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Letter from the Executive Director

Mark RiedyMark Riedy, PhD

Research is one of the defining features of university-based real estate programs. The Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate rightfully includes “research” within its Mission Statement on an equal par with education, career services and the promotion of socially responsible leadership. The Mission Statement also includes “industry support.” Much of the real estate research undertaken by our faculty, being applied in nature, thereby contributes to our support of the industry. 

MSRE ProgramIn this letter I highlight applied research, the results of which are relevant to actual office market behavior. It is important to the authors and to me that many of you take time to read this research paper and send your comments and suggestions to us. Please send your thoughts to Professors Norm Miller, PhD, and Charles Tu, PhD, and MSRE alumni Bryan Masters ’13 (MSRE) and Lawrence Kopp ’10 (MSRE). Kindly send a copy to me as well.

I believe that most everyone understands the strong support that the Center staff provides to USD’s real estate program. For example, the BMC has generated substantial scholarship dollars that are awarded to graduate and undergraduate real estate students. Our Executive Committee members provided complete funding for the Mulvihill Professorship that annually supports Charles Tu’s research and related travel, data acquisition and other expenses. The Center also supports many other academic initiatives, all of which are designed to enhance the value of the academic program in real estate.

Our next step in this process is to launch a “Real Estate Research Fund” to encourage faculty throughout USD’s School of Business Administration to pursue relevant and useful applied research. Eligible topics will cover the entire spectrum of real estate—residential as well as commercial. This new proposed research fund has been reviewed favorably by those whose signatures are required for USD’s approval. Formal consent is expected well in advance of the Sept. 1 effective date.

Your candid, constructive and comprehensive written feedback to this research study will assist the authors and me. While the results will not change, how the results are presented and how you perceive the value of the research will be especially useful in helping the BMC assess its “return on investment” in supporting faculty research. Lastly, thanks to your on-going generosity toward the BMC, we have the resources to take this next important step: funding research to support the real estate industry and contribute to its success.

Mark Riedy, PhD
Executive Director

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Charles Tu Reappointed as Mulvihill Professor

Charles Tu
Charles Tu, PhD

The University of San Diego has reappointed Charles Tu, PhD, as the Daniel F. Mulvihill Professor of Commercial Real Estate for a three-year term, effective September 1, 2013. USD President, Mary Lyons, PhD, congratulated Tu upon his reappointment, recognizing his “continuing outstanding achievements in teaching, research and service to the university and to the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate.” She added, “As the first recipient of the Mulvihill Professorship in Commercial Real Estate you have brought great honor to this position.” President Lyons also cited the high esteem in which Tu is held by USD administration and faculty, as well as his colleagues at the Center. Tu is the academic director of the MSRE program in addition to holding the Mulvihill Professorship.

Several years ago, members of the Burnham-Moores Center’s Policy Advisory Board Executive Committee funded the endowment and created the Mulvihill Professorship as a permanent tribute to Dan Mulvihill. A USD parent and long-time commercial mortgage banker, Mulvihill has played a pivotal role in USD’s real estate program since its inception in 1993. The endowment funds commercial real estate-oriented research, travel and related needs for Tu—as the first holder of the Mulvihill Professorship—to support his high-quality applied research valued by the real estate industry.

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Fifth Annual Bowling Fundraiser Raises New Record

The winning team with Burnham-Moores Center Executive Director Mark Riedy, PhD.

The Real Estate Alumni Association’s annual scholarship fundraising event, held at East Village Tavern and Bowl in downtown San Diego June 13 sold out again this year. Thanks to the help of sponsors, a raffle and individual registration fees, the event raised a record of over $7,000 for Real Estate Alumni Association scholarships, an increase of more than $3,000 from 2012. These scholarships are awarded to outstanding undergraduate or graduate students studying real estate at USD.

Twelve teams participated in the bowling tournament. The winning team included John Cunningham, Derek Jensen ’07 (MSRE), Matt Reams ’06 (BBA) and Colby Young ’12 (MBA), all employees of Pacifica Companies, a lane sponsor of the event. Their names, along with the names of previous years’ winning team members, are being inscribed on the “Riedy Cup” which was unveiled during the award ceremony much to the delight and surprise of Mark Riedy.

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Team Homework Assignment Leads to Publication for Recent MSRE Grads

IREL logoWhen Professor Norm Miller, PhD, assigned the question, “If interest rates increase by x percent, how much will NOI need to grow to hold values constant?” during an MSRE class last semester, he was particularly pleased with the answer from two of his students and wanted to share their response with others in the industry. Miller contacted the editorial director of the Institutional Real Estate Letter-Americas to see if the publication would have interest in publishing the students’ assignment. The analysis of recent MSRE graduates Evan Lippow ’13 (MSRE) and Bryan Masters ’13 (MSRE) can be read in this month’s edition of that journal.

The article provides an overview of how much rental revenue will need to increase on an annual basis, for commercial real estate properties, in order to sustain value once interest rates go up. To read the article in full, go here.

“The opportunity to have an article published in a respected real estate journal was definitely a highlight for the year,” said Lippow. “It is exciting to see how much our education has enhanced our knowledge. At the beginning of the year, there was no chance that we could have produced an article which would end up being published. With the help of Dr. Miller, we were able to make our own forecast which will be read and discussed by some of the leading professionals in the industry. It’s really exciting!”

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Norm Miller Teaches Undergraduate Sustainability Course in Paris

Undergraduate students from Norm Miller’s “International Approaches to Sustainability” course pose with students from two other USD courses in Paris

The Burnham-Moores Center’s Norm Miller, PhD, taught an undergraduate elective course, “International Approaches to Sustainability” in Paris, as part of USD’s study abroad program this summer. Students investigated best ideas for green shoot industries and the role played by sustainability directors, participated in class field trips and classroom discussions, and attended lectures from industry experts. The USD students also studied new technology and systems that are transforming industries and changing how people live, play and work.

Field trips included visits to BeCitizen, Verteego, Zublin Immobiliére, Schneider Electric, CBRE, Steelcase, Smart Car Factory and Enodo. The class especially enjoyed visiting Zublin Immobiliére, a property management company that focuses on making office properties more efficient. Students met with the company’s CEO, Pierre Essig, and discussed the many components of Zublin in addition to seeing one of the company’s current renovation projects in progress.

The students were encouraged to document what they learned on the field trips, at guest lectures and in classroom discussions by using the social media platform To read their blog entries, go here.

The objective of the course was to expose students to successful strategies aimed at doing less harm to the world while simultaneously achieving profitability. The course also exposed students to exciting new career paths in dynamic and growing segments of business, integrating and complementing USD’s emphasis on corporate social responsibility.

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Center Supporters, Alums Recognized in Real Estate Forum

REFlogoBurnham-Moores Center alums and supporters Bryce Aberg ’99 (BBA), Alvin Mansour ’03 (BBA) and Andy Pollin ’98 (MBA) were listed in Real Estate Forum’s “Tomorrow’s Leaders” article in its June edition. The piece highlighted 25 of the most promising young professionals working in the real estate industry in Southern California. Real Estate Forum is one of the nation’s most respected magazines in the industry.

Aberg is senior vice president at Cassidy Turley and is a member of the Burnham-Moores Center’s Policy Advisory Board Commercial Real Estate Committee. He graduated from USD in 1999 with a degree in business administration. Pollin is president of the Pollin Group LLC and also a member of the same committee. He received his MBA from USD in 1998. Mansour graduated from USD in 2003 with a degree in business administration and was a founding member of the Center’s Young Entrepreneurs Council.

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Charles Tu Teaches ULI Advanced Real Estate Finance Course

From June 10-12, Charles Tu, PhD, Daniel F. Mulvihill Professor of Commercial Real Estate, taught an advanced real estate finance course for the Urban Land Institute (ULI) in Marina Del Rey. As Principal Instructor, Tu organized the course and team-taught with Mark Eppli, PhD, interim James H. Keyes dean of business administration at Marquette University. The three-day course covered topics including the U.S. economy, commercial real estate capital markets, complex deal structures and financial modeling. In addition to lectures and hands-on exercises, Tu also utilized several case studies to enhance attendees’ learning. Michael Tanner, a principal at Pacific Southwest Realty Services, and Luis Mejia, PhD, director of research-multifamily at CoStar Group, guest lectured during the course.

The Advanced Real Estate course is a component of ULI’s annual Real Estate School. For more than 25 years, the ULI Real Estate School has provided continuing education for land use professionals. The program has development and finance tracks, each of which has three courses: Level I, Level II and Advanced. More than 150 people attended the program this year.

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Professors Speak at International Conferences

Norm Miller Vivek Sah
Norm Miller, PhD Vivek Sah, PhD

Assistant Professor Vivek Sah, PhD, presented his co-authored paper, “Proximity to School: Walkability Premium or Nuisance Discount,” at the 2013 International AREUEA conference June 23-26, held in Jerusalem, Israel. The conference was hosted by Hebrew University, considered to be the top university in Israel.

Sah and Professor Norm Miller, PhD, each presented papers at the European Real Estate Society’s 20th Annual Conference held in Vienna, Austria July 3-6. At the conference, Sah presented his paper, “The Intra-Industry Information Transfers: Evidence Based on REIT Privatization,” and Miller presented his research on workspace trends and office market implications. Miller also promoted the Journal of Sustainable Real Estate, for which Miller is the editor. The journal is produced by the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate.

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Ines Kraft Attends Real Estate Program Directors Meeting

Ines Kraft, PhD

Ines Kraft, PhD, administrative director of the MSRE program, represented the Burnham-Moores Center at the Summit Among Peers for Program Directors and Chairs meeting hosted by the University of Denver’s Franklin L. Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management June 13-14. The meeting is a forum for real estate program directors across the country to share experiences, discuss best practices and learn from each other.

Other universities participating in this year’s meeting included California Polytechnic State University, Colorado State, DePaul, George Mason, Johns Hopkins, Lehigh, Cincinnati, Maryland, Missouri-Kansas City, Nebraska-Omaha, the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Portland State, St. Thomas, the University of Texas-Dallas, Utah, Washington and the host, the University of Denver.

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BMC Participates in NAIOP North County Showcase

NAIOP event
Academic program coordinator Myla Wilson (pictured above) speaks to a visitor at the Burnham-Moores Center’s booth at NAIOP’s North County Property Showcase, held June 20 at the new Pizza Port location in Carlsbad. This was the third year NAIOP held the tradeshow and mixer for North San Diego County developers and vendors.
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One Center Staff Professional Becomes a U.S. Citizen, Another Has Twins

Ines Kraft
Ines Kraft, PhD, proudly shows her U.S. naturalization certificate downtown June 19

On June 19, Ines Kraft, PhD, administrative director of the MSRE program, was naturalized as a U.S. citizen. Kraft came to the U.S. from Germany in 1974 and had been a permanent resident since 1981.

“The naturalization ceremony was so impressive,” stated Kraft. “Hundreds of us were there from every corner of the globe, all with a very personal story that led us to this day. I was so happy to have my husband there to support me and my children texting me congratulations when I finished. I can’t wait to vote!”

That same day, Student and Alumni Services Manager Annie Grand and her husband, Freddy, welcomed healthy identical twin girls, Molly and Emmie. While Grand is away on maternity leave, please contact Brittany Conway for all alumni and student services-related matters at or 619-260-7619.

Back to TopIn the News

Norm Miller, PhD, and associate professor Alan Gin, PhD, were included in the June 7, June 14 and June 21 editions of U-T San Diego’s weekly “EconoMeter.”

Alan Gin, PhD, was featured in the U-T San Diego, The Daily Transcript,, KPBS and the San Diego Business Journal following his most recent release of the USD Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County, which he compiles for the Burnham-Moores Center.

Executive Director Mark Riedy, PhD, and MSRE alum and current Navy SEAL, Nick Norris ’13 (MSRE), were interviewed July 1 by George Chamberlin of The Daily Transcript on a new initiative Riedy is evaluating. It will be targeted at veterans transitioning into the civilian workforce with a specific focus on connecting veterans with real estate mentors, firms and career opportunities. USD’s MSRE program also will be featured as an outstanding vehicle for veterans to connect with the real estate industry.

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Fall 2013 MSRE Program

  • To apply or for more information, contact Ines Kraft, PhD, at 619-260-4150 or go here.

THURSDay, JuLY 25, 2013

Real Estate Alumni Association’s Casual Thursday

Join the Real Estate Alumni Association (REAA) for a casual night of networking and reconnecting with old friends within USD’s real estate community at Counterpoint in Golden Hill. A group tour of the FoundationForForm’s mixed-use project across the street will also be available. The tour will be given by the project’s architect, Mike Burnett.

  • Happy hour from 5:30 - 7 p.m.
  • Group tour of the mixed-use project begins at 6 p.m.
  • Counterpoint, 830 25th St., Suite 100, San Diego, 92102
  • To join the REAA, go here.
  • For questions, contact Brittany Conway at 619-260-7619.

Back to TopContinuing Education - Upcoming Courses and Seminars

TUESDAY, JULY 16, 2013

Real Estate Process Seminar


  • Seminar taught by Gary London, president of The London Group Realty Advisors Inc.
  • Seminar helps meet the requirements for a Certificate in Real Estate Finance, Investments and Development.
  • To register, contact Adriana Serrano, or register online.
  • For more information on this seminar, go here. For more information on Real Estate Continuing Education, go here.


Managing the Entitlement Process


  • Course taught by Robin Madaffer, Esq., shareholder of San Diego Land Lawyers, Inc.
  • Course helps meet the requirements for a Certificate in Real Estate Finance, Investments and Development.
  • To register, contact Adriana Serrano, or register online.
  • For more information on this course, go here. For more information on Real Estate Continuing Education, go here.