Field Studies in Real Estate

Class Meetings: Wednesday, 2:00 pm – 5::00 pm Gund 109Professors:Richard Peiser and Bing Wang Class Limit24 students – urban designers, planners, architects, landscape architects, and MDes as well as students from other schools may enrollCourse Description:This course is intended to provide students an understanding of the dynamics and complexities of reality that create contemporary urban physical environments. The course emphasizes the integration of design and development aspects of projects that respond to realistic market demand, political, financial and other regulatory constraints. It is designed for real estate professionals, planners, and designers to broaden their understanding of urban issues and problems, as well as to improve the applicability of their skills in either design or financial analysis in the context of real estate developments. The pedagogical objectives of the course are as following:1. to introduce students to the intrinsic linkage between financial soundness and design creativity required in the process of real estate development 2. to introduce students to the framework of capital market mechanisms and the broad range of activities involved in achieving the success of real estate development with special attention to the various roles played by professional service providers 3. to expose students to as many aspects of real estate issues and decision-making challenges, as possible, both from the private developer\’s perspective and the public sector.Students will work in teams of three or four members in undertaking field study projects sponsored by property owners, non-profit organizations and public agencies. Typical projects include development plans for brownfield properties, complex mixed-use urban redevelopment sites, urban fringe community development, redevelopment of a dying shopping malls, and research on complex real estate finance issues. Under the guidance of the professors and in cooperation with the sponsor, students will act as professional consultants for the owners of the projects chosen and carry on the process of the projects. Students will visit the sites in late February or early March and corresponding expenses are covered by the sponsors. Each field study project will be tailored to the needs of each problem site. During the semester, investigations involved include development feasibility studies (market, physical, environmental, financial, and political), site planning, urban design framework, building design, financing, public/private joint ventures, public impacts, and other critical factors affecting the best solution to planning, design and development of each project. The field studies are sponsored and students will visit the sites in late February or early March. Travel expenses are covered by the sponsor.The course is a course of \’\’learning through doing\’\’. The cases are designed to place students in a number of decision-making situations commonly faced by real estate professionals in the real world. An in-class lottery will be used if too many students prefer a particular project. Field study projects for Spring 2007 include a mixed-use urban development project at the Titanic Quarter in Belfast, Ireland, conversation of a military base in the heart of Seoul, Korea to a Central Park, and a major Transit-Oriented Development in suburban Boston.Project Descriptions: Titanic Quarter, Belfast, Ireland The site where the Titanic was built and launched is located in the heart of downtown Belfast on the waterfront. Students will work in tandem with students in the studio taught by Richard Sommer that will run concurrently. They will evaluate alternative development strategies for the 100 acre site at the old Port of Belfast, addressing the interests and concerns of the studio sponsor