoming UST Events

Executive Insight Series: Jim Stolpestad – Adaptive Rehab in Action – Tuesday, October 4th

From converting office buildings into multi-family real estate to the management of retail properties in today’s challenging environment, Jim Stolpestad, Chairman of Exeter Realty has experiences and stories to share about what has and has not worked.

The Real Estate Executive Insight Series is presented by the Opus College of Business MSRE program. This series invites speakers from the real estate industry to provide valuable information and discussion about hot topics and current trends. This is a free program and is open to the public; you can register to attend here.  Read a recap of the most recent event with Collin Barr of Ryan Companies.

Jim Stolpestad is chairman and an owner of Exeter Realty Company which he founded in 1991. He has been chispeaker_JimStolpestadef manager and a founding governor of Ironton Asset Fund LLC since 2009 and chief manager of real estate portfolio ownership entity Pioneer Property Partners LLC since 2003. From 1985 to 1990, Stolpestad was a senior partner with Doherty, Rumble & Butler, a national law firm with offices in Denver, Minneapolis, Saint Paul, and Washington D.C., where he was a member of the Board of Directors and practiced primarily real estate development and finance law. From 1971 to 1985, he was a senior partner with Stolpestad, Brown & Smith law firm, Saint Paul, where he was a managing partner and practiced banking, business, real estate, and securities law. From 1969 to 1971, he was Special Assistant Attorney General with the State of Minnesota, and from 1967 to 1969, he was an attorney with the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development in Atlanta.  Read more about Jim Stolpestad here.

UST Program News

Welcome new MSRE students

This fall the University of St. Thomas welcomes eight new Master of Science in Real Estate students to the program.  Congratulations on taking the next step in your real estate career!students

Jason Anderson
Marc Basara
Thomas Campbell
Catherine Davies
James Garry
Mohammed Ismail
Suzanne Marshall
Melissa Mueller

The new students represent a variety of specialties in real estate including brokerage, construction management, property management, development, acquisitions, and lending.  Welcome to the program and good luck with your first semester!

Uncategorized, UST Program News

Graduate Real Estate Courses Begin Next Week

A chill is in the air and booksMSRE students are getting ready to head back to class next Wednesday, September 7th.  Kicking off the semester will be a dinner and networking event for all MSRE students on Tuesday, September 6th.  Here is a sneak peek at some of the courses offered this semester.

Investment Property Analysis

Instructor: Dr. Tom Hamilton, CRE, FRICS, CVS

In this course, we will discuss investing in income producing real estate. This will include both direct ownership and indirect ownership. Direct ownership of property will focus on the investment decisions faced by investors including how to develop expectations of potential future performance as well as how to analyze when and how to sell the property. This will include whole ownership and partial interests in the property. Partial interest ownership will look at how we can create undivided interests in property and own those partial interests as real estate as opposed to owning claims on the real estate (indirect ownership through equity positions such as shares in a REIT). We will also look at indirect ownership, how to value such interests and to see how they compare to similar direct ownership interests.

We will also look at the development process as an investment strategy. Development can be from scratch or it can be a retrofitting/transforming process. Highest and best use will be our primary decision tool for this determination. Lastly, we will be looking into various financing vehicles and the effects that leverage can bring to the investment decision—including the risks associated with leverage, such as cash flow shortfalls and bankruptcy.

To gain a better understanding of these investment concepts, students will work hands-on with Argus software to model various financial scenarios.

Dr. Hamilton will also be teaching an undergraduate appraisal class this fall, in which students will conduct an appraisal of a commercial parcel located on University Avenue in St. Paul along the Central Corridor LRT line and make recommendations for the highest and best use for the site.

Real Estate Development

Instructor: Dr. Tom Musil

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Uncategorized, UST Student Profile

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.

Presbyterian Homes is the 5th largest senior housing developer in the US and the second fastest growing; we currently have five projects in process and another three launching within the next month.  Pres Homes really focuses on quality of life issues for seniors.  For example, studies have indicated that seniors who exercise are less likely to experience problems with balance which can contribute to falls; falls are the number one health risk to seniors.  With this information in mind, Pres Homes began a Wellness Centers initiative with its 34 communities.  I managed the design and construction process for the Wellness Center projects, which entailed visiting 28 communities and determining where we could build out new fitness centers.  A lot of my time went into two major additions at Farmstead in Andover and Mississippi Shores in Monticello; the wellness centers turned out great and it feels good to know that our work helps to keep seniors safe and healthy.

Why did you choose the MSRE program at St. Thomas?

In my current role, I work with senior development project managers who are in the prime of their career.

I realized there is a knowledge gap between my senior colleagues and myself, I wanted to fill that gap as quickly as possible.

First, I obtained a minor in construction management at the University of Minnesota, then I saw the St. Thomas MSRE program, and it really emphasized the areas I wanted and needed to learn to advance my career.  Since my undergraduate degree is in business, I desired to become more specialized in real estate.

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UST Student Profile

Student Profile: Roger Zopfi, Title Insurance Expert and Real Estate Paralegal

RogerZopfiAfter spending more than 25 years in title insurance and real estate law, Roger Zopfi decided he was ready to broaden his horizons in the real estate industry so he chose to pursue the Master of Science in Real Estate degree at St. Thomas.  The new connections and exposure to other areas of the industry have so far been invaluable.

What is your professional education and experience?

My whole journey in real estate began as an accident.  I graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in business in 1982. At the time, the economy was down, and full-time positions for recent college graduates were scarce.  My first assignment at a temporary agency was a two day stint at Minnesota Title (now Old Republic National Title Insurance Company).  This two day temporary job turned into a seven year hands-on learning experience.  At the time, I didn’t know an abstract of title from an abstract painting.  I started from the bottom and worked my way up through the ranks.  In these formative years I was exposed to the disciplines of abstracting, final policy writing, title examination and underwriting.  Eventually, one of my former colleagues recruited me to work as a paralegal at the law firm of Doherty, Rumble & Butler in St. Paul. It was here that I began to learn the transactional side of real estate, and had the opportunity to work on major projects like Town Square and the Children’s Museum.

Several years later I became the General Manager of a title insurance agency in Western Wisconsin.  Eventually, my wife and I started our own title agency as an agent for Old Republic National Title. After selling our company nine years later, I spent two years as a Senior Title Examiner in the National Commercial Services Division of First American Title.  For the past five years, I have been working as a Real Estate Paralegal at the firm of Lindquist & Vennum PLLP.  Initially, a great deal of my time was spent working with clients developing, selling, purchasing or financing ethanol plants and wind farms.  Thanks to the mortgage meltdown brought to us by Wall Street, I’m currently being kept very busy assisting clients with mortgage foreclosures.

The foreclosure process is very complex and highly technical in nature.  Managing the timelines and navigating all of the statutory requirements, really keeps me on my toes.

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Uncategorized, UST Student Profile

Student Profile: Jonathan Jablonsky, Investment Analyst

JablonskyIt was a quick success story for Jonathan Jablonsky, who landed his ideal job in commercial real estate after completing only one course in the UST MSRE program.

A Tale of Two Paths

Jonathan’s interest in real estate peaked once he and two friends started a small property management business, first by purchasing a duplex, then a fourplex, then a 7-unit building.  Meanwhile, Jonathan was working full-time as a Financial Analyst for Thomson Reuters.  As a finance major, he enjoyed the broad exposure to finance at Thomson Reuters while he worked there for 3 ½ years.

While working in the 9-5 world, Jonathan couldn’t keep his mind off real estate.  He craved the tangible “hands on” nature of working with real estate and found his financial skills could be well utilized in analyzing his own investments.

During this time, Jonathan also acquired his real estate license and began selling homes on the side.  With most of his free time spent dedicated to real estate, it’s no wonder Jonathan chose the MSRE program at St. Thomas.  But he explains it wasn’t that easy.

How Jonathan Chose the MSRE at St. Thomas

While real estate seemed to be the natural fit for him, he considered MBA programs, but he could not get as excited about the general nature of the courses.  Then, he came across the St. Thomas real estate program and began pondering how he could meld his experience as a financial analyst with his desire to work with real estate as his day-to-day job.

The first step was to attend an information session at St. Thomas to learn more about the program.

“The faculty at UST helped me determine it was a good fit and encouraged me to make a decision about whether I wanted to do the MSRE or MBA.  At that point, I decided to begin the program, since I felt that the Master of Science in Real Estate degree would differentiate me from the competition.”

UST Helps Jonathan Secure a Position with Ameriprise

Jonathan is pleased with his decision.  After completing only one class in the program, he was offered his ideal job that finally allowed him to analyze investment real estate.

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Commercial Real Estate, Real Estate Matters - Interview, Real Estate Programs, Uncategorized, UST Student Profile

Student Profile: Aileen Halligan

aileenhalliganAcademic researchers who study social, behavioral, and organizational psychology have spent the previous decade studying how people make judgement about people they meet. Some of these researchers believe that your brain, specifically the emotional centers, work incredibly fast to make snap judgements about people, a trait that was crucial in our species history, when ascertaining friend from foe was often a life threatening decision. The common phrases for these experiences are “gut feeling” and “a hunch”, and contradictory to the general belief that these emotions are irrational, scientists are increasingly discovering that they are actually the product of an incredibly complex system of sensory analysis, memory, and a syntax that follows a precise logical argument. This insight becomes all the more powerful when one begins to realize just how accurate that gut feeling is when the situation is appropriate.

Considering the opening paragraph of this interview, it is without surprise that Ms. Halligan makes a significant first impression, worthy of the pretense. Very confident, driven, intelligent, well spoken, and conscientious  are the gut feeling(s) I experienced when Ms. Halligan began answering my questions. Aileen’s career, education, and goals are all reflective of these traits, and it would appear a solid bet that her future holds plenty of successes.

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