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Letter from the Executive Director

Mark J. RiedyMark J. Riedy, PhD

This era in real estate seems like the carnival Whack-A-Mole game: Punch down on one property type—residential—and another property type—multifamily—pops up. Seasoned professionals question the future duration of weak consumer and business confidence and legitimately ponder whether consumers’ infatuation with shopping on the Internet will translate into less demand for retail space or whether corporate downsizing, outsourcing and greater employee productivity mean permanently weaker demand for office space. Green eyeshade banking regulators continue to force banks to write down more loans, thereby squeezing capital bases and inhibiting lending. Real estate investors continue expecting prices to decline and postpone investment decisions.

16th Annual Real Estate ConferenceReal estate always has been cyclical, but never in my memory has the real estate industry faced such great uncertainty and challenges to its future direction, structure and markets. The Burnham-Moores Center’s 16th Annual Real Estate Conference cannot provide answers to every question, but we have attracted an extraordinary cadre of speakers whose expertise covers the majority of questions you probably are asking yourselves and others.

Richard Davis, CEO of U.S. Bank, who was the keynote speaker at our 13th Annual Real Estate Conference and is again this year, proved to be a candid and substantive speaker who truly understands banking and real estate. We are thrilled to have him join us once again. Because residential lending and sales are lagging the recovery, while multifamily flexes its muscle, Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, will provide insights we all need. And who better than San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, whose understanding of this region’s real estate is remarkable, can address the politics of these challenges?

Commercial real estate and capital markets keeping you awake at night? You’re not alone. Sam Davis, chief investment officer of Allstate in Chicago, and Stephen Silk, senior managing director of Eastdil Secured in Los Angeles, meet capital market problems and opportunities head-on every day and will help you assess their future direction. Trying to find out whether San Diego’s commercial real estate markets are heading north or still sliding south? Who better than the local leaders of this region’s largest commercial real estate holders, Steve Scott of Kilroy Realty and John Turner of the Irvine Company Office Properties, to provide insight?

To register for individual seating or reserve a table of 10, go to I look forward to seeing you on March 2.

Dr. Mark J. Riedy
Executive Director

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Center Co-hosts Mayoral Forum on Land Use Issues

Mayoral Candidate Forum
(From left to right) Councilman Carl DeMaio, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher and Mark Riedy, PhD, take part in the Jan. 18 Mayoral Candidate Forum on campus.

On Jan. 18, the Burnham-Moores Center co-hosted a mayoral forum with the ULI San Diego/Tijuana District Council. The forum include three of the four candidates for San Diego mayor, who answered questions posed by representatives from ULI, NAIOP, the American Institute of Architects, the Building Industry Association and the Burnham-Moores Center. Councilman Carl DeMaio, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, all Republicans, took part in the forum, which was moderated by the Center’s Executive Director Mark Riedy, PhD. Democratic Congressman Bob Filner did not attend.

In their responses, candidates offered their views on important land use issues impacting the San Diego real estate industry:

“I think we have to look at everything creatively—outside the box. We have to take a regional approach.”  —Dumanis

“You can have all the housing stock you want, but if you don’t have a job stock, you won’t have a sustainable economy.” —DeMaio

“If we want to be a global city, we have to invest in our infrastructure.”  —Fletcher

For further coverage of the event, go to the San Diego Union-Tribune article.

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Louis Galuppo Leaving the BMC After 14 Years

Lou Galuppo
Louis Galuppo, Esq.

After contributing 14 years of his time and expertise to the growth in substance and stature of USD’s real estate program, Lou Galuppo has resigned as director of residential real estate in the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate, effective Feb. 29, 2012. Lou has decided to devote all of his considerable energies to his growing real estate practice, Galuppo & Blechschmidt, which has opened two new offices in the past year and is looking at three other locations. Once in the private sector on a full-time basis, Lou will maintain his close connection to the Burnham-Moores Center by continuing to teach in the Master of Science in Real Estate program and becoming an active member of the Center’s Commercial Real Estate Committee.

Q: What prompted you to get involved in USD’s real estate programs over a decade ago?
A: There seemed to an opportunity to become involved with an academic institution that wanted to create something that would affect people, our industry, the community and the San Diego region in a positive and productive manner. 

Q: When you joined the real estate program, there was no residential committee. How does the presence of one help USD’s real estate program?  
A: From a purely academic perspective, this was an underserved part of our real estate industry, yet extremely important. The media reports about things related to homes as often as daily. The real estate academic community spends a lot of time researching and analyzing important issues related to where people live. Anywhere from 2,000 to 5,000 homes sell every month. By being involved in this segment of the market, the Burnham-Moores Center could make a difference, such as conducting forums and research on workforce and affordable housing, being involved in research and advocacy concerning the spiraling direct and cost of regulations, and providing a conference to present an economic forecast for the following year.    

Q: The continuing education program that you were instrumental in creating with John Ferber continues to yield healthy class sizes, despite the economy. What do you attribute its success to? 
A: In the first year of my tenure, John and I started talking about a continuing education program. At the time, San Diego had only one program, which we believed was not properly serving our constituency. A task force was created to explore the need; once determined, the task force assisted in developing course content. Our success is built on working with our stakeholders, understanding the educational needs within the real estate industry, hiring the right professors and delivering a course in a timely and cost-effective manner. 

Q: When you began teaching in the program, the course was called “Real Estate Law.” It is now called “Real Estate Law, Ethics and Public Policy.” What does the broader scope say about what we now teach our students? 
A: In the beginning, I taught a very broad survey-based class, discussing legal principles. We did not spend too much developing out and discussing legal theories and ideas, legal trends in the market and the practical and ethical issues faced daily by the working professional. Today, I spend time discussing interests in real estate, how such is: created; maintained; transferred; and terminated. I provide the students with case study materials, live cases and lectures about these topics. In the second half of the class, we discuss in great length the impacts of governmental regulation and intervention on these real property interests, with a focus on valuation, trends and political influences. Throughout, we talk about the effect and impact of the processes and dealings in an ethical environment and manner.

Q: What accomplishments are you most proud of from your time at the BMC? 
A: I am very proud of so many things. We were successful in spite of many obstacles. There were three things that I was directly involved in every step of the way: 1) growth from a fledging group of two people, one committee, three classes, and one conference to a nationally recognized real estate center with 13 people, millions of dollars of endowment, three degree-related programs, two certificate programs, four committees, numerous annual conferences, published academic and applied research, active career services, and student/industry events; 2) the Master of Science of Real Estate degree and being able to teach in the program; and 3) the relationships I have with the people on the committees, in particular, the Residential Real Estate Committee.  

Q: Your law practice is growing exponentially. Is this a sign the industry is recovering? 
A: We are seeing some more traditional work; yet, unfortunately, no. Although our firm is working in numerous sectors within the real estate industry—brokerage, purchase and sale, leasing, financing, entity formation, syndication, subdivision, construction and others—most of our work is related to the distress that exists in the market. I think that distress will exist and hang in the market for at least another 24 months, maybe longer. Because of our expertise in understanding the interplay between different markets and asset classes, and transactional, litigation and bankruptcy, we are able to adjust quickly to the needs of our clients. 

Q: You served as Residential Real Estate Director, but are joining the Commercial Real Estate Committee. Is this an indication of the shift your career and expertise have taken over the years?
A: If possible, I would be a member of both committees. I have always been actively involved in both segments of the real estate industry. Our law firm represents clients who deal with and own residential and commercial real property. We are very fortunate that we represent nationally recognized institutions and very prominent local companies and firms. Because of my involvement over the past 22 years with the real estate community in San Diego, I was very important to and enjoyed being a part of the continued growth of the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate.

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MSRE Students Spend Intersession in Manila and Hong Kong

Hong Kong
(From left to right) Professor Charles Tu, and graduate students Jana Dix, Alex Leonard, Will Scott, Steve Jensen, Erica Schutt, Akhil Israni, Chris Menkov, Bobby Whitney, Eric Held, Dan Buoye and Mike Kelly pose for a picture outside the Jumbo Floating Restaurant.

Over the winter intersession, 11 MSRE students traveled to the Philippines and Hong Kong Jan. 3-14 to take a “Commercial Real Estate Capital Markets” course taught by Professor Charles Tu, PhD.

The study abroad program was designed so that students could learn about the business and economic environment of the regions through coursework‚ expert guest lecturers and the opportunity to participate in socio-cultural group activities. In addition to lectures and activities in the classroom‚ the class went on several company visits. In Manila, the students visited Ayala Land, the Philippines’ leading real estate developer, where they were given a presentation on the Bonifacio Global City project at the Fort Bonifacio Development Corporation office followed by a bus tour through the project. During the presentation, the company provided information about its partnership structure, development costs, development plans for the future, government involvement and the political side of development in Manila.

In Hong Kong, the students visited CBRE and MGM Macau. At CBRE, speakers from various departments within the company spoke about their responsibilities and their day-to-day work and gave presentations on the current real estate situation in Asia compared with the U.S. market. At MGM Macau, the casino’s treasurer discussed its operating performance and how the property was valued in the company’s IPO in 2011. The class also toured the property and its luxurious suites.

In addition to the academic and business aspects of the course‚ students also were able to experience the cultural aspects of both cities. The group visited popular tourist destinations on their city tour of Manila, rode in jeepneys and rented a van to visit Hidden Valley Springs. In Hong Kong, the group visited Tsim Sha Tsui area overlooking Hong Kong Island, took a city tour, and went to dinner at the Hong Kong Jockey Club and the iconic Jumbo Floating Restaurant.

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MSRE Alumni, Sisters Give Back to the BMC and the Industry

By Diane Gustafson

Yaghdjian Sisters
(Left to right) Joanne ’11 (MSRE) and Mary Ann ’07 (MSRE) Yaghdjian

Mary Ann ’07 (MSRE) and Joanne ’11 (MSRE) Yaghdjian have more in common than most graduates from the University of San Diego’s Master of Science in Real Estate program. Not only are they sisters who share a common interest in real estate, but they also are best friends who both work at their family’s business and have recently begun a new professional endeavor together—a website for the San Diego commercial real estate community.

Born and raised in San Diego, the Yaghdjian sisters adopted an appreciation for real estate early on, as it is the family business they grew up with. From a young age, both women enjoyed visiting and helping their father, Alan, at the office of his business, International Investment Co., a commercial real estate investment firm in Rancho Bernardo.

Both of the sisters decided to go to college at University of Southern California: Mary Ann earned a degree in communication and a minor in business; Joanne earned a degree in business administration.

After working in Los Angeles and San Diego, Mary Ann decided to pursue her Master of Science in Real Estate degree through the Burnham-Moores Center.

“It was important for me to have a graduate degree, and after a few years in the industry, I wanted to have a further education in real estate and learn the parts of our industry that I did not have as much experience in,” said Mary Ann.

Joanne was attracted to USD’s MSRE program after witnessing Mary Ann’s experience in the program, meeting alums and attending Burnham-Moores Center events. Both sisters say their favorite part of the program was the professional and personal connections they made with their classmates. Both also say their degrees have opened many doors and opportunities for them.

Soon after graduating, Mary Ann was interested in giving back to the Center and her fellow alumni and joined the University of San Diego’s Real Estate Alumni Association board, eventually becoming chair for more than two years. She continues to serve on ULI’s Young Leader Board.

Since her first semester in the MSRE program, Joanne has been working on co-authoring an article with her classmate Matt Gevergiz for the publication Real Estate Issues, which is published by the Counselors of Real Estate. The article, “What Kind of Returns Can Be Expected on Trophy Deals?,” which was drafted under the guidance of Professor Norm Miller, is scheduled to be published in an upcoming edition of the publication.

“I thought it would be a good opportunity to have the chance to work with Dr. Miller on a side project outside of the classroom,” said Joanne, who serves on CCIM’s and NAIOP’s Developing Leader Boards. “And the idea of getting a piece of work published sounded very exciting!”

The sisters now work full-time at their family’s business, where Mary Ann is the manager of their family’s portfolio of commercial real estate properties, and Joanne is the asset manager of the Rancho Bernardo Courtyard Office Complex. They both love working together and having the opportunity to learn from their father every day.

The sisters are also keeping themselves busy with a new endeavor: Along with former Burnham-Moores Center student and alumni services manager Lauren Lukens, they have launched a website,, which stands for San Diego Commercial Real Estate Download. The website’s mission is to connect the San Diego commercial real estate community by providing the go-to, online, industry-driven resource that aggregates relevant news, job opportunities, academic developments and networking events.

The sisters plan to continue working with the family’s business while developing further traffic to their website, but also plan to obtain their broker licenses this year and become more involved with commercial brokerage. They also both plan on remaining very involved with the Center as alums by attending events and helping to recruit students to the MSRE program.

“I find myself talking about the BMC and spreading the word all the time,” says Mary Ann.

For Joanne: “My involvement with the Center will always be a priority to me.”

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MSRE Students Honored at NAIOP Breakfast with the Mayor

(From left to right) MSRE student Matt Bean, NAIOP university relations representatives Charlie Abdi ’83 (BBA), Gary Katz and Chris Pascale ’83 (BBA), and MSRE student Bryan Grissinger at the breakfast Feb. 2

On Feb. 2, the NAIOP San Diego Chapter held its Sixth Annual Breakfast with the Mayor, at which Mayor Jerry Sanders outlined his agenda for his final year in office. Later in the meeting, NAIOP university relations representatives Charlie Abdi ’83 (BBA), Gary Katz and Chris Pascale ’83 (BBA) honored two USD Master of Science in Real Estate students, Matt Bean and Bryan Grissinger, for receiving the NAIOP San Diego Chapter/Mickey Carhart Memorial Endowed Scholarship.

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Errol Cowan, PhD, Joins the Center as Adjunct Professor

Errol Cowan
Errol Cowan, PhD

Errol Cowan, PhD, has joined the Burnham-Moores Center as an adjunct professor. He is teaching the undergraduate course, “Commercial Real Estate Valuation.”

Cowan graduated from the University of California-Berkeley with an MBA and a multiple PhD degree in real estate economics, urban planning and urban geography.

He served as associate professor of Urban and Environmental Planning at the University of Virginia and also taught at California State University-Los Angeles and San Diego State University.

He is currently vice president and Research & Development director of Planned Densification, as well as president of Assets in Action Inc.

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Meissner-Jacquét Principal Speaks to Real Estate Society

Jerry Jacquet
Jerry Jacquét speaks at the Real Estate Society meeting Feb. 9.

Jerry Jacquét, principal at Meissner-Jacquét Investment Management Services, spoke to the Real Estate Society Feb. 9 on the work that property and asset managers do. Jacquét, who is a member of the Center’s Policy Advisory Board Commercial Committee, also provided the students tips on how to get started in a real estate career.

The Real Estate Society is a 200-plus member student organization that provides resources and information to undergraduate students who are interested in studying and pursuing careers in real estate. Meetings are held once a month and feature real estate professionals who share their industry experience and insight with students.

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Center Offers LEED GA Training at Discount

The Burnham-Moores Center is offering a 12-hour 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 GA exam. The course is scheduled for April 3 from 4 - 8 p.m.; April 17 from 4 - 8 p.m.; and April 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The cost is $350 per person, $200 for USD alumni or $1,000 for a company sponsoring five or more people. For more information, contact Ines Kraft, PhD, at (619) 260-4150.

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SBA Offers Seminar on Financing Your Graduate Degree

The University of San Diego’s School of Business Administration is offering a free seminar, “Uncover the Hidden Tools to Finance Your Graduate Degree,” on Feb. 16 from 5:30 - 7 p.m. at USD’s Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice. The seminar will feature experts on financial aid, scholarships, grants and military/veteran education benefits, who will explain the resources available and answer questions from attendees.

To RSVP, go here.

Back to TopIn the News

Professor Norm Miller, PhD, and Associate Professor Alan Gin, PhD, were included in the Jan. 7, Jan. 14, Jan. 21, Jan. 27 and Feb. 4 editions of the San Diego Union-Tribune’s weekly “EconoMeter.”

An article on the Burnham-Moores Center’s 2011 Annual Real Estate Conference speaker, Michael J. Williams, appeared in the San Diego Union-Tribune Jan. 11.

Undergraduate real estate student Kelly Ness was featured in a Jan. 12 San Diego Union-Tribune article for the $10,000 national scholarship she received from Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW).

The Mayoral Candidate Forum co-hosted by the Burnham-Moores Center and the Urban Land Institute on campus Jan. 18 was covered in the San Diego Union-Tribune and The Daily Transcript articles and a Fox 5 news segment.

Executive Director Mark Riedy, PhD, was interviewed for a KUSI segment on Freddie Mac, which aired Jan. 31.

Alan Gin, PhD, associate professor, was mentioned in several articles following his January 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 Business Journal, the San Diego Union-Tribune, NBC San Diego, and

Mark Riedy, PhD, and Alan Gin, PhD, were quoted in a Daily Transcript article Feb. 6 on the decline of notices of default and foreclosures in January.

Mark Riedy, PhD, was interviewed for a KUSI segment on mortgage lawsuits, which aired Feb. 6. He was also quoted in San Diego Union-Tribune articles (Article 1, Article 2, Article 3) and was interviewed with Norm Miller, PhD, for a KUSI segment on the mortgage settlement deal Feb. 9. Norm Miller was quoted in a Feb. 10 San-Diego Union-Tribune article on the same topic.

Back to TopCalendar of Events

THURSDAY, FEB. 16, 2012

Finance Your Graduate Degree Seminar

The University of San Diego’s School of Business Administration is hosting a free seminar to teach people how to finance up to 100 percent of the cost of a graduate degree. Experts on financial aid, merit and need-based scholarships, graduate grants and military/veteran education benefits will be on hand to explain the resources available.

  • 5:30 – 7 p.m.
  • Joan B. Kroc Institute of Peace & Justice, University of San Diego campus
  • To register, go here.

THURSDAY, FEB. 23, 2012

Real Estate Career Expo

  • 12 – 2 p.m.
  • Hahn University Center, University of San Diego campus
  • To participate or for more information, contact Annie Grand at (619) 260-7619.

FRIDay, MARCH 2, 2012

16th Annual Real Estate Conference featuring U.S. Bank CEO Richard K. Davis

  • Other featured speakers include Freddie Mac Chief Economist Frank E. Nothaft and City of San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders
  • 7:30 - 11:45 a.m.
  • Hilton San Diego Bayfront, One Park Blvd., San Diego, 92101
  • $135 per individual to register; $1,200 for a reserved table of 10
  • For a full agenda, go here.
  • To register, go here.
  • For questions or sponsorship opportunities, contact Diane Gustafson at (619) 260-2379.
  • Now MCLE credit approved


LEED GA Training

The Burnham-Moores Center is offering a 12-hour LEED GA Training 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.

  • April 3 from 4 - 8 p.m.; April 17 from 4 - 8 p.m.; and April 20 from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • Cost is $350 per person, $200 for USD alumni or $1,000 for a company sponsoring five or more people
  • For more information, contact Ines Kraft, PhD, at (619) 260-4150.

Back to TopContinuing Education - Upcoming Courses


Real Estate Investment and Income Analysis 101