Real Estate Program Adopts Innovative Approach
The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) College of Business is taking steps to develop its real estate program. Tony Ciochetti, Ph.D., who serves as executive director of the Real Estate Finance and Development program and holds the Elmo James Burke Jr. Chair, joined UTSA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and brings with him a wealth of professional and academic experience.
Recognized as a leading real estate expert, Ciochetti is charged with leading the college's real estate finance and development programming, expanding the college's graduate programming in this area, and developing strategic partnerships locally, nationally and internationally. He also serves as a professor in the Department of Finance.
"It is an exciting time to be at UTSA, and I'm looking forward to helping move the existing program to new levels," said Ciochetti. "It is becoming increasingly important for our students to recognize the broader impact of real estate and see the industry through a global lens. My goal is to build synergy with the city's industry leaders, create cross-discipline opportunities within the university, and develop strategic partnerships with national and international companies."
Ciochetti's approach centers on the role commercial real estate has in the world's built environment. He believes real estate developers have a responsibility to work more closely with city planners and designers to create sustainable buildings that have a positive impact on the people who live, work and play in our diverse communities.
"The various disciplines associated with the creation of 'places' need to better understand each others' objectives and points of view and work collaboratively to achieve larger objectives," Ciochetti stated.
Before his academic career, Ciochetti spent 12 years in the private sector in the areas of commercial real estate development and consulting.
New Endowed Chair Joins Faculty
Tony Ciochetti has been named the Elmo James Burke Jr. Chair in Real Estate Finance and Development. He began his duties on Sept. 1, 2012. Ciochetti previously served as the Thomas G. Eastman Chair and chairman of the Center for Real Estate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
His areas of expertise include commercial mortgage credit risk and the role of real estate within pension plan portfolios.
Ciochetti’s work has appeared in leading scholarly journals, and he regularly consults on behalf of investment banks, institutional clients and development companies.
He holds a doctorate and a master’s in real estate and urban land economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a bachelor’s in finance from the University of Oregon.
Students Turn Theory into Practice Through Internship Experiences
Real Estate Finance and Development students applied the knowledge they’ve gained in the classroom by participating in industry internships this summer. Eight students participated in the internship program this summer.
“During my internship I advanced my professional life through the contacts I made and the professional demeanor I mirrored,” said Nicodemus Abowd, who interned with The Weitzman Group. “All in all I have gained a greater perspective on commercial real estate and what it takes to be successful in this industry.”
Internships are a vital component of the educational process. They allow students to gain valuable professional development skills and to network with professionals. If you’d like to sponsor an internship for students, please contact Laura Gilliland at (210) 458-7333.
Real Estate Professionals Share their Insights During Student Roundtable Discussions
Each week the Real Estate Finance and Development program hosts student roundtable discussions with industry professionals. The weekly meetings, attended by more than 20 students, allow friends of the program to share with students their views on the real estate industry.
If you are interested in participating in a real estate roundtable, please contact Laura Gilliland at (210) 458-7333.
Real Estate Students Put Development Experience Into Practice
Business students in faculty member Leland Rocchio’s Principles of Real Estate Development Course, not only learned the theory of real estate development, but they put their newfound knowledge into practice by formulating their own real estate development project.
Students were tasked with developing a comprehensive real estate development plan.
They teamed with mentors from the San Antonio South Texas Chapter of Certified Commercial Investment Members (CCIM). Mentors included Ernest Brown, Grubb & Ellis; Trove Gilbert, Koontz McCombs; Steve Monroe, CB Richard Ellis; Maggie Nigro, Grubb & Ellis; Nick Prater, 4M Realty Company; Tom Rohde, Rohde Ottmers Siegel; Jason Schnittger, Stream Realty; and Cynthia Stevens, Koontz McCombs.
Their final assignment consisted of presenting their projects to a panel of real estate leaders and competing for the CCIM/UTSA John Vogel Award Competition. The winning team was Billy Deiri, Nicholas de la Garza, Robert Garza, Eric Neumann, Javier Paredes and Chris Taubert. Their project was a retail center to be developed near Loop 1604 and Reed Road. The total project size was 116,200 square feet with an approximate cost of $14 million.
“We had a dynamic team that worked well together,” said Paredes. “Without the help of our mentor, Steve Monroe, this wouldn’t have been possible. We met with him weekly and sought advice from city planners, engineers, architects and developers to come up with our final product.”
Real Estate Community Enriches REFD Program
The local real estate community has continued their support of the college's Real Estate Finance and Development (REFD) program. These efforts have been led by the REFD Founders Council, an advisory board of real estate leaders charged with furthering the support and growth of the REFD program.
In the past year more than 25 executives have shared their insights with real estate students by participating as guest lecturers both in the classroom and through specialized events such as the Supper with Students program which was established by Founders Council Executive Committee Member Norman Dugas.
The dinners were held bi-monthly and featured guest speakers from the San Antonio real estate community. The speakers provided an overview of their industry, their job as well as provided students with suggestions for entering this industry.
Speakers included Bob Buthod, KB Home San Antonio; Oscar Coronodo, ZHI; Cecilia Garcia, City of San Antonio Planning Commission; Larry Heimer, Bury & Partners; Dale Kane, First American Commercial Property Group; Martha Mangum, Real Estate Council of San Antonio; David Nielsen, Transwestern; Andrew Ozuna, '91, Regions Bank; and Tim Swan, Metropolitan Contracting.
The college's dynamic Real Estate Finance and Development Program has grown to over 150 students in the past year. The college offers a BBA degree in Real Estate Finance and Development, a MBA concentration in Real Estate Finance, a MS in Finance with a concentration in Real Estate Finance as well as a new MS in Construction Science and Management.