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Letter from the Executive Director

Mark J. RiedyMark J. Riedy, PhD

On March 3, the Burnham-Moores Center will hold its 15th Annual Real Estate Conference. We anticipate a great turnout of senior real estate and financial services executives in addition to our graduate and undergraduate real estate students. Readers who have never attended our annual conference will be amazed at the caliber of speakers, timeliness of topics and quality of networking opportunities it offers.

Career ExpoFannie Mae CEO Michael J. Williams will lead off the program with an important presentation on prospects for single- and multi-family housing and mortgage market recoveries and the role he expects Fannie Mae to take in stimulating and supporting those recoveries. I firmly believe that what happens in residential real estate markets is a reliable indicator, and contributor to, future trends in commercial real estate activity and pricing. Mike’s is a don’t-miss presentation, and he has agreed to a Q&A session following his formal remarks.

Following Mike’s presentation, a panel of local leaders will address the region’s job prospects from the perspective of true insiders whose pulse is on job creation in San Diego.  Following tradition, the conference then shifts to more national perspectives with speakers also addressing the impact of their views on markets locally.

A timely panel on “Lending, Investing and Capital Markets” will examine the lifeblood of real estate, the cost and availability of money and where funds are flowing, or not. The panel is made up of action-oriented senior executives all firmly grounded in today’s—and tomorrow’s—money flows and capital markets.

Following a presentation on prospects for the four major food groups—retail, office, multifamily and industrial real estate—by Norm Miller, vice president of analytics at Costar, the final panel will answer the critical question: “Are Workouts Working Out?” As with all of the other speakers, the insights of these panelists come from direct experience on a large scale.

From start to finish, this conference annually offers the best insights, information and networking among real estate professionals in San Diego. With over 450 people already confirmed, I encourage you to register soon for this signature event. Whether you reserve a table for 10 or just a place for yourself, you will be pleased you did. Starting with our First Annual Real Estate Conference on Jan. 16, 1997, industry feedback consistently has been exceptional. We look forward to continuing the tradition this year.

Dr. Mark J. Riedy
Executive Director

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MSRE, Undergrad Students Travel to Hong Kong for Intersession

Hong Kong Group Photo
Students and professors pose for a picture inside Jumbo Floating Restaurant‚ a Hong Kong icon and internationally renowned tourist attraction.

Thirteen MSRE students traveled to Hong Kong, joining more than 20 University of San Diego MBA and IMBA students over the winter intersession Jan. 14-22. All of the graduate students took a two-unit “Negotiations” course taught by Professor Craig Barkacs and a one-unit “Topics in International Real Estate” course taught by Professor Charles Tu. Twelve undergraduate students also came to the city from Jan. 3-22 to take the “Principles of Real Estate" course taught by Tu. All classes were held on the Hong Kong Baptist University campus.

The graduate program was designed so that students could learn about the business and economic environment of the region through coursework‚ expert guest lecturers and the opportunity to participate in socio-cultural group activities. In addition to lectures and activities in the classroom‚ Tu’s classes participated in two company visits. At Prosperity REIT‚ CEO Stephen Chu discussed how the green movement is making its way to Hong Kong. At the Hong Kong offices of CB Richard Ellis, the students met with the company’s knowledge team‚ who provided an overview of the Hong Kong market, investment opportunities in Asia and the company's progress in sustainability.

In addition to the academic and business aspects of the course‚ students also were able to experience the cultural aspects of Hong Kong. The group visited popular tourist destinations in Hong Kong including: Victoria Peak‚ Stanley Market‚ the Giant Buddha on Lantau Island‚ the SoHo district‚ Happy Valley Racecourse and various shopping centers around the city.

“The trip was a great bonding experience for us and a wonderful class to take abroad as you learn about negotiations then practice your techniques the same day at the different markets‚” said MSRE student Joanne Yaghdjian.

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MSRE Students Meet with City Officials to Discuss North Bay Redevelopment

City Council Member Lorie Zapf addresses MSRE students.

Master of Science in Real Estate students in Professor Sherm Harmer’s “Urban and Suburban Development” class met recently with a group of city officials and private business owners to learn more about the redevelopment needs in the Morena Boulevard area adjacent to the University of San Diego campus.

As part of this semester’s class as well as the program's Capstone course, MSRE students will make recommendations for the revitalization and market positioning of the area and suggest catalyst projects for the neighborhood, which falls into the city’s North Bay Redevelopment project area.

At the meeting, newly elected City Council Member Lorie Zapf encouraged the students to embrace this unique opportunity to help shape the region. “This is a real contribution to the future of San Diego,” Zapf said. “This is your San Diego.”

Jerry Navarra, chairman of Jerome’s Furniture which is located in the study area, urged the students to come up with a plan that capitalizes on the location’s nearness to the Interstate 8 and 5 freeways. “The area is just too geographically important and underused,” he said. Navarra attended the meeting with his wife, Ann, who is a principal owner of Jerome’s Furniture and a member of USD’s Board of Trustees.

Len Hering, vice president for Business Services and Administration at USD, also attended the meeting, which was held at the Redevelopment Agency in downtown San Diego, to share his vision for the university’s future.

The meeting was hosted by Janice Weinrick, deputy executive director of the San Diego Redevelopment Agency, and attended by Krissy Toft, project manager for the North Bay Redevelopment project area, which includes Morena Boulevard.

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USD Team to Compete in USC International Case Competition

A team of undergraduate real estate students will compete in the University of Southern California’s International Real Estate Case Competition, to be held April 11-15. This will be the second year that USD competes in the invitation-only event, which is limited to 10 universities with leading real estate finance programs in the United States and abroad.

The team will be led by faculty advisor John Demas, Esq., and include students Hayden Healy, Molly Jones, Christopher Lisle, Dietrich Nascimento, Taylor Sides and Kyle Sullivan. Jones is the only returning team member.

Team members were selected based on their outstanding performance in real estate classes and their engagement in extracurricular real estate activities.

Participating teams compete for cash prizes in oral and written presentations that address a real-world real estate problem posed by leading practitioners in the real estate industry.

The event format will feature teams preparing presentations in their home cities and then traveling to Los Angeles for submission of written materials and oral reports before panels of industry judges. During their time in LA, students also will participate in networking and social events and have their resumes included in a book that is widely distributed to the real estate industry.

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PwC U.S. Real Estate Head Offers Outlook on 2011 Trends

Mitch Roschelle
Mitchell Roschelle

Mitch Roschelle, partner, U.S. real estate advisory practice leader, PricewaterhouseCoopers, presented the highlights of the PwC/ULI publication, “Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2011,” at the Jan. 25 meeting of the Center’s Policy Advisory Board Commercial Committee meeting.

Roschelle is a key PwC advisor in matters dealing with real estate acquisition, development and disposition, restructurings and the securitization of real estate assets. He also leads the firm’s efforts in performing due diligence reviews on behalf of real estate investors, lenders and asset managers.

The Commercial Real Estate Committee consists of senior-level real estate professionals from development, investment, finance, consulting, appraisal, title services, legal, sales and leasing.

To view the PowerPoint slides from Roschelle’s presentation, go here.

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Alums, Students Gather for First Market Watch Event of 2011

REAA Event
On Feb. 3, over 25 members of USD’s Real Estate Alumni Association and MSRE students gathered at the first Quarterly Market Watch event of the year held at Offshore Tavern and Grill where they discussed the market and networked. (Left to right) MSRE students Michael Argier and Joanne Yaghdjian pose with Justin Brennan ’06 (MSRE).
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MSRE Students Recognized at NAIOP Event with Mayor

NAIOP Mayor's Event
(Left to right) Charlie Abdi, chair of the Center's Commercial Real Estate Committee and past president of NAIOP, MSRE student Alison Mandelbaum and Paul Twardowski, vice president/partner at Hines and president of NAIOP, attended NAIOP-San Diego’s annual Breakfast with the Mayor Jan. 19. Mandelbaum and current MBA student, Walter Chui ’10 (MSRE), were recognized at the event for being selected as NAIOP’s Fall 2010 scholarship recipients. For a full list of recent scholarship recipients go here.
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Center Professors Speak at International, Local Events

Vivek Sah
Vivek Sah, PhD, presents at the 17th Pacific Rim Real Estate Society Conference in Gold Coast, Australia Jan. 17.

Assistant Professor Vivek Sah, PhD, presented his paper,Do Green REITs Perform Better?,” at the 17th Pacific Rim Real Estate Society Conference in Gold Coast, Australia Jan. 17. The conference, Climate Change and Property: Its Impact Now and Later, focused on sustainability across a diverse range of topics and included presentations from international speakers at the forefront of research and policy-making.

Mark J. Riedy, PhD, executive director, was one of several commercial real estate industry experts who were invited to participate in The Daily Transcript’s Real Estate Roundtable Jan. 14. The group discussed the current status and prospects for San Diego’s commercial markets. Afterward, the Transcript’s executive editor, George Chamberlin, conducted an in-depth interview with Riedy on the Center and the state of San Diego’s residential and commercial real estate markets. To view the interview, go here.

On Jan. 11, Louis Galuppo, Esq., residential real estate director, served as the guest speaker at Richard Realty Group’s Mastermind Meeting in Carlsbad, where he spoke with Realtors about the new California short sale law.

Back to TopIn the News

Alan Gin, PhD, associate professor of economics, was mentioned in several articles following his December release of the USD Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County, which he compiles for the Burnham-Moores Center. Articles appeared in the San Diego Union-Tribune, The Daily Transcript, San Diego Metropolitan Magazine, North County Times,, San Diego Reader, La Jolla Light, La Mesa Patch and an independent blog.

Norm Miller, PhD, distinguished research professor, and Alan Gin were included in the Jan. 8, 15 and 22 editions of the San Diego Union-Tribune’s “EconoMeter.”

Executive Director Mark J. Riedy, PhD, and Professor Charles Tu, PhD, were quoted on the growing popularity of real estate masters programs in the U.S. in a blog entry on ICSC’s Web site Jan. 18.

An article on the Burnham-Moores Center’s co-authored study on sustainable buildings was featured in The Daily Transcript Jan. 26.

Mark Riedy was quoted in a Jan. 26 Daily Transcript article on the state of the commercial real estate market.

Ines Kraft, PhD, administrative director of the MSRE program, was quoted in a Jan. 26 Daily Transcript article on how more professionals are considering real estate graduate school in a down market.

Back to TopCalendar of Events

THURsDay, FEB. 24, 2011

Annual Real Estate Career Expo with Speed Networking Format

  • 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
  • Hahn University Center, Forum C, University of San Diego Campus
  • To participate, contact Annie Grand at (619) 260-7619 or


LEED GA Training

The Burnham-Moores Center is offering a three-day course at a discount to help members of the San Diego real estate community better understand green building and LEED core concepts and to help them prepare for the LEED Green Associate exam. At the end of the course, participants will receive a certificate of completion, which will make them eligible to sit for the exam.

  • Feb. 25-26 and March 4, 2011
  • Olin Hall, Room 325, University of San Diego Campus
  • $250 per person, $200 for USD alumni or $1,000 for a company sponsoring five people
  • For information, contact Ines Kraft at (619) 260-4150 or

THURSDay, MARCH 3, 2011

15th Annual Real Estate Conference featuring Fannie Mae CEO Michael J. Williams

Fannie Mae President and CEO Michael J. Williams will be the keynote speaker at the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate’s 15th Annual Real Estate Conference. The event also will feature an all-star lineup of nationally and locally recognized industry professionals who will address job prospects, capital markets and loan workouts.

  • 7:30 a.m. - 12 p.m.
  • Hilton San Diego Bayfront, One Park Blvd., San Diego, Calif. 92101
  • $135, includes registration fee and breakfast; $1,200 for a reserved table of 10
  • To register, go to
  • For the agenda, go here.
  • For questions or sponsorship opportunities, contact Diane Gustafson at (619) 260-2379 or

Deadlines for Fall 2011 MSRE Program

  • Standard admission deadline is March 15, with decision notification by April 15.
  • Late admission deadline is June 1, with decision notification by July 1.
  • For more information, go here.

Back to TopContinuing Education - Upcoming Courses and Seminars


Real Estate Investment and Income Analysis 101


  • Course taught by Nathan Moeder, principal of The London Group
  • To register, contact Monica Phelps-Zambrano, or register online.
  • For more information on this course, go here. For more information on Real Estate Continuing Education, go here.

ThURsDay, NOV. 10, 2011

Update on Tax Considerations in Real Estate


  • Seminar taught by Dan Gatto, founding partner of Gatto, Pope and Walwick LLP, and Phillip L. Jelsma, partner at Luce, Forward, Hamilton and Scripps LLP
  • To register, contact Monica Phelps-Zambrano, or register online.
  • For more information on this seminar, go here. For more information on Real Estate Continuing Education, go here.