Field Studies in Real Estate

Field studies sponsored by property owners, non-profit organizations and public agencies in the United States and China will be undertaken by students working in teams of three to six members. Typical projects include development plans for brownfield properties, complex mixed-use urban redevelopment sites, urban fringe community development, redevelopment of dying shopping malls, and research on complex real estate finance issues. Students work in interdisciplinary teams under the guidance of the professor and in cooperation with the sponsor. Students will visit the sites in late February or early March. Expenses are covered by the Field Study sponsors. Field study work is tailored to the needs of each problem site. Field studies emphasize the financial implications of design alternatives that respond to realistic market demand, political, and other regulatory constraints. Investigations include development feasibility studies (market, physical, environmental, financial, and political), site planning, building design, urban design, landscape and streetscape, working with the community, financing, public/private joint ventures, public impacts, and other critical factors affecting the best solution to planning, design and development of each property. Students will select the problem they want to work on. An in-class lottery will be used if too many students prefer a particular project. Field study projects for Spring, 2004 include the following urban development problems:1. Complex mixed use development project in the old part of Shanghai, China. This project emphasizes design alternatives for a key site in the historic part of Shanghai including a high-rise office building with exposure to one of the major view corridors, a pedestrian street bisecting the site, open space, landscaping, streetscape, low-rise retail, and mid-rise residential buildings. Design students may register for eight units altogether for this Field Study by also enrolling in the Independent Study class, GSD 9202 (see website for more information) for an additional 4 units.(6 students altogether) 2. Conservation land development project in Southern New Hampshire. This field study focuses on creating a farmland and open space conservation network for multiple land parcels using financing techniques that combine limited real estate development, covenants, easements, and donations to non-profit conservation organizations. Investigations include design alternatives, financing alternatives, market analyses and site analyses as well as legal and joint venture structuring issues. 3. Brownfield redevelopment project in Milwaukee, WI. Field Study students will coordinate with the Landscape Architecture Studio on the same site. Investigations include design alternatives, financing alternatives, market analyses and site analyses as well as legal and joint venture structuring issues.4. A new, mixed-use, development located on 76 acres in the heart of Sun Valley, Idaho. The project is currently undeveloped, except for a 50 year old restaurant that is an institution, and 9-hole golf course that will be converted to Open Space. The land lies at the base of Bald Mountain (the famous ski mountain), and has > mile of river frontage. Investigations include the overall design alternatives, with and without a boutique hotel, one or two restaurants, a European spa tapping into the natural geothermal springs under the property, townhomes, and condominiums, sold both as whole and fractional ownership. Extensive river renovation to improve trout habitat and beauty will also be involved.5. Regional plan including detailed conservation and open space plans for urban-edge Wise County in the northwest quadrant of Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas. This study follows up an initial Field Study performed by GSD students two years ago that was enthusiastically received by County leaders. Among the questions to be address