Latest News

Letter from the Executive Director

Mark RiedyMark Riedy, PhD

I am pleased to announce that Sam Zell, founder and chairman of Equity Group Investments, will be the keynote speaker on February 13, 2014 at the Burnham-Moores Center’s 18th Annual Real Estate Conference. This event, which attracts 700+ real estate, financial services and civic leaders, will be held at the San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina, adjacent to the Convention Center.

Breakfast at the BMCThe program will begin with Zell’s presentation and will conclude with our 20th anniversary party to celebrate the founding of USD’s real estate program. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be served before we cut the cake.

Reflecting on how far we have come over the past 20 years, I treasure those students, colleagues and industry leaders whose support and participation have created this valuable asset to the community USD’s real estate program. Every day, your words, actions and generosity re-affirm the value we have created since 1993. 

Over time we have assembled an incredibly talented and dedicated faculty and staff and created the highly respected Master of Science in Real Estate degree program along with undergraduate majors and minors in real estate. The Center is guided by four Policy Advisory Board committees consisting of 120+real estate, business and civic leaders committed to expanding and increasing the value of the Center and real estate programs. Generous supporters annually contribute to scholarships, enroll in continuing education classes, attend our conferences and fund the operations of the Center. These achievements have led to major endowment gifts for scholarships to name and endow the Ernest W. Hahn Chair, that I hold, and the Daniel F. Mulvihill Professorship, held by Charles Tu. Ultimately, in 2004, we received the $5 million gift to name and endow the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate.

Everyone involved with the Center and real estate programs takes pride in these achievements. For those of us on the inside, and for me personally, our greatest joy and satisfaction comes from teaching and/or interacting in a myriad of ways with USD students:  getting to know them and be inspired by them; helping them evaluate career options; and advising them as they make one of the most defining (career) decisions of their lives.

After our real estate students have flown from the USD nest, we continue to nurture and enjoy strong relationships with them. We watch their careers blossom. We continually receive terrific feedback from employers who offer internships and full-time jobs, as well as those who volunteer to mentor our students. In many cases the mentoring relationships don’t end at the student’s graduation, but instead, become lifelong business connections and friendships. Word-of-mouth endorsements about our programs and students are extraordinary. For a special group of USD real estate graduates who are the recipients of the Daniel B. Woodruff Memorial Scholarship, we stay in touch regularly throughout the year, feature current winner/s at our Annual Real Estate Conference, and an industry leader hosts the winners at a private dinner each fall.

Like all of you, our calendars are busy. We will be celebrating the Center’s 20 years of growth with these upcoming events: the Woodruff Scholars dinner on Oct. 3; three of our four industry committees meet soon to continue their support for our program; our next Breakfast at the BMC event is on Oct. 22 and features JMI Realty’s John Kratzer; the Third Annual Women in Real Estate Conference is Nov. 13 and our 14th Annual Residential Real Estate Outlook Conference is set for Dec. 12. We launch 2014 with the 18th Annual Real Estate Conference and 20th anniversary celebration party on Feb. 13, and a black tie 20th anniversary dinner gala will follow in the spring. As an entrepreneurial and proactive organization, we continue to create exciting new opportunities for our students and real estate professionals. The latest initiative is our new Dual Degree program with the EBS Universität für Wirtschaft und Recht (EBS) highlighted elsewhere in this issue.  

We are continually motivated by USD’s bright and well-balanced students, industry supporters, employers and loyal donors whose faith in us is exceptional and alumni whose appreciation for their USD real estate education is effusive and sincere. It all boils down to people, individually and collectively, who are dedicated to enhancing the value of the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate.

To each of you, I salute your participation while counting my blessings. Here’s to another 20 years of satisfaction and success.

Mark Riedy
Mark J. Riedy, PhD
Executive Director

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BMC Welcomes the 10th MSRE Class

Site Tour
MSRE students tour the Fairbanks Commons construction site Aug. 28 as a part of “The Real Estate Process” course.

The 10th cohort of the Master of Science in Real Estate program kicked-off the academic year Aug. 26 with MSRE 500 “The Real Estate Process,” an intensive course designed to expose new students to the MSRE program, the university, the real estate industry and San Diego.

During this five-day course, students launched their year of intense interaction with industry executives. They attended lectures by a variety of civic, real estate and university leaders and alumni covering a broad range of real estate topics, including local demographic issues, real estate development and community planning. Workshops on Microsoft Excel, business writing, financial concept fundamentals, managing a professional image and presentation and research skills also were addressed to prepare students for the challenging year ahead. MSRE students also gave group presentations and produced individual reports that were both rigorous and relevant to actual business practices.

Outside the classroom, students toured the Fairbanks Commons construction site, which will offer 165 apartment units of affordable housing to families in the Black Mountain Ranch community of San Diego. The class also visited Civic San Diego and attended an MSRE welcome reception was held on campus, where the students mixed and mingled with BMC Policy Advisory Board members, alumni and the Center’s faculty and staff. Also, USD’s School of Business Administration hosted a harbor cruise, where the MSRE students met fellow graduate business students, faculty and staff.

One of our new MSRE part-time students who is also an executive assistant for donor relations and planned giving at USD, Lauren Burns, volunteered her thoughts about her first week in the MSRE program. “The MSRE program so far, including my first day of class, has been amazing,” said Burns. “I am telling people I am certain I chose the right program because of the people we meet, the culture the BMC instills in all of us, the fact that we are given so many opportunities to connect with the industry and the fact that we are being armed with what we need to know to take off and succeed upon graduation. The MSRE program is truly a well-run program and all the time, money and sacrifice will be worth it.”

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Breakfast at the BMC to Feature CEO John Kratzer - Oct. 22

JOhn Kratzer
John Kratzer

John Kratzer, president and chief executive officer of JMI Realty, will be the featured speaker on Oct. 22 at the next Breakfast at the BMC event. Kratzer is responsible for the firm’s overall strategic direction of JMI, including all transactional and capital market activities. Over the past decade, his numerous achievements include leading the 26-block master planning and development effort that ultimately created PETCO Park, which serves as the centerpiece of what is a $2 billion urban redevelopment effort in downtown San Diego.

Prior to joining JMI Realty, he was co-founder of Homegate Hospitality Inc., where he directed the company’s operations, including the development and construction of over 3,000 hotel rooms. Under Kratzer’s leadership, the company grew from a private start-up to a publicly traded company and ultimately merged with Prime Hospitality. From 2001-08 he was an active member of the Burnham-Moores Center’s Executive Committee of the Policy Advisory Board.

The event will be moderated by Dennis Cruzan, principal at Cruzan/Monroe Investments and a member of the Burnham-Moores Center’s Executive Committee of the Policy Advisory Board.

The Breakfast at the BMC distinguished lecture series was launched by the Burnham-Moores Center in 2007 and has featured renowned speakers, including philanthropist Ernest Rady, CB Richard Ellis CEO Brett White, Singapore’s GIC Real Estate president Seek Ngee Huat, former MLB Commissioner Peter Ueberroth and Janet Yellen, vice-chair of the Federal Reserve, among other exceptional individuals.

To register for the event, go here. For sponsorship opportunities, contact John Ferber.

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Third Annual Women in Real Estate Conference – Nov. 13

Beth Fischer
Beth Fischer
Kris Michell
Kris Michell

The Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate will host its Third Annual Women in Real Estate Conference Wednesday, Nov. 13 at the University of San Diego. The conference is an annual gathering of approximately 250 real estate professionals, men and women, and highlights successful women in the real estate industry locally, regionally and nationally.

This year’s keynote speaker is Beth Fischer, division president of Pardee Homes, one of San Diego's largest homebuilders. As a senior executive Fischer oversees all operations involving the company’s current and future projects.

Kris Michell, president and chief executive officer of the Downtown San Diego Partnership, will be the featured speaker. Michell is responsible for day-to-day operations of the organization with responsibility for implementing the Board’s Strategic Plan for downtown San Diego. She oversees the $6 million Clean and Safe program, a 24/7 operation of maintenance and safety services. Prior to this position, Michell served as chief of staff to Mayor Jerry Sanders.

Lori Holt-Pfeiler, former three-term mayor of Escondido and widely praised for her regional leadership and expertise in transportation and housing issues, will be the moderator for the panel portion of the program. Holt-Pfeiler is the executive director of San Diego Habitat for Humanity and a member of the Burnham-Moores Center’s Residential Real Estate Committee.

For sponsorship opportunities or questions about the conference, contact Kimberly Malasky. To register for the event, go here.

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USD and German Business School Sign MOU on Dual Master Degree Program in Real Estate

EBSThe School of Business Administration at the University of San Diego and EBS Universität für Wirtschaft und Recht (EBS) — which translates to EBS University of Business and Law — have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding under which graduate real estate students from either university will have the opportunity to obtain real estate degrees at both schools. Students who complete both programs will be awarded the Master of Science degree in Real Estate (MSc) by EBS and the Master of Science in Real Estate (MSRE) degree by USD.

Students in the Dual Degree Program who begin their education at EBS, located in Wiesbaden, Germany, will come to USD in late August of their second-year of their MSc program. University of San Diego students who are interested in earning the dual degree will enroll at EBS after completing the full or part-time MSRE program.

“We are thrilled to be collaborating with EBS on this dual degree option,” said Ines Kraft, PhD, administrative director of the MSRE program. “It offers an additional opportunity for our MSRE students to study abroad and will benefit our students here at USD by adding diversity and greater international perspective to the MSRE program.”

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John Demas Receives Top Attorney Title from The Daily Transcript

John Demas
John Demas, Esq.

John Demas, Esq., a full-time instructor for the Burnham-Moores Center, was named a 2013 San Diego County Top Attorney by The Daily Transcript. Demas was selected from more than 1,100 nominations to be among the finest lawyers in the academic sector of San Diego’s legal community. He was recently highlighted in The Transcript’s Top Attorneys 2013 special publication, as well as online.

Demas began teaching classes for the Burnham-Moores Center in 2004. He inspires students to perform legal analysis in a business decision-making context. He has also served as the faculty advisor to USD undergraduate students at the University of Southern California’s International Real Estate Case Competition, an invitation-only event. In 2012, USD’s team took third place in the competition.

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Scott Biel Joins Center as Adjunct Law Professor

Scott Biel
Scott Biel, Esq.

Scott Biel, Esq., has joined the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate as an adjunct professor for the MSRE program. He will be teaching the “Real Estate Law and Public Policy” course this semester.

Biel received his undergraduate degree from the United States Naval Academy and spent his post-undergraduate naval service as a nuclear-trained submarine officer on USS Louisville. He attended law school at University of Pennsylvania where he was the editor-in-chief of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review.

Biel is currently chair of the real estate section of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C., a full-service, general practice law firm with more than 450 attorneys, eight offices in the US and the UK and a liaison office in Israel. His practice focuses on advising domestic and foreign companies on all aspects of their corporate real estate requirements, with a particular concentration in the representation of technology-based companies. He has over 20 years of experience working with biotechnology, life sciences and information technology clients on their real estate transactions.

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CCIM Sponsors Demographics Mapping Program for Students

The San Diego Chapter of CCIM is funding the subscription of Site to Do Business (STDB) software to be used by undergraduate and graduate USD real estate students. The software will allow students to have access to a geospatial demographics, business data and mapping market analysis system. Students in Professor Norm Miller’s and in Assistant Professor Vivek Sah’s “Real Estate Market Analysis” courses will have access to the program throughout the fall semester.

“Access to STDB software provides students with the tools to gather and analyze regional and local market information that helps them make real estate related business decisions,” said Professor Sah.

STDB is a premier resource for commercial real estate data including location knowledge, market information and trends. The program is primarily a member benefit of the CCIM Institute and was developed by CCIM Technologies.

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Co-Authored Paper by Center Professors Accepted for Publication

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

A paper co-authored by Professor Norm Miller, PhD, and Assistant Professor Vivek Sah, PhD, titled “Are Green REITs Valued More?” has been accepted for publication in a forthcoming summer issue of Journal of Real Estate Portfolio Management. The paper examines REITs that are “green” and finds evidence of positive impact on the firm value as measured by Tobin’s q. Further, their results show that green REITs have a higher return on assets than their less-green peers.

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Alumni Matters

We value our alumni and each of you matter to the success of our program. We have dedicated this section of the newsletter to highlight your accomplishments. Here are a few alums we have highlighted this month:

James Brennan
(From left to right) Panelist James Brennan ’96 (BBA), Mark Riedy, PhD, executive director of the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate and panelist Matt Greene, president and co-founder of 6 Degrees.

James Brennan ’96 (BBA) was a featured panelist at the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors Young Professional Network’s “Next Generation Entrepreneurship” event held on the USD campus on Aug. 29. In 2002, Brennan co-founded 3/73 Management and opened the Gaslamp Quarter’s Side Bar, Ciro’s Pizzeria, Stingaree, the Witherby, Bar West and Universal. In 2009, Brennan co-founded Enlightened Hospitality Group, which holds Stingaree, Searsucker, Herringbone, Gabardine, Campine Catering and Suja Juice. Brennan is often referred to as San Diego’s King of Nightlife and was named in the National Nightclub Top 100 List.

Doug Arthur
Douglas Arthur ’08 (MSRE)

Douglas Arthur ’08 (MSRE) was recently promoted to president of SENTRE Partners, a San Diego-based commercial real estate investment and services firm. SENTRE Partners, through various investment structures, has acquired and/or developed commercial real estate in Southern California and Mexico totaling more than 25 million square feet, valued in excess of two billion dollars. Arthur joined the firm in 2004 and will oversee the company’s investment and services platform. He will also continue to be active in the company’s acquisitions, development and transactional services.

Lawrence Kopp ’10 (MSRE)

Lawrence Kopp ’10 (MSRE) has recently joined NAI San Diego, a locally-owned full service commercial real estate brokerage and property management firm, as associate vice president. Kopp will engage in all areas of brokerage, including leasing, sales, consulting and advisory services. Prior to joining NAI San Diego, Kopp was research director at CBRE and the CoStar Group.

If you are an USD alum working in the real estate industry, we would like to hear from you. We are expanding the “Alumni Matters” section of The Pipeline. Please e-mail Diane Gustafson with recent and significant career-related awards, promotions, job moves, etc. All submissions will be considered for publication. 

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Annual NAIOP Bowling Fundraiser

NAIOP Bowling Tournament
(From left to right) Charles Tu, Diane Gustafson, Mary Ann Pulis and her husband Dain and Brittany Conway bowling for the BMC.

Burnham-Moores Center faculty and staff participated in this year’s NAIOP-San Diego Rock n’ Bowl event at Mira Mesa Lanes Sept 5. This year’s team included: Brittany Conway, interim replacement for Annie Grand, student and alumni services manager; Diane Gustafson, communications manager; Mary Ann Pulis, executive assistant and her husband Dain; and Charles Tu, PhD, academic director of the MSRE program. Mark Riedy, PhD, executive director and Myla Wilson, academic coordinator attended the event to cheer the team on.

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Real Estate Internships

MSRE and undergraduate real estate students are seeking internships this semester. To date, demand for internships exceeds supply. We value our industry relationships and recognize the importance of connecting our top-notch, high quality real estate students with leaders in the real estate community. As you examine your short and longer-term employment needs, please consider hiring our graduate and undergraduate students as interns to give them meaningful work and learning opportunities. You will be glad you did. Job postings are easily completed through our ToreroLink system. Please contact John Ferber, director of commercial real estate, at (619) 260-7513 for more information.

Back to TopIn the News

Professor Norm Miller, PhD, and associate professor Alan Gin, PhD, were included in the Aug. 23, Aug. 30, and Sept. 10 editions of U-T San Diego’s “EconoMeter.”

Executive Director Mark Riedy, PhD, and Norm Miller, PhD, were both quoted in an Aug. 7 U-T San Diego article on increasing mortgage rates.

Executive Director Mark Riedy, PhD, was quoted in an Aug. 19 Daily Transcript article on future prospects for winding down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Alan Gin, PhD, was featured in U-T San Diego, The Daily Transcript, the San Diego Business Journal, Fox 5 San Diego, San Diego 6, and 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.

Back to TopCalendar of Events

THURSDAY, SEPT. 26, 2013

First-Time Homebuyers Seminar

This free event will educate prospective homebuyers on the opportunities and requirements of the current market through a panel discussion of real estate experts and Q&A session. This event is open to all USD faculty, staff, students and members of the Linda Vista Community. Lunch is provided.

Time: 12:15 - 12:45 p.m. lunch; 12:45 - 1:30 p.m. seminar
Location: Mother Rosalie Hill Hall, Warren Auditorium, University of San Diego campus

Cost: Free and open to USD faculty, staff, students, alumni and the Linda Vista community

Your RSVP is required to attend the lunch and seminar. Contact Myla Wilson at (619) 260-8803.

TUESDay, OCT. 22, 2013

Breakfast at the BMC

Time: 7:30 - 8 a.m. breakfast and networking; 8 - 9 a.m. program
Location: Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice, University of San Diego campus

Cost:  $45 per person; includes registration fee and continental breakfast
Speakers: Keynote: John Kratzer, president and chief executive officer of JMI Realty;

Moderator: Dennis Cruzan, principal of Cruzan/Monroe Investments


To register, go here. For sponsorship opportunities or more information, contact Diane Gustafson at (619) 260-2379.

WEDNESDay, NOV. 13, 2013

Third Annual Women in Real Estate Conference

Time: 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. breakfast and networking; 8:30 - 10:30 a.m. program

Location: Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice, University of San Diego campus

Cost:  $50 per person; includes registration fee and breakfast

Speakers: Keynote: Beth Fischer, division president of Pardee Homes;

Featured Speaker: Kris Michell, president and chief executive officer of Downtown San Diego Partnership;

Moderator: Lori Holt-Pfeiler, executive director of San Diego Habitat for Humanity and former mayor of Escondido


To register, go here. For sponsorship opportunities or more information, contact Kimberly Malasky at (619) 260-4786.


ARGUS Training Workshop- SAVE THE DATE

The Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate will offer a two-day workshop covering the key features of ARGUS Valuation-DCF, the industry standard in commercial real estate investment analysis. The ARGUS software both days is used to project cash flow for office, industrial and retail properties.


Time: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Location: University of San Diego, Olin Hall Room 226, 5998 Alcala Park, 92110

Cost: $600; a 10 percent discount is available for USD alumni and multiple registrations


For questions about workshop content, contact Charles Tu, PhD. For registration questions, contact Diane Gustafson at (619) 260-2379.

THURSDAY, DEC. 12, 2013

14th Annual Residential Real Estate Conference: Outlook 2014 - SAVE THE DATE


Time: 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. breakfast and networking; 8:30 - 10:30 a.m. program
Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice, University of San Diego campus

Cost: $65 per person or $550 for 10 reserved seats

Keynote Speaker: Stan Humphries, PhD, chief economist of Zillow Inc.

Panelists to be announced


For sponsorship opportunities or more information, contact Diane Gustafson at (619) 260-2379.

THURSDay, FEB. 13, 2014

18th Annual Real Estate Conference and Burnham-Moores Center’s 20th Anniversary Celebration - SAVE THE DATE

Time:  7 – 8 a.m. breakfast and networking; 8 – 11:30 a.m. program; 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.  20th Anniversary celebration
Location: San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina, 333 West Harbor Dr., San Diego, 92101
Keynote Speaker: Sam Zell, founder and chairman of Equity Group Investments


For sponsorship opportunities or more information, contact Diane Gustafson at (619) 260-2379.

Back to TopContinuing Education - Upcoming Courses

STARTS TUESDay, OCT. 8, 2013

Urban Development Strategies


  • Course taught by Jeff W. Graham, president of Civic San Diego
  • Course helps meet the requirements for a Certificate in Real Estate Finance, Investments and Development.
  • To register or for more information on this course, go here or contact Adriana Serrano.
  • For more information on Real Estate Continuing Education, go here.


For more information on the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate, go here.


For more information on the Master of Science in Real Estate program, go here.