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Additionally, Runstad Center Affiliate Fellow and faculty member AP Hurd has an article in CityLab about how outdated parking laws price families out of the city.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

Touchstone preparing to start NorthEdge complex in Fremont

Touchstone Corp. is getting ready to start construction on a four-story, 210,000-square-foot office project across the street from Gas Works Park.  This is just steps away from the site that our victorious 2014 NAIOP studio team explored in this year’s challenge, solidly in the middle of the “intellectual triangle” formed by the technology/corporate/scholarly hubs of Fremont, South Lake Union, and the University of Washington.  Compare the two visions and hear what Runstad affiliate faculty member AP Hurd has to say about Touchstone’s plans for the site in this article from the DJC.

Congratulations, MSRE Class of 2014!

Our 2014 graduating class of Master of Science in Real Estate students celebrated in grand style last week, prior to receiving their diplomas from the University of Washington.

MSRE '14 graduates Eric Hadden, Craig Ratchford, Stephanie Anderson, Nowelle Knutson, Jon Beem, Louisa Galassini, B Peng, Yifan Cui, Jin Seok Park. (Missing: Jay Kipp)
MSRE ’14 graduates Eric Hadden, Craig Ratchford, Stephanie Anderson, Nowelle Knutson, Jon Beem, Louisa Galassini, Bo Peng, Yifan Cui, Jin Seok Park. (Missing: Jay Kipp)

More photos from our festive graduation reception are posted below.  Thank you to all the many board members, faculty, staff, family members, and friends who came out to celebrate our students!  All of us at the Runstad Center offer them our heartiest congratulations.  We know you are destined for stellar careers of leadership and service…  stay in touch!


Runstad students head to San Francisco

Several of our MSRE students were in San Francisco recently for the 23rd annual Bank of America Affordable Housing Challenge.  Sponsored by Bank of America, the Challenge is a competition among several West Coast graduate schools where teams must create a low income housing proposal. Each team must identify a viable site and then develop a proposal that includes design, finance, market and community support elements while working with developer and community partners. The project proposals are judged by a panel of local professionals.

BofA team

The University of Washington team was comprised of (L to R, above): Jeff Bernard (MSRE Candidate 2014), Corbin Jones (MSRE Candidate 2015), Jean Bailey (MPA Candidate 2014), Lei Wu (MSRE Candidate 2015), Katie Escudero (MPA Candidate 2014), Lauren Mathisen (MPA Candidate 2014), and Zac Strode (MSRE Candidate 2016).  The team was led by Runstad Center faculty member Al Levine, who together with Chris Bitter led the development studio team to victory in the NAIOP competition earlier this spring.

Team warmup!
Team warmup!
Presentation underway
Presentation underway

uw competition 2

The full presentation, which was shown at the awards ceremony, is available online here. UCLA was ultimately named the winner, but the UW team made a very credible showing, and were complimented by Bank of America for producing an excellent report and a strong presentation.  Congratulations, team!


Maria Barrientos meets with Runstad students

Accomplished Seattle developer Maria Barrientos gave our students a veritable master class in residential development at a brown bag lunch session yesterday.  Maria has completed trendsetting mixed-use apartment and condominium projects in all of Seattle’s hippest urban neighborhoods.  She also has an impressive project management practice, focused on cultural arts facilities, having managed the renovation of McCaw Hall, and served as the project manager for the development of the Bellevue Performing Arts Center and the Olympic Sculpture Park as well as other arts facilities.  Students dug deep with questions regarding market analysis and the selection of amenities to meet each target market.  Maria provided valuable counsel to our NAIOP challenge competition team, and we will be looking for other ways to engage her expertise with the program in the future.

L to R: Jun Yong An (incoming 2014 MSRE/MUP), Patrick Kassin, Eric Hadden, Suzanne Cartwright, Maria Barrientos, Michael Miller, Cameron Hypes, Ben Lukes
L to R: Jun Yong An, Patrick Kassin, Eric Hadden, Suzanne Cartwright, Maria Barrientos, Michael Miller, Cameron Hypes, Ben Lukes

MSRE student advances in Business Plan Competition

Congratulations to our second-year MSRE student Nowelle Knutson, whose company Seven Rue has advanced to the Investment round of the annual Foster School Business Plan Competition!  Seven Rue is an innovative real estate company that helps homeowners sell their homes themselves without the use of a traditional real estate agent.  It was one of 36 teams (out of a pool of 92) that was selected to move to the next round of competition.  Meet the rest of the teams here and follow their progress as they compete for a spot in the Final Four and a chance to win the $25,000 grand prize.

Best of luck as you prepare for the next round, Nowelle!

Upcoming events

Runstad Center students and alumni: please mark your calendars for the following events!

April 15, 12:30pm, Gould 110: Brown bag with Maria Barrientos

Maria is one of the most prominent women working in development in the Seattle region.  She has a 15 year track record of projects in both cultural/arts facilities and multi-family housing.  Bisnow has called her one of the most influential urban infill developers in the city – her website is linked here. Come hear how she got her start in the business, how she has overcome the challenges common to all urban infill developers and where she sees opportunities for young developers today.  

April 29, 10:30am – 12:20pm: Commercial Real Estate Symposium

Cosponsored with UW’s Foster School of Business.  RSVP here.

April 29, 12:30pm, Gould 110: Brown bag with Starbucks

Starbucks has been recruiting for real estate positions and hopes to meet interested students at the lunch.  They will be conducting interviews shortly thereafter.  Jim Terry, Vice President for Global Real Estate and Facilities and Global Store Development will discuss the Starbucks real estate operation and we expect that our own alumna Julia Desmond will share her experiences working for Seattle’s Best Coffee and Starbucks.  Human Resources personnel will also be on hand to present their “rotational” management training position that is designed to groom real estate professionals for rapid expansion of career opportunities within the Starbucks real estate organization.  Pizza provided!

April 30, 4:30 – 5:50pm: Annual MSRE Feedback Session (for current students)

This is a chance for you to share with your faculty, staff and fellow students your thoughts on the curriculum and the program.  All feedback is welcome.  We will also be talking about the changing curriculum and the future of the Runstad Center and the MSRE.  Pizza and refreshments will be served!

May 2, 5:30 – 7:30pm: All-College Alumni Happy Hour  (RSVP here)

Join us on Friday, May 2nd in Gould Court to relax with frosty beverages & tasty snacks while mingling with CBE alumni, friends, current students, and faculty at this jovial event!

Open house: April 4

Tomorrow is our annual open house for prospective students in all departments of the College of Built Environments, including the Runstad Center.  Here is a rundown of the college-wide activities planned.  Please feel free to stop by our office or email for specifics.  We hope to see you soon!

Lunch (11:45 – 1:00 pm, Gould Court)
Join a mix of prospective students from all majors for a casual lunch, hosted by the Dean’s office.

Open House (3:30 – 4:30 pm, Gould and Architecture Halls)
Take a tour of our buildings and see the spaces where we work and study.

Lecture (4:30 pm, Architecture Hall 147)
Architects from Miller|Hull will present their plans for the new Pike Place Waterfront project.  This is a great opportunity for all majors and degree candidates to learn more about a major site for built environments work in the city.  The Miller Hull Partnership was selected by the Pike Place Market Preservation and Public Development Authority (PDA) to design a new mixed-use project adjacent to the historic Pike Place Market. The project location will be a critical connection point to the new Seattle waterfront plan currently being developed by landscape architecture firm James Corner Field Operations. Join in on a presentation of this major site of built environments work and improvement in Seattle.  (Miller|Hull principal and co-founder David Miller is also the Chair of the department of Architecture here in the College of Built Environments.)

Happy Hour (4:30 pm, Architecture Hall 147)
Join current students for a traditional Friday afternoon Happy Hour! Ask your questions and meet your future fellow students in a convivial atmosphere at day’s end.

Runstad team wins the 2014 NAIOP Challenge!

Congratulations to our Real Estate Development Studio students for winning the Eleventh Annual NAIOP Real Estate Challenge!  This unique competition features teams from the University of Washington, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Alberta; each vying for bragging rights and the prestige associated with the mastery of the event.  Students from each university’s real estate program compete from January through late March to create and present a development proposal for a multi-faceted and challenging real-world project.

The Runstad Center’s team of graduate students studied various development scenarios for the Mariners Square site in the South Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle. Their proposal, “Gas Works Flats,” represents an opportunity to build on what’s existing to transform a key site and create enduring value without a large footprint.  For those who couldn’t attend today’s NAIOP breakfast, the team’s full report and full presentation are available online.

Big thanks and a thunderous round of applause to our hardworking students and their talented, devoted instructors, Chris Bitter and Al Levine!

Here are some images from our exciting morning:


MSRE candidate '14 Eric Hadden with John Teutsch, site sponsor and owner of Mariners Square
MSRE candidate ’14 Eric Hadden with John Teutsch, site sponsor and owner of Mariners Square
The Filley Cup comes back to the University of Washington!
The Filley Cup comes back to the University of Washington!
Real estate faculty members George Rolfe and Al Levine enjoying the presentation
Real estate faculty members George Rolfe and Al Levine taking in the presentations
Runstad Center director Steve O'Connor (far left) congratulations the winning UW team (L-R): Craig Ratchford, Ryan Miller, Elizabeth Johnson, Jon Beem, site sponsor John Teutsch, Jin Seok Park, Nate Daum, Louisa Galassini, Aaron Lykken, Eric Hadden, Yifan Cui, Bo Peng.
Runstad Center director Steve O’Connor (far left) congratulates the winning students from the Development studio (L-R): Craig Ratchford, Ryan Miller, Elizabeth Johnson, Jon Beem, site sponsor John Teutsch, Jin Seok Park, Nate Daum, Louisa Galassini, Aaron Lykken, Eric Hadden, Yifan Cui, Bo Peng.

Seattle as classroom for first-year students

First year MSRE student Patrick Kassin has been blogging about the many visits he and his fellow students have been making to sites around Seattle, and their conversations with the many Runstad Center board members, mentors, and friends they meet.  These inside tours of the real estate “real world” are an invaluable complement to work done in the classroom.  Seattle has an incredibly rich and varied market, and the Runstad Center is fortunate to have close connections to the major players in the industry that shapes it.  One of the biggest assets to our program is how readily available these individuals make themselves so our students can learn from their experience and expertise.  Check out Patrick’s blog for the full report!