Students in New Undergraduate Real Estate Development Class


Last month, fifteen students from the new undergraduate real estate development course joined Associate Clinical Professor Alfred Tetrault, Colvin Institute Director Margaret McFarland and doctoral student Hossein Lavasani on a site tour of the Inner Harbor Neighborhoods of Baltimore, Maryland. The team spent the day seeing textbook concepts in living color on the harbor through a dynamic and in-depth city tour and, in the process, getting a better understanding of the interplay between real estate development and a city’s culture and economy.


The group visited two exciting new sites developed by Baltimore-area developer Abe Rosenthal (B.Arch ’74): Canton Crossing, a new development on the grounds of the old Exxon fields, one of the Inner Harbor’s most up and coming neighborhoods; and McHenry Row, a 300 million-dollar mixed-use development just off Key Highway, near the waterfront factories now occupied by Under Armour and Domino Sugar. They also saw adaptive reuse in action with a visit to the offices of Dennis Jankiewicz (B.Arch ’73) at the Baltimore design firm The Design Collective, whose office space is wrapped around the old smoke stacks of Baltimore’s famed Power Plant. The tour capped off with a behind the scenes look at Baltimore Harbor’s most popular tourist spot, the National Aquarium, courtesy of Tim Pula (UMD ’91), the aquarium’s Vice President of Capital Planning and Facilities.


"Abe Rosenthal's presentation at McHenry Row had an impact on my desire to further educate myself in the field of real estate development,” said RDEV 150 student Kyle Painter. “Similar to Mr. Rosenthal, I feel like an education in real estate development in conjunction with a career in architecture will provide a more successful career in both fields."


John Colvin, Principal at Questar in Baltimore, Maryland, and founder of the Colvin Institute of Real Estate Development, stopped by the Power Plant to greet the students with his son Nick, a developer based in New Jersey. The course, , was made possible by a gift from Mr. Colvin. This fall’s beta test is designed to provide students from a multitude of disciplines a dynamic core course that offers an introduction to the fundamentals of real estate development, sustainable design, planning and preservation. Getting the students out of the classroom, speaking with real estate professionals and seeing how development can enhance and excite a city is all part of that process.


“I enjoyed hearing Mr. Colvin speak about the graduate program in real estate development and his support for this first class as a first step towards creating a real estate minor,” said student Andrew Breeden. “I wish I had a little notebook to write down everything he said. His degree of optimism was very encouraging."


Explains McFarland, “Introducing students to the “real world” of development by walking several Inner Harbor developments and hearing from the folks that dream big and make things happen was energizing for students and faculty alike.”

Posted on January 7, 2014 by Paul Brown, III