Real Estate Development


Units: 6


Critical to the economic development professional’s toolkit is understanding how and why real estate is developed: what motivates private real estate development, how real estate development is financed, market drivers and the context by which private real estate developers and financiers operate, and the role of public policy and public financing in achieving desired public outcomes. 


In this class, you will explore the real estate development process, the context by which real estate is developed, valuation and financing methodologies, and the role of the public in supporting private real estate development through a combination of lecture, discussion, and guest speakers. 


You will have fun building your real estate toolkit.   You will meet and learn from practicing real estate development professionals (including me!) and explore real world real estate developments.  From main streets to downtown office towers, you will gain a new appreciation and insight into how the places you live, work, and play came to be. Your learning will be assessed through individual take-home assignments, a group case study, class participation, and an in-class presentation. While there are no specific prerequisites for this course, you should have basic Excel modeling skills and basic understanding of finance. 

Learning Outcomes:

When you have completed this course, you will be able to:

  • Utilize Floor Area Ratio and leasable square feet calculations to develop a real estate program. 
  • Calculate Net Operating Income (NOI)
  • Apply valuation methodologies and concepts to real world real estate development.
  • Perform supportable debt analysis to build a real estate financing capital stack utilizing Net Operating Income and real estate valuation methods. 
  • Create a pro forma real estate cash flow model, analyze economic returns and recognize key drivers and inputs to your pro forma model.
  • Articulate the role of the public in real estate development and critically analyze the appropriateness and application of a variety of public real estate financing tools and methods-- including understanding real estate financing ‘gaps.’
  • Apply your newly acquired skill set and tool box to examine a real estate development opportunity and recommend (in writing and oral presentation) a development program, financing capital stack (including any public financing), pro forma model, economic returns. to a faux board of investors.