IMG_1460sm.jpgDirector's Message 

Welcome to the latest Newsletter from Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies.This is a busy but exciting time for everyone involved with the Runstad Center. This year will see both the creation of an independent Department of Real Estate within the College of Built Environments and the development of a new undergraduate minor to complement the well established MSRE program.

These are milestones in the evolution of real estate at UW. The creation of a separate and distinct department highlights the commitment and ambition at the University of Washington to develop a world class center of excellence in real estate research and education. As part of that we are currently in the process of hiring three new faculty. This expansion will provide the center and the new department with a level of scale it has not had the luxury of before. That will allow us to do a lot more in the classroom and in research, both academic and industry facing. Our applied research program has been added to significantly following the arrival in January of our new Research Director, James Young. More news on James is contained later in the news letter.

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Congratulations MSRE Class of 2017  

It was a beautiful spring evening on March 9th as the Runstad Center gathered to celebrate its 7th graduating class.  The Runstad Center Advisory Board honored 28 students on this special night.  Thank you to all the family members, friends, board members, and faculty who came out to toast our students. 

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24-7 Urban Revitalization  

Liz-Dunn-3.jpgA few months ago, at George Rolfe’s retirement party, an MSRE student gushed, “Oh my god, is that Liz Dunn? We all want to be just like her.” Dunn’s name is synonymous with the sustainable repositioning of beautiful old buildings into some of the coolest urban hubs, so naturally, the next generation of real estate leaders is a bit star-struck. Before she became a leading developer/Seattle real estate celebrity, Dunn was a Microsoftee. She was given a significant amount of responsibility at a very young age which helped her develop confidence, along with an incredibly strong work ethic, and set her up to lead her own company, Dunn & Hobbes. Today, Dunn describes her days as “extremely hectic and eclectic… on any given day my activities might range from talking to a lender or sending financials to my investors, to figuring out how best to fix a leaky roof, designing new building signage, or finding a musician to play at a retail pop-up fair. 

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Fourth Annual UW Real Estate Symposium: Looking Back, Looking Forward

Each year, the Foster School of Business and the Runstad Center join forces to co-sponsor a real estate symposium. This year’s event focused on a review of the lessons learned and changes in the industry since the financial crisis of 2008 as well as a look ahead at how real estate companies are innovating in the face of rapid market and technological change.

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UW Commercial Real Estate Winter Term Development Project 

The UW Commercial Real Estate certificate program’s winter term development project sees teams of five students tackle hypothetical development opportunities based on real sites and metrics in the Puget Sound Region. Hailed as one of the reasons to take this Certificate Program, this project applies knowledge learned to date towards real, potential projects.

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Education Bolsters Education

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What do education and real estate have in common? Rosey Atkinson has the answer. A former mathematics and diversity and social justice teacher in the Mississippi delta, she witnessed first hand a thriving town wilt away. Fewer employment opportunities led to a declining population, which resulted in few resources for public schools, a common theme in many smaller towns. Atkinson acknowledges that economically, socially, and physically supporting growth is an incredible challenge and opportunity for planners and developers. “My desire to provide solutions and implement change truly defines me. The biggest thing that teaching taught me is to have a growth mindset. I am a lifelong learner, always looking for ways to improve, and committed to the success of those around me,” she says, “My passion for economic development and the built environment led me to pursue a career in real estate.”

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YPM is the new YUP 

Depending on who you ask, millennials can have a bad rep for being spoiled and demanding, or they can be viewed as leaders of entrepreneurial and innovative ventures. Enter Sean Durkin, a YPM: young professional millennial. He is demanding; he demands the most from himself, and continually moves forward with a creative and engaged mindset. It seems that this has always been the case for Durkin. After all, how many people invest in their first industrial building at the age of 15 using money earned working construction? 

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Development that Empowers – Designing Density in Seattle for the Next 100 Years 

The Runstad Center Affiliate Fellows Program is designed to spark new thinking through unconventional, interdisciplinary collaboration and to engage a broad audience in a research topic within the rubric of sustainability. We pair Runstad Center graduate students with emerging industry thought leaders and College of Built Environments faculty for a year-long program of research and international field study.  

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