April 2010, Center News
This year's Real Estate Club trip went to the land of swimming pools and movie stars - Los Angeles,
California. Seen through the eyes of the real estate student, however, the glitz and glamour of LA pales in comparison to the excitement of a market on the move and
on the grow. With the help of a core group of alumni from the LA area, Real Estate Club co-presidents Tom Gershman and Brandon Winter planned the trip, which included stops in Santa Monica, Beverly Hills,
Culver City and LA itself.
"Since many of the students on the trip had not been to LA, this trip was a unique opportunity for them to be exposed to a major real estate market. We saw a
variety of projects in very different parts of LA, including office, retail, residential, and a movie production studio."
Led by Stephen Malpezzi, Professor and Academic Director of the Graaskamp Center, and
Sharon McCabe, Associate Director of the Graaskamp Center, the trip included tours of
The Montage Hotel and The Grove,
a retail center, both in Beverly Hills; Santa Monica Place, another retail center in Santa
Monica; Symantec Office Center in Culver City; the 2000 Avenue of the Stars
office complex in Century City; and Evo-South condominiums and
Los Angeles Center Studios in downtownLA.
"One of the highlights of this year's trip included a visit to one of the most successful 'lifestyle centers' in the US, The Grove," said Winter. "Students and faculty
toured the facility in small groups and then sat down to lunch and a presentation from the developer, Rick Caruso." Caruso is president and chief executive officer of
The Real Estate Club has a long history of taking both undergraduate and MBA students on national field trips, giving them the opportunity to not only examine
multi-faceted major real estate markets, but also network with prominent UW alumni in the field. Alumni join with the trip's organizers to pave the way for interesting
site visits and a diversity of experiences.
"Local alumni were incredibly supportive in their efforts to help us with the trip," Winter said. "We worked with a steering committee to arrange almost every aspect
of the trip, from arranging potential site visits to organizing logistics and lodging. Without the tremendous level of alumni support we received, trips like this would
not be possible."
This year's steering committee included Brian Eisendrath
of CB Richard Ellis, Gary Duff of Morgan Stanley, Jeff Cavanaugh of PM Realty Advisors, and
Kevin Crummy of Eastdil Secured. This group of committed alumni used their business relationships with
LA-area owners, asset managers and developers to create a rich and varied overall experience. Many alumni also contributed financially to help the trip come to fruition.
Duff, executive director of Morgan Stanley in Los Angeles and committee member, said the Real Estate Club trips are an integral part of an overall real estate
education, which makes alumni participation essential.
"Our recent trip gave them access to some of the top projects in Los Angeles and interaction with industry leaders," Duff says. "It really helps to bridge lessons
learned in the classroom with real world demands. As a result, a graduate from the Wisconsin Real Estate Program have a leg up on his
competition. Our deep alumni network is able to access top owners, lenders and managers of various product types to give students this unique experience."
Winter and Duff agree the Real Estate Club trips benefit students and alumni alike.
"We're grateful to Chris Dicks and the WREAA for welcoming us with a reception," Gershman says. "It gave
students, faculty, and alumni the opportunity to exchange ideas and network over dinner."
"In return, the students energize the alumni, "Duff added. "And trips often result in job opportunities, making this a win-win experience."