This immersion course is designed to introduce students to the business of real estate development. Through a “tour” of different types of ground-up projects (rental housing, mixed-use development, and public-private development) in different locations (Long Island City, Brooklyn, Manhattan) under different business arrangements (family business, young entrepreneur, corporate, and joint-venture partnership), the course will deliver a broad-based overview of the development business. Given the block of time in each session, we will be able to delve into many of the granular aspects of development that make this field of endeavor so demanding and so dynamic.
At every level—physical site, program and design, financial feasibility, construction, tenant marketability, project management—real estate development is a detailed business. It is also singular in its impact on the built environment. Two of the projects we will visit are designed to shape a new district, a “place” in the argot of planning and urban design. From this perspective, the aspirations of developers extend beyond the monetary, especially when it comes to large-scale development, and therein lies the excitement—and also the creative drive and boldness to take on the significant risks of big complex projects.
Paul Milstein Professor of Real Estate
Christopher Mayer is the Paul Milstein Professor of Real Estate at Columbia Business School. His research explores a variety of topics in real estate and financial markets, including housing cycles, mortgage markets, debt securitization, and commercial real estate valuation. Dr. Mayer is also CEO of Longbridge Financial, an innovative reverse mortgage company focused on delivering responsible home equity products to older Americans to help...