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  Center for Real Estate News Bulletin Winter 2009
Quick Links
Annual Spring Board Meeting & Symposium
Second Annual Research Symposium
Center for Real Estate in the News
Global Focus In Real Estate Curriculum
Spotlight on our Research
Winter Breakfast Speakers Event
ULI University Road Show
2009-2010 Mentorship Program
Spotlight on our Faculty
Spotlight on our Students
Spotlight on our Alumni
UCI Real Estate Alumni Association
Merage Students Attend Buchanan Street Partner's Real Estate Summit

UCI Real Estate Alumni Winter "Boss Talk" Event
Executive Commons/MPA 100, UCI Campus
6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.
March 3, 2009

Center for Real Estate Spring Board Meeting & Symposium
Pelican Hill Resort, Newport Coast
March 26 & 27, 2009
Merage Real Estate Association CREW Real Estate Careers & Industry Night
Executive Commons/MPA 100, UCI Campus
6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.
April 1, 2009
UCI REA Real Estate Alumni – Guest Speaker Panel
Executive Commons/MPA 100, UCI Campus
6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.
April 22, 2009
Real Estate Breakfast Series 3
Pacific Club, Newport Beach
7:30 A.M. – 9 A.M.
May 6, 2009
Orange County Housing Summit III
Workforce Housing: Facts & Myths
UCI Student Center
May 12, 2009
Center for Real Estate Website
Please check our Events Calendar for updates.
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kerry Vandell

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Letter from Kerry Vandell, Director

Dear Friends of the Center for Real Estate:

During these unprecedented economic times, many students and professionals have decided to return to school; a phenomenon we have experienced locally, with applications and selectivity to the Paul Merage School of Business MBA program up significantly from years past.

Preparing our students to excel in an era of new challenges and opportunities requires a rigorous curriculum that offers strong analytical skills, practical knowledge and an opportunity to participate actively in real-world business situations. To this end The Center for Real Estate has established a second-to-none real estate specialization within the MBA curriculum at the Merage School of Business. Our program exposes students to strategically-focused subjects including a firm analytical foundation in the techniques of market, investment and feasibility analysis and valuation, the study of the capital markets (private debt and equity), commercial mortgage backed securities (public debt), the analysis and valuation of real estate securities (public equity), the development process, international real estate, and the strategic management of the real estate enterprise. As our markets have become increasingly global, our newly launched International Real Estate Investments course will teach students about the forces encouraging investment in international real estate, expose them to proven industry experts, and provide them the opportunity to analyze a real international real estate deal. Further, we are in the process of beginning a capital-raising effort that when complete (and at the appropriate time) will provide our students with the exciting opportunity to create and manage a "for-profit" investment portfolio of REITs as part of their rigorous course of study involving the analysis and valuation of today's publicly traded REITs (for information about how you can participate as a seed investor in this fund, contact me or Sharon Nakamura-Brown).

To complement our robust curriculum, we are continuing to build upon our research expertise. We are excited to announce that after only 2 years of existence, the Center for Real Estate’s research program has attracted national attention through its second annual research symposium - Housing after the Fall: Reassessing the Future of the American Dream, a national policy symposium on reform and restructuring of the housing and mortgage markets, which is co-sponsored by the prestigious John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur and Rockefeller Foundations. Together with a sister conference at NYU’s Furman Center for Real Estate, the UCI Center for Real Estate will publish through the Urban Institute a synthesis of the symposium’s proceedings, consisting of a comprehensive set of thoughtful essays and research briefs which will have the potential to impact housing and mortgage policy on a national basis.

Finally, the contributions of our advisory board, alumni and friends have been critical in establishing our Center as an extraordinary resource comprised of strong networks of shared industry knowledge, leadership and connections. We look forward to seeing many of you at our upcoming Board Meeting & Symposium which will take place at the Resort at Pelican Hill on March 26 & March 27 and will provide our supporters with a Center report and timely market assessments on our economy and industry. Thank you immensely for your role in helping the Center make great strides over the last several years. With your continued support, we will carry this momentum through 2009 and beyond, and hope to fill the year with many more exciting developments and announcements about our program.

Vandell Signature



The Center for Real Estate will be hosting its annual Spring Board Meeting at the newly redesigned Pelican Hill Resort in Newport Coast on March 26th and 27th, 2009. This exclusive meeting will begin Thursday evening, March 26 with a reception and special dinner program featuring guest speaker Paul A. McCulley. Mr. McCulley is Managing Director of PIMCO and a frequent guest speaker on CNBC providing expert market commentary on the global economy and US financial policy. His talk “The Paradox of Deleveraging" will provide his perspective on the massive global deleveraging that has driven developed economies into one of the most severe recessions since World War II as well as on what lies ahead for our global economy in 2009. Friday morning will feature a Market Commentary & Center Update by Kerry Vandell and informative Panel Sessions with Ethan Penner, Jeff Friedman, Edward Coco, Robert Brunswick, Daryl Carter, Allen Emkin, Mike Kirby, Phil Belling, Kevin Shannon, Marc Renard, Steven Silk and Bill Halford who will provide a candid and invigorating discussion on the latest assessments on today’s volatile markets. Finally, we will conclude with optional world-class golf at the new Tom Fazio designed courses or lunch at the beautifully redesigned Resort at Pelican Hill. For more information about becoming a board member or this event, please contact, Sharon Nakamura-Brown at sharon.nakamura@uci.edu.



On February 19 -20, the Center hosted its second annual research symposium titled “Housing after the Fall: Reassessing the Future of the American Dream" at Hotel Laguna in Laguna Beach, California. The symposium was co-sponsored by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur and Rockefeller Foundations and was held in partnership with a related, complementary symposium held by the Furman Center for Real Estate at New York University. Over 50 academics, policy researchers and practitioners from across the U.S. convened to discuss the likely future structure of the housing and mortgage markets, neighborhoods, and cities. Sessions were divided into a series of topics, each of which were presented through a series of essays and response/commentaries by academic experts, followed by discussion and debate. One product of this symposium will be a policy white paper and complete set of proceedings, which will serve as a comprehensive review and analysis of the current plight of the housing and mortgage markets, and a set of specific policy recommendations for our new President and Congress. The concluding Keynote address was provided by Karl Case, co-founder of the Case-Shiller House Price Index and the House Price Futures Index. This symposium is led by UCI professors Dr. Kerry Vandell, Dr. Jan Brueckner, and Dr. Marlon Boarnet. To view the symposium’s complete agenda, please CLICK HERE.



The Center for Real Estate has received recent media coverage from several sources listed below. We invite you to read the full stories by clicking on the titles, which are hyperlinked to the source websites.
  1. UC Irvine Feature: Reassessing the American Dream, 2/15/09
  2. Orange County Register. Latest Bailout Plan has some Flaws. 2/10/2009
  3. Orange County Register, UCI Economist Eyes Housing Recovery in 2011 or later, 1/3/09
  4. Orange County Register, Fed’s Cheap Money is No Quick Economic Fix, 12/17/08
  5. Orange County Register, Experts Skeptical of City’s Plan to Buy Foreclosed Homes, 12/16/08


This winter quarter The Paul Merage School of Business is offering International Real Estate Investments, a newly launched course taught by Dr. Kerry Vandell, assisted by Professor Rod Matthews, emeritus senior lecturer of International Business, Real Estate and Urban Land Economics at University of Wisconsin’s Business School. In this course, students are exploring and tracking the phenomenon of the increased investor involvement in international real estate. The course is making use of the advanced technology provided in the Center to link international experts with students in a series of “virtual" seminar presentations. Thus far, the class has “met" with a top real estate lawyer in Vietnam, the entire management team of Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj in Mumbai, the director of the Center for Real Estate Law at the University of Beijing, the head of real estate for the Canadian Pension Plan, and an Irvine-based firm scouting investment opportunities in Shanghai, among others. AMB Property Corporation has made available three case studies – one each in China, Eastern Europe, and Latin America – for student teams to analyze and present their findings. Funding to permit the first offering of this course has graciously been provided by the Bascom Group. To view a complete description of all the Paul Merage School of Business Real Estate course offerings, please CLICK HERE.


The Center’s research agenda continues to thrive with the addition of a new working paper titled "Valuing the Element of Control in Home Ownership: A Conceptual Framework" which was presented 11/7/08 at the Association of Public Policy and Management (APPAM) meetings in Los Angeles and 1/4/09 at the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association (AREUEA) meetings in San Francisco. The importance of ownership and control for firm decision-making and performance, and the linkage to value, has been a topic of considerable interest in corporate finance. The general finding has been that the nature and form of corporate control shapes decisions and productivity in important ways, and thereby is a key determinant of corporate value. However, Issues regarding control and associated underlying value have not been directly addressed in the context of housing and homeownership. Yet issues of control are present along many dimensions. For example, homeowners enjoy substantial security of tenure in perpetuity, while renters do so only during the term of the lease, which is typically only year-to-year. This has important implications for the willingness of tenants to “set down roots," both psychologically and economically, with requisite implications for the demand for rental housing and property values and the relative value of homeownership. This paper seeks to introduce such a framework and highlight the possibility of both positive and negative values emanating from the right to “control" under homeownership. The discussion is largely theoretical, but highlights areas of particular relevance for lower-income homeowners. For example, maintenance is one area that is particularly interesting. Homeowners appear to have greater leeway in “under-maintaining" properties, especially on items not visible to the public. This provides homeowners with option value, which might be particularly important for owners with limited income and wealth.


The Center for Real Estate hosted its second breakfast speaker’s event of the academic year on January 22nd, 2009 at the Pacific Club in Newport Beach. The panelists included: John S. Hagestad, Managing Director & Principal of SARES-REGIS Group, William R. Halford, President & CEO of Bixby Land Company, Steven R. Layton, Principal & Co-Founder of LBA Realty, and moderator Thomas R. Sherlock, Senior Managing Director of Buchanan Street Partners. The topic of discussion was titled “Real Estate as a Contact Sport: Operational and Leasing Techniques that Work” and panelists voiced their expertise on the effects of the current credit crisis on property management, lease terms, lending regulations, and valuations of capital structures. The Center would like to thank each panelist for the insightful discussion they provided. This breakfast series is the second of 3 events held throughout the year where the real estate community can gain practical insight and knowledge on a variety of topics that impact the real estate industry. For more information about our next breakfast speakers event on May 6, 2009, please contact our event Chair, Kevin McKenzie at 949/916.5121 or via email at kevinm@parkerprop.com.


The Merage Real Estate Association and the Center for Real Estate hosted its first annual Urban Land Institute (ULI) University Road Show on January 26th, 2009. The purpose of this event was to inform current students, along with young local real estate professionals of the benefits of joining ULI. The event featured keynote speaker, William H. Flaherty, Senior Vice-President of the Irvine Company, where he discussed the diverse perspectives that ULI offered him in developing his career. The event also featured a panel of ULI Young Leader Group committee members: Anna Brendle, Michelle Thrakulchavee, Morgan Anderson, and Eric Herro. The panelists discussed their rewarding experiences as ULI members and described how the organization enriched their careers. USC and UCLA students, as well as a number of local real estate professionals attended this standing room only event. Special thanks to Adrienne Turley, Ludmilla Schappert, and Michelle Thrakulchavee, as well as MREA Co-Presidents Jay Tanjuan and Laura Sheen for coordinating this event.


The mentorship program kicked off January 30th, 2009 at the University Club on UCI’s campus, over 150 mentors and mentees were in attendance. This event marked the first meeting between mentor and mentee. Students were paired with experienced professionals who have excelled in the student’s professional area of interest. The event was organized by Anna Liza Garcia, Associate Director for UCI’s Center for Leadership and Team Development and featured guest speakers Dr. Imran Currim, Associate Dean of the Master’s Program; Dr. Cristina Gibson, Faculty Co-Director for the Center for Leadership and Team Development; and Georgia Smith, a returning mentor from Watson Pharmaceuticals. All the speakers emphasized the importance of mutual learning between mentor and mentee, and recollected on past mentor relationships. This is the first year that the Center for Real Estate Mentorship Program has been integrated within the Paul Merage School of Business campus-wide Executive Mentoring Program, and it represents one of its largest components. The program is designed to provide students with the opportunity to interact with practitioners in a real-world setting, as well as provide our industry friends with the opportunity to participate in a meaningful Center activity. A special thanks to Center for Real Estate Mentorship Program Chair, Bill Halford, for his tremendous role in developing this program. For more information about the business school-wide Executive Mentorship Program please contact Melissa La Pluma at mlapluma@exchange.uci.edu. For more information about the real estate mentorship program please contact Megan Zfaty at mzfaty@merage.uci.edu.


Kevin McKenzie

Kevin McKenzie teaches the Capital Markets course offered in the fall quarter. A seasoned real estate veteran, Kevin currently partners with Parker Properties on various investment and development opportunities. Previously, he was president where he co-led the firm and the development of over 650,000 square feet over the last four years. Prior to Parker Properties, he spent over three and a half years at Buchanan Street Partners where he was a shareholder and Senior Vice President. At Buchanan, he was responsible for advising, structuring, and placing debt and equity capital where he closed over $550 million. Prior to Buchanan, he served as a Vice President of AEW Capital Management where he had acquisition and asset management responsibility overseeing a $1 billion office, industrial and retail portfolio in the West. Kevin also has an extensive troubled asset/workout background developed while working at the J.E. Robert Companies’ joint venture with Goldman Sachs & Company where he was part of a team that underwrote over $3 billion of large, bulk loan portfolios and managed a portfolio between $300-$400 million of complex, non-performing loans and real estate. Before attending graduate school, Kevin was a practicing architect in New York and Los Angeles. Kevin is an active volunteer of the Boy Scouts of America, an advisory board member of the Center for Real Estate, a member of its Executive Committee and chairs the Center’s Breakfast Series events. Kevin holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder in Environmental Design (Architecture) and a MBA from The Anderson School at UCLA.


Laura Sheen

Laura Sheen, a graduate of the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration, is a third year Fully Employed MBA student at the Paul Merage School of Business. Laura currently serves as Co-President of the Merage Real Estate Association, which is a student-run organization that provides career-oriented, educational events and networking activities to MBA students who have a strong interest in real estate. Over the past year, Laura, together with Co-President Jay Tanjuan, has implemented some very successful programs for the MREA, including the annual Argus training series and the MREA Company Tour series, where students tour the facilities and meet with representatives of local companies, including CB Richard Ellis, Pacific Life Insurance Company and Rancho Mission Viejo. Laura and the MREA have also been hosting some very successful community outreach events, including the recent ULI University Road Show, which featured William H. Flaherty of The Irvine Company, and an upcoming California Real Estate Women (CREW) – Orange County Roundtable Event. Since becoming Co-President last year, Laura is to be congratulated for making the MREA one of the most dynamic student-run organizations at UC Irvine. Laura received her Paralegal Certificate at the University of San Diego and currently works as a Public Law Legal Assistant at Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth, APC. In addition, Laura has her California Salesperson License, is a ULI member and is on the advisory board for the Building Block Foundation Fund.


Gregg Boehm

Gregg Boehm is Director of Acquisitions for the Watson Land Company, headquartered in Carson, CA. Gregg received a bachelor’s degree in Urban Regional Planning & Development and Public Administration from USC in 1994 and received his MBA at UCI in 2006. After receiving his undergraduate degree, Gregg worked as a commercial property broker with the Klabin Company, concentrating on the Southern California industrial market. He later joined the RREEF/Deutsche Bank in 2003 as an asset manager, handling a portfolio of over 1.5 million SF of pension fund holdings. In 2005, Gregg joined Watson Land Company, where he is responsible for acquiring and securing real estate opportunities. He has also acted as a Financial Analyst for Watson, analyzing future acquisitions along with its current portfolio. Gregg is a member of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) and The Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR).


The UC Irvine Real Estate Alumni Association (UCIREA) will present its second “Boss Talk” and cocktail reception of the year on March 3, 2009 at the UC Irvine campus. This event will feature 3 panelists: Brian S. Corrigan, Senior Vice-President of CBRE Capital Markets, Robert Durant, Vice-President of Financing & Mortgage Originations with KBS Realty Advisors, and Michael Knott, Senior Analyst of Green Street Advisors. The panelists will discuss issues that impact the local real estate industry in a short, informal format. This relaxed format allows candid dialogue to be exchanged between both panelists and audience members. This informal environment provides the opportunity for alumni, students, and local real estate professionals to network as well as gain perspectives from real estate executives on issues impacting the local real estate industry. To learn more information about UCIREA, which is open to all members of the real estate community, please visit: www.ucirea.org, or e mail: alumni@ucirea.org.


The Center for Real Estate is pleased to support Buchanan Street Partner's Real Estate Summit by sponsoring 10 Merage students at this popular real estate event, which took place on Thursday, February 26, 2009. Each year, this event brings together over 700 real estate, finance, and service professionals in the community to learn from industry experts and to challenge one another to become professionals. The event was themed "Rock Solid: Foundation for the future" and featured Stuart Vamey, Business and Financial Journalist for FOX News and Michael Josephson, the foremost ethics consultant and Founder of the Josephson Institute who in their remarks challenged the audience to think about the value of building a foundation that is based on integrity and character. For more information about this event and other Buchanan Street Partners community involvements including Encore for Education and Challenge for Children. please CLICK HERE.


March 3, 2009: UCI Real Estate Alumni Winter "Boss Talk" Event
Executive Commons/MPA 100, UCI Campus
6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.

March 26 & 27, 2009: Center for Real Estate Spring Board Meeting & Symposium
Pelican Hill Resort, Newport Coast

April 1, 2009: Merage Real Estate Association
CREW Real Estate Careers & Industry Night

Executive Commons/MPA 100, UCI Campus
6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.

April 22, 2009: UCI REA Real Estate Alumni – Guest Speaker Panel
Executive Commons/MPA 100, UCI Campus
6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.

May 6, 2009: Real Estate Breakfast Series 3
Pacific Club, Newport Beach
7:30 A.M. – 9 A.M.

May 12, 2009: Orange County Housing Summit III
Workforce Housing: Facts & Myths
UCI Student Center

Please visit our website at www.merage.uci.edu/GO/CRE for updates on our calendar of events.