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3rd Annual Runstad Center Leadership Dinner

The 2016 Runstad Center Leadership Dinner brought the Seattle real estate industry together in a memorable evening celebrating the many successes of the Runstad Center. We honored George Rolfe, beloved professor of many students and alumni, celebrating his retirement with a collection of selfies and George-isms. Peter Orser announced the establishment of an alumni fund, led by five Runstad alumni who recognize the importance of the Runstad Center program in creating future real estate leaders. The keynote speaker, Brad Smith, President and Chief Legal Officer of Microsoft, gave an energizing talk that focused on our established history of innovation, pressing issues that Seattle is currently facing, and provided thoughtful suggestions about how the real estate community could implement long term solutions.

“The night was also a huge success for the Runstad Center, raising over $200,000 for Runstad Center operations, which will provide for our student programs and additional scholarships. Thank you to everyone who attended and supported the 2016 Runstad Center Leadership Dinner!!” -Peter Orser

Here are some photos from the evening, you can see even more here

Urban Land Institute Regional Cascadia Conference 2016

The Urban Land Institute Regional Cascadia Conference of 2016 was hosted in Vancouver, BC this year over the weekend of June 22nd. The Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies was represented by Ka-Chung Kwok (Class of 2017) and Alastair Townsend (Class of 2017) as attendees to this event. The following post is Ka-Chung’s impressions of the conference.  The Runstad Center Advisory Board’s generous donations helps to send students to one regional or national conference while earning their degree.

This conference was initiated by keynote speaker Mark Gilbreth – Founder of Liquidspace – a company that leverages mobile technology and social networking to capitalize on shifting needs of modern workplace tenancy. Based on a business model often referred to as “AirBnB of office space”, Liquidspace aims to activate structural vacancies caused by the traditional long-term multi-year leasing model. Mark’s keynote provided insight into the future of commercial office space brokerage as one that is becoming multi-faceted, real time data-driven and collaborative in nature between traditional brokerages with new technology driven participants. He predicts that by 2020 fifty percent of all office space transactions will be online.

A Panel discussion titled “The 21st Century City” then followed involving Real Estate experts and policy makers from Vancouver (Councillor Raymond Louie, Marc Josephson – Grosvenor Americas), Seattle (Garbriel Grant – Spectrum Development) and Portland (Lisa Abuaf – Portland Development Commission). This discussion compared and contrasted the recent growing pains found common to all three cities – rapidly escalating real estate prices, shortage of affordable working-class housing, and the complexities in providing effective Transit oriented developments. Each city took different approaches in crafting their policies with some common goals – Increasing affordability of housing, expanding transit options, and densification of the urban core. There are also some very unique factors – While Seattle is faced with a severe shortage of condominium supply for first-time home buyers due to the development risks associated by the Washington Condo Act; the reverse effect is happening in Vancouver where there is a shortage in supply of rental units.

The second half of the ULI conference focused on Site tours of notable upcoming development projects and recently completed projects in Vancouver. Highlights include Telus Garden and the Central post office adaptive reuse project in the downtown Core, Marine Gateway Transit oriented development along the Canada line, Brewery District in Westminster BC and the Downtown Eastside Urban Renewal project.

Why the Runstad Center matters

On October 13th The Runstad Center held its 3rd Annual Leadership Dinner where we introduced our newest video describing “Why the Runstad Center matters!”  It’s a great overview of the Center’s people and programs and definitely a must see if you are interested in an advanced degree in real estate.  Check out the full video here

New Corporate Real Estate Course for Professionals

We are offering a new course this fall, RE 530: Corporate Real Estate.  This course is eligible for 25 CEUs towards CoreNet Global MCR Professional Designation renewal credits.  Professionals can register for the course as non-matriculated students through non-degree enrollment:

RE 530 – Corporate Real Estate
Tues/Thurs 12:00-1:20 pm
Instructor: Kelli Leith

Course Description

Corporations and public institutions utilize space for their workers, equipment and customer base. A critical element in the success of these corporations is the identification of ways their real estate footprint through owned and leased assets can be a factor in attaining the vision and mission they have. Corporate Real Estate requires real estate professionals’ understanding of a CEO, CFOs and COOs vision of the corporation and the development and execution of a real estate strategy which will help corporations grow and be successful based on their own set of parameters.  This course focuses on an overview of corporate real estate, the functions of corporate real estate, the real estate strategies and services applied in corporate real estate decision making and understanding the: what, where, when, how and why of corporate real estate planning.

Part-time lecture search


The University of Washington’s Department of Urban Design and Planning and the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies are seeking applicants for a part-time Lecturer position for the MS in Real Estate commencing January 1, 2017. The position is a 50% FTE, 9-month teaching position. Salary is competitive. When hired through a competitive search, lecturers are eligible for renewable multi-year appointments and promotion, among other benefits available to full-time UW faculty members.

The position involves the teaching of one course in each of three academic quarters – Autumn, Winter, Spring— with opportunities to teach additional courses if desired. The initial appointment will be for two years, with multi-year reappointments available, depending on performance.

Applicants must have at least a Master’s degree in a relevant field. Work experience and teaching expertise in real estate development including studio courses is required. Demonstrated high-level proficiency in teaching at the graduate level is also preferred.

Applicant instructions can be found on the UW Hires website, here.

RE Club hosts Argus training session

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One of the perks of being a Runstad Center MSRE student is the support we enjoy from the University of Washington Real Estate Club.  The Real Estate Club provides opportunities for networking, career development, and property tours for students who have an interest in real estate.  Reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of the real estate industry, its membership is comprised of students from the College of Built Environments, Foster School of Business, Evans School of Public Affairs, and the UW School of Law. The club is always open to other members of the UW community.

This week, the Real Estate Club provided 30 students with the opportunity to attend a 2-day certified Argus training for the newest version of Argus Enterprise.  Traditionally, the 2-day training session, training materials, 6-month subscription to Argus Enterprise and the ability to take the certification test would cost each student $1,800 to participate. However, with support from the Runstad Center, the Club was was able to offer a reduced rate of just $300 per student.

We offer our congratulations to the Real Estate Club leadership on this successful event – working together to make our students more competitive once they enter the job market!

UW team advances to finals in low-income housing competition!

A team of MSRE, M. Arch, MUP and MPA students from the University of Washington has been advanced to the final round in the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Low Income Housing Challenge 2015.  Their proposal was for an affordable, multifamily housing development in the Wedge neighborhood of Tacoma. The Wedge neighborhood is located at a key intersection with the middle class North End neighborhood to the north and west and the low income Hilltop neighborhood to the south and east.  Lead by interdisciplinary faculty mentors including the Runstad Center’s Al Levine, the team aims to take the first step toward realizing a community-based vision for the new Wedge neighborhood with the development of affordable housing for local households.

Their next steps will be to develop a final written proposal and multimedia presentation, which will be shown at the celebration event next month in San Francisco.

Congratulations to our students for having their thoughtful concept and hard work recognized – and good luck!!

Runstad program among top 5 on the west coast!

Bisnow has named the MSRE program at the UW’s Runstad Center as one of the top 5 graduate real estate programs on the west coast!   We’re pleased and proud to receive this recognition.  Read the full article here — and stop by, call, email, or attend an information session to learn more about our new work-compatible curriculum!

Affiliate Instructor Search

The University of Washington’s Department of Urban Design and Planning and the Runstad Center are seeking an affiliate part-time instructor for the MS in Real Estate commencing in September 2015. The individual selected will be teaching the course titled: “Leadership in the Built Environments” in the autumn quarter of 2015. Interested applicants should submit their material by May 4th, 2015 to  Detailed information about the position can be found here.

Runstad Center Launches Innovative New Master of Science in Real Estate Curriculum

Responding to increasing demand from working professionals, the Runstad Center is pleased to announce that a new work compatible Master of Science in Real Estate (MSRE) curriculum will be offered beginning fall, 2015.  Courses will be taught two afternoons a week (and some evenings) and the time required to earn the degree has been shortened to 18 months for full time students.

Three new focus area “Options” have also been established: Real Estate Finance and Investment, Real Estate Development and Corporate Real Estate.  The corporate real estate option is the first program of its kind in the country and will train students to assume leadership roles in the corporate real estate services industry.  This segment of the real estate industry is experiencing phenomenal job growth as corporations outsource the management of their real estate assets and operations.  Early adopters of this national and international trend include important corporations based in the Puget Sound region such as Microsoft, Boeing, Amazon and Starbucks.

Together these changes strengthen the relationship between the Center and the real estate industry, enhancing the talent pipeline for the skilled real estate professionals needed in one of the fastest growing regions of the country.  The program will continue to be interdisciplinary, drawing students and using faculty expertise from fields such as law, construction management, architecture, urban planning, public policy and business, among others. 

Applications are currently being accepted for the fall, 2015 class and are encouraged before May 1.  Scholarship assistance is available.  More information regarding the program and the admissions process is available on the Runstad Center website at  Please share this flyer with employees, colleagues, neighbors, friends or anyone else who might benefit from a graduate real estate education.

The approval by the UW Graduate School of the new curriculum represents an exciting new chapter for the MSRE program and we look forward to being able to better serve students who need to continue working at least part time while they pursue their graduate real estate education.

MSRE Flyer