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Milestones: New Faculty

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The Runstad Center is pleased to have Professor Sofia Dermisi on board this academic year.

Where to begin? Professor Dermisi’s work is truly interdisciplinary, combining design, planning, engineering, finance, economics, sustainability, and, of course, real estate market analysis. The core of her research has been to understand office markets under the effects of internal and external shocks. It’s a fascinating question. What happens to major downtown hubs when disaster strikes?

Upon her arrival at UW last summer, Sofia was appointed Chair of the Interdisciplinary Group for the MS in Real Estate. Her compass has been the evolution of a dynamic and rigorous program that is now attracting students — nay, future leaders — from around the country and around the world.

Having earned her Doctorate at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Sofia thereafter joined a university focused on social justice for underrepresented students and undertook the challenge of developing an integrative Master’s program in Real Estate. She has received grants from the National Science Foundation, Real Estate Research Institute, Illinois Department of Transportation, and BOMA/Chicago. In between, she has published more than twenty papers in academic journals and presented her work throughout the U.S. as well as to international conferences. She has earned multiple awards in recognition of her research by her peers.

Now, she does all this while also serving on the board of the American Real Estate Society, the editorial board of the Journal of Sustainable Real Estate, and as an editor of the Data, Methods, & Technology section of the Journal of Real Estate Literature. A consultant for real estate companies and related organizations such as the Building Owners & Managers Association of Chicago, her research includes economic impact studies that analyze the performance of commercial properties in the downtown core. She is a certified LEED Green Associate.

Professor Dermisi remains a Practicing Engineer in Greece, as well, where she was born and where she still enjoys time at her family’s summer house. And, while Greece is a long flight from here, Sofia absolutely doesn’t mind, as she is an avid aviation buff, too. You are invited to visit her office, where passion for air travel and other elements of following one’s muse are prominently displayed.

Welcome, Professor Dermisi!

Alumni Highlight: Zachery Clements

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Ask Zachery Clements how he feels about his experience as a Runstad student and the answer is as compelling as it is easy: “Fortunate and grateful for the opportunity and the timing.”

Zach, now working with Dunn & Hobbes, a Seattle-based investor and developer of urban infill mixed-use projects, says the greatest value of being in the Runstad program was the regional real estate community exposure, support, and connections fostered by the folks at the Center (and beyond) — leading to one-on-one conversations with people to get advice, recommendations, and mentorship. Paying it forward, Zach says, “Nearly 100% of people that I’ve reached out to have responded and been willing to meet, talk and share. I’m trying my best to continue that practice.”

In fact, what surprised him the most was the sheer number and value of connections leading from the real estate community and Runstad support network. “There are too many to list or count, from instructors to colleagues to other RE professionals through various channels, including the mentorship structure within the program, as well as bringing those professionals in to instruct portions of classes.

“The experience enabled my dream,” Zach has said, “acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary to operate, contribute and add value to those people and companies I’ve been lucky enough to work with.” While he fully acknowledges there remains much more to learn and do, he is enjoying the process and opportunities that have been presented to him.

With a background in environmental consulting, he initially approached the MSRE program with the idea that he’d be working for a smaller, urban infill development firm, to acquire and develop “brownfield” properties, and that is exactly what he’s doing. “I had the notion that I wanted to practice brownfield redevelopment, but didn’t have the skills to understand the financial and feasibility sides of the field. I had a few connections in my network at the time, but had no idea how to gain the skills I needed or where to go to get them.” He realized immediately he’d discovered what he was looking for when he found the Runstad program.

Working for Dunn & Hobbes, a Seattle-based investor and developer of urban infill mixed-use projects, presents a lot of challenges and opportunities to learn and grow and continue to hone his real estate skills. No day is like the last — Zach’s days are “fresh and exciting and fast-paced.”

“I would not have been able to do this without the dedication of everyone who is a part of the MSRE program. It gave me the opportunity to jump into this world and provide some value.”

Fine words, Zachery Clements.

Detroit Future City: Design for Rapid Change

Join the UW Department of Landscape Architecture and Professional Advisory CommitteeARCADEUW Runstad Center for Real Estate StudiesUW Department of Urban Design and Planning at the Frye Art Museum for a panel discussion on Detroit with thought leaders who are at the heart of the city’s transformation and revival.  The panel includes past Runstad Affiliate Fellows Lisa Picard and Eric Becker.

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Thursday 22nd Jan 2015, 5-7 pm

at Frye Art Museum Auditorium  704 Terry Ave, Seattle, WA 98104

Please RSVP here by January 15th, 2015 as space is limited.

Detroit provides a means to study fundamental urban transformation and innovation that comes from both the top down and the grassroots level. The renewal happening in the city presents a ripe opportunity to evaluate and test civic strategies with the goal of understanding how to maximize a city’s resiliency in the service of rapid positive change in the future. Indeed, the seeds of what’s happening in Detroit exist in all cities, though to lesser degrees.

About the Panel

-Rainy Hamilton Jr., President and Principal-in-Charge of Architecture, Hamilton Anderson Associates; Detroit Michigan.

-Eric Becker, Founder of We Are Shouting; Fellow, University of Washington Runstad Center.

-Dan Pitera, Associate Professor of Architecture, University of Detroit Mercy; Director, Detroit Collaborative Design Center.

-Panel Moderator:  Lisa Picard, Executive Vice President, Skanska USA Commercial Development Inc.; Fellow, University of Washington Runstad Center.

2014 CoreNet Scholarship Recipients

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CoreNet recently recognized the 2014 scholarship recipients at their November luncheon.  Congratulations Zac Strode, Ben Lukes, Andrew Hunt, Michael Riha, and Brad Machat.  A sincere thank you to CoreNet Seattle Chapter President Scott Carter & Sponsorship Vice President John Coates III for your continued support of our students.

Hello from the High Line!

In October several 2nd year Runstad MSRE students headed up to NYC for the Annual ULI Fall Meeting. We might have lost a little of our dignity while celebrating into the late evening, but I’m happy to report that everyone is headed home!

This morning I had the opportunity to walk the world famous High Line. This above ground pedestrian path was originally intended for trains to carry goods to and from Manhattan’s industrial district. Due to shifts in transportation technology (18-wheelers) the trains were shut down in the 1980’s. Fortunately individuals in the neighborhood realized the potential the beautiful iron structure possessed, and worked to form the Friends of the High Line. Working with the City, Friends of the High Line selected James Corner (yes the same James Corner who’s working to redesign the Seattle Waterfront) to help redesign the unused tracks. The final portion of the track open just a few weeks ago, September 21, 2014. This definitely deserves a visit on your next trip to New York!

This amazing path now runs north from Gansevoort Street to the Hudson Rail Yards being redeveloped by the Related Companies in partnership with the City of New York. The picture below was taken from the High Line and shows the progress currently taking place at the Hudson Rail Yards. In the left of the photo you can see the Javits Center, home of this year’s ULI conference.

Patrick Kassin, Second Year MSRE Candidate

 

Sofia Dermisi awarded “Best Research Manuscript” by the American Real Estate Society

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Dr. Sofia Dermisi, Runstad Endowed Professor in Real Estate is the recipient of the “Best Research Manuscript” award in the Hotel/Lodging Real Estate category for a paper presented at the American Real Estate Society annual conference in April, 2014.  Dr. Dermisi’s paper, “Effects of Worldwide Terrorist Attacks Targeting Hotels on Overall Hotels’ Performance” examined the worldwide terrorist activity targeting hotels leading to transnational casualties. Three aspects of terrorist activities were assessed, utilizing data on incidents from the first quarter of 1996 through 2014: a) assessing their cyclicality, b) identifying factors affecting their frequency and c) exploring their financial fallout [Average-Daily-Rate (ADR) and Revenue-Per-Available-Room (RevPAR)] among luxury, mid-price and economy hotels. The results affirmed the cyclical behavior of the terrorist activity and casualties (8 and 3 years, respectively). A pivotal point in the frequency increase on hotel attacks was September 11,2001 which led to an increase by 75% through the first quarter of 2014. Worldwide and USA luxury hotels suffered financially more after a hotel terrorist incident compared to any other hotel type. Other socioeconomic variables (e.g. GDP/capita, oil prices, recessions etc.) applied had either a non-effect or a diverse effect on attack frequency and hotel revenue.

Welcome to the MSRE class of 2016!

The new school year is underway and we are delighted to welcome our newest class of MSRE candidates.  Stay tuned for more pictures and updates from the Class of 2016!

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Orientation is underway!

The Runstad Center welcomed its newest class of MSRE candidates this week!  Orientation activities began on Monday, with a full schedule each day until classes begin next week.  Our students were introduced to our dean, faculty members, support staff, mentors, and professional community.  On Tuesday they toured the Seattle regional real estate market with visits to downtown Seattle, South Lake Union, and Bellevue.  Today, they are getting familiarized with our core curriculum and meeting the second year students, who will give them the inside scoop about life in the MSRE program.  Later this afternoon, it’s back downtown for several key meetings in the real estate community before kicking back at an Alumni Happy Hour this evening.  Tomorrow, off on a ferry boat to explore sustainability and innovation on Bainbridge Island.  And that’s just the first few days!  More to come… stay tuned for photos from this week, and news about what’s next.

All of us at the Runstad Center extend a very warm welcome to the class of 2016!

Please join us for the first annual Runstad Center Leadership Dinner!

The first annual Runstad Center Leadership Dinner will be held on October 9, 2014, at the Westin Hotel in downtown Seattle. Together with a distinguished panel of public and private leaders, we invite you to join the conversation on the future of our city, region and state.

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Special Presentation: Announcing the Glenn Crellin Research Scholarship in honor of Glenn’s twenty-two years of outstanding public service to the state of Washington.

Please visit our event page for more information.  Click here to buy a ticket or a table.  (RSVP deadline is October 5.) If you are unable to attend but would like to make a contribution, please visit this page.

We look forward to seeing you on October 9!

Runstad real estate research roundup

The Runstad Center has been in the news lately, having released new statistics about record-setting median home prices in Seattle, as well as increased housing vacancy rates in the Tri-Cities.  Glenn Crellin talked with KOMO News and the Tri-City Herald about the Center’s findings.

Additionally, Runstad Center Affiliate Fellow and faculty member AP Hurd has an article in CityLab about how outdated parking laws price families out of the city.

On a smaller community scale, M.Arch/MSRE ’13 alum Michael Kaiser is leading an effort to bring a “parklet” to life in the Uptown neighborhood of Seattle.  A parklet transforms a small portion of the right of way into a pocket of public park space.  They’re almost halfway to their fundraising goal… contributions large or small can be made by following the link here.