10th Annual Mayoral Housing, Transportation and Job Summit
On Wednesday, November 16, the Los Angeles Business Council (LABC) and the UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate co-hosted the 10th Annual Mayoral Housing, Transportation and Job Summit. The Summit, which was held on the UCLA campus, highlighted a number of critical housing, transportation and workforce development policy issues for the Los Angeles region, including the continued scarcity of adequate affordable housing near major job centers, the urgency of expediting transportation infrastructure projects, and the need to discuss solar policy to create jobs.
The Honorable Henry Cisneros, Chairman, CityView and former Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, served as Masters of Ceremonies. The Summit featured the first forum of Los Angeles mayoral candidates, including The Honorable Eric Garcetti, The Honorable Wendy Greuel, and the Honorable Jan Perry. The forum, titled Vision for LA's Housing, Transportation and Jobs Future, was moderated by Jim Newton, Editor at Large and Columnist, Los Angeles Times. The Honorable Antonio Villaraigosa, Los Angeles City Mayor, provided the Summit's keynote remarks.
A hard-hitting academic study jointly authored by UCLA and USC research teams was also released at the Summit. The report, which was led by J.R. DeShazo of the UCLA Luskin Center and Manuel Pastor of the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity, found that Los Angeles has a significant trained workforce ready to perform clean-energy solar jobs, but that city leaders have so far failed to enact policies that would take advantage of this resource and put city residents to work.
November 18, 2011
UCLA WINS THE FOURTEENTH ANNUAL NAIOP REAL ESTATE CHALLENGE
UCLA Defeats USC Team Again
A team of students from UCLA Anderson and UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture won the 2011 NAIOP Real Estate Challenge held at Town and Gown at the University of Southern California. The UCLA team consisted of second-year UCLA Anderson students Michael Johnson, John Shishido, Blake Thomas, and Robert Wilshusen, and UCLA Architecture student Adam Rude. The annual event, presented by the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP), presents a specific real estate case challenge to a team of students at UCLA and USC. In addition to providing a rich learning experience that requires participating students to produce high-quality professional work within a limited timeframe, the competition is designed to showcase the talents and creativity of the next generation of real estate leaders.
This year, the challenge focused on a 5-acre parcel in downtown Anaheim located near Disneyland. The site is owned by Clean City, Inc. (CCI). CCI's company tag line is "Rescue, Restore, Revive, makes our city thrive." The teams were challenged to create and present the best idea for redevelopment of the site. UCLA's team proposed The Village at Anaheim Colony, a thoughtful, market-appropriate and integrated mixed-use development. The project is intended to meet existing demand for quality rental apartments and neighborhood retail, while a charter school and pedestrian-friendly gathering places will improve the quality of life for new and current residents.
"The team was presented with a challenging four-block site that consists of a hodgepodge of existing uses and over a dozen qualified historic structures," said Paul Habibi, UCLA Anderson lecturer and team advisor. "They crafted a thoughtful and sensitive program that delivers much-needed rental housing and daily needs retail, as well as a charter school that serves the local community and repurposes historic homes to reduce cost. Recognizing current market realities, they took advantage of traditional financing, density bonuses and parking incentives to design a project that could get financed today."
"I am extremely proud of our NAIOP Challenge team," said Tim Kawahara, Executive Director of the Richard S. Ziman Center for Real Estate at UCLA. "By participating in this competition, the students from both UCLA and USC engaged in critical thinking to create viable revitalization strategies for low-income urban neighborhoods in a real-world context. The knowledge these students gained, and the commitment they demonstrated to urban redevelopment, will pay dividends for years to come."
In its fourteenth year, the NAIOP USC vs. UCLA Real Estate Challenge celebrates the rivalry between the two schools and illustrates the robust real estate programs at both universities. The winning team is awarded the Silver Shovel, a silver shovel inscribed with all past winners, and a $5,000 cash prize. Read more...
October 24-27, 2011
UCLA Ziman Center Executive Programs
The UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate launched a new executive education program this fall in partnership with the Universidad Adolfo Ibanez (UAI) in Chile. Together with UCLA Anderson's Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER), the Ziman Center hosted 25 senior level Chilean real estate professionals for a four-day seminar titled, "Innovative Strategies in Real Estate and Investments." The program was designed to introduce the participants to global real estate investment opportunities in the U.S. and abroad. UCLA Ziman Center faculty and prominent practitioners served as the instructors. The program addressed a wide range of topics, from green development to sourcing capital and also included visits to several prominent real estate development projects in Los Angeles. This Ziman Center Executive Program is an extension of UCLA Anderson's broader partnership with UAI, which recently announced a new UCLA-UAI Global Executive MBA for the Americas.
State Controller John Chiang, Former CA Governor Gray Davis and Former LA Mayor Richard Riordan Offer Insight into California's Fiscal Future at Ziman Center Panel
On May 3rd, the UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate brought together three of the state's foremost public policy and state governance experts to participate in a frank discussion about California's budget crisis and fiscal future. The Honorable John Chiang, Gray Davis and Richard Riordan outlined a laundry list of critical issues including the $25 billion budget deficit, 12% unemployment, and California's abysmal credit rating that must be solved in order to safeguard California's future, and pinpointed specific changes that will make substantial improvements in the state's fiscal future.
Some of the issues and solutions identified during the discussion included:
Stronger Leadership is Needed in Sacramento
- "We need the right legislators in office who will take these issues seriously. In my opinion, the saying 'NIMTO' (not in my term of office) should be outlawed. The budget deficit and other shortfalls should be tackled head on, and now." - Richard Riordan
- "If there is one state that has profited from education spending and reaped the benefits of intellectual capital and research, it's California. We have become the innovation capital for the world. Every year, the University of California is granted more patents than any other university in America. It is critical that we support education - K through university." - Gray Davis
- "Pensions are part ideology and part math, and the math just isn't adding up anymore. We cannot take back benefits from employees to remedy the situation, but we can negotiate to have employees contribute more of their own dollars to their future." - Gray Davis
- "What's happening now is that the state is borrowing funds both internally and externally to stay current. We have $12 billion of internal funds that need to be repaid, and money is being shifted and borrowed from internal areas including education. In five years, we will need to bring that money into the fold to be whole again. We need real collaboration and those with financial expertise to speak with legislators and ensure the state has a long-term plan." - John Chiang
2011 John S. Long Outstanding Student in Real Estate Award
Tim Kawahara, Executive Director, UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate
As we wind down another academic year at UCLA and the Ziman Center, it is once again the season to recognize excellence over the past year. To that end, I am pleased to announce that the 2011 recipient of the John S. Long Outstanding Student in Real Estate Award is Mike Marsch. Mike has participated in virtually every aspect of the real estate program at UCLA Anderson. He has been a tireless leader and advocate of the Ziman Center and its programs, and he is most deserving of this recognition.
Knowing John as I do, and having observed Mike's contributions to the Ziman Center over the past two years, I can say without equivocation that Mike's dedication and accomplishments perfectly embody the spirit of the award. I was elated that John had the opportunity to announce the award which bears his name at our spring board meeting on May 3rd, and personally present the award to Mike. The Ziman Center is grateful to both of these extraordinary leaders.
About the John Long Outstanding Student in Real Estate Award
This award recognizes the UCLA Anderson MBA candidate in each class who has demonstrated and exercised the qualities required to become an influential leader in the industry. The award is not based purely on Academic performance or industry involvement, but on the student's commitment and contribution to the strength and the reputation of the UCLA Real Estate Program at Anderson and throughout the University. The recipient is recognized by the committee, as well as his or her peers, as someone whose Anderson career has been distinguished by action, commitment, and the pursuit of excellence, both in individual endeavors and on behalf of the Anderson Real Estate Program.
This prestigious award is named for John S. Long, the Founding Chairman of the Ziman Center's Board. The criteria by which the winner is selected are designed to reflect John's own leadership style. John Long is President and CEO of Highridge Partners, Inc, which he founded in 1978. The company has been so successful that John's views are seen as a bellwether of the real estate industry to this day. Notwithstanding his tremendous success, John is known as someone who flies largely under the radar, relying upon fundamental principles, rigorous analysis, and investing discipline, and avoiding the public notoriety that seems to follow other large players in the industry.
Phil Angelides, Rosenfield Distinguished Visitor, Meets with Ziman Center Board Members
On April 1st, the Ziman Center hosted a luncheon for a small group of Board members to meet with Phil Angelides, who visited UCLA Law as the first Ann C. Rosenfield Distinguished Visitor to the Business Law and Policy Program. Angelides, the Chairman of the recent Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, visited with Board members and Ziman Center representatives over lunch. The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission was a bipartisan panel charged with examining the causes of the nation's financial and economic crisis. Angelides reviewed the findings of the Commission, including its conclusions that the crisis was avoidable and was caused by widespread failures of regulation, dramatic breakdowns in corporate governance, excessive risk taking by Wall Street, government leaders ill-prepared for crisis, and systemic breaches in accountability and ethics.
Angelides, formerly the State Treasurer of California, is currently President of Riverview Capital Investments which focuses on sustainable urban development and clean energy projects. As an active and experienced developer, Angelides led a discussion about the role of real estate finance in the crisis and likely effects of responses to the crisis on the real estate industry.
Angelides' visit at the Law School through the Rosenfield Distinguished Visitor Program brought him to the campus for a week of special lectures, meetings with students, participation as a guest lecturer in relevant classes, and meetings with faculty. The Law School, as a sponsor of the Ziman Center, invited our participation in the Rosenfield Visit.
Bay Area Real Estate Day on the Job
Andrew Estes, UCLA Anderson Class of 2012
On Friday, May 6th, thirteen members of the Anderson Real Estate Association ("AREA"), comprised of first, second-year and fully-employed MBA students, ventured north for a visit with three prominent real estate companies in the Bay Area. Accompanied by Ziman Center representatives Tim Kawahara and Chelsea Lucio, AREA members utilized this opportunity to expand their knowledge of real estate business beyond the confines of UCLA and the greater Los Angeles area.
The morning started off with a visit to Starwood Capital's West Coast Office where Anderson Alumni Marc Perrin, provided a detailed overview of the company and its unique approach to real estate investments. Mr. Perrin recounted his early inroads into real estate, dating to his experiences working on Wall Street, later culminating with a stint at the Starwood Capital's Grenwich office and more recently, his efforts to establish the company's presence on the West Coast. Perhaps most intriguing to our MBA group was Starwood's current investment strategy in today's challenging real estate market.
For the mid-morning stretch of our day, the AREA crew followed up Mr. Perrin's talk with a visit to Jones Lang LaSalle. Senior Research Analyst Julia Georgules was joined by a commercial broker in providing a thorough overview of the San Francisco real estate market. While a few students on the trip are originally from the Bay Area or had experience working in the city, for the majority of us, San Francisco represented unfamiliar territory - making the market overview all the more useful. Highlights of the visit included learning about the proposed redevelopment of Mission Bay and plans for major tech firms like Twitter and Salesforce to move their offices into the city.
Moving from the downtown to South Bay, the group's afternoon plans involved catching a shuttle from the city to visit Ziman Board Member, Tod Spieker's company, Spieker Companies, Inc., in Mountain View. Over lunch, Mr. Spieker provided a detailed account of the operations behind running a 2,900 unit multi-family apartment investment company. In enthusiastic fashion, he fielded a host of questions from the group ranging from tenant leasing to refurbishment of new buildings. From office to field, the group jumped back on the bus for a personalized tour of three properties in the area. Mr. Spieker's detailed recount of each building's background, including the before-and-after pictures of his properties, revealed the fascinating history and transformation of his expanding apartment business.
To tie-up our productive day of learning about a variety of real estate operations, the group joined local Anderson alumni for happy hour at Gordon Biersch along the Embarcadero. Situated on the ocean front and a short walk from Giant's Stadium, the location was a fitting way to round out the many locations we visited during our busy, yet very interesting day in the Bay Area.
Housing Economics Conference
On April 29th and 30th, the Ziman Center co-sponsored a housing economics conference with the UCLA Department of Economics. Some of the world's leading academic real estate scholars participated in this conference. The conference also attracted leading economists from the Board of Governors, and the Federal Reserve Banks of Boston and New York.
The economists from the NY Federal Reserve Board presented original research based on their unique new database called the FRBNY Consumer Credit Panel. It consists of detailed Equifax credit-report data for a unique longitudinal quarterly panel of individuals and households from 1999 to 2009. The panel is a nationally representative 5% random sample of all individuals with a social security number and a credit report. The resulting database includes approximately 40 million individuals in each quarter. The researchers used their data to present new facts concerning trends in total household debt over time and across states. Such data will allow the Federal Reserve to have an "early warning system" in anticipating future crises.
The Ziman Center provides seed money to enable UCLA faculty to conduct original real estate research. In recent months, Ziman Center scholars have completed papers on a variety of topics including; Chinese housing markets, the resale value of installing solar panels, and trends in home ownership by race. For a complete list of our working papers, see the Ziman Center Research webpage.
RELA Closes a First Year of Successful Programming; Board Turns Over
Student interest in real estate remains high at the Law School. The newly launched Real Estate Law Association held its First Annual Investiture on April 12th, hosted by Tony Natsis, Ziman Center Founding Board member and Professional Advisor to RELA. In an evening celebration with Ziman Center Board members, Law School faculty, participants in the speakers series, and mentors, the outgoing Board of RELA introduced their successors. Faculty advisor and Ziman Center Associate Director Kathy Smalley recapped the achievements of an outstanding and energetic RELA Board, including a well-attended and varied speaker series, a mentorship program, workshops, a "Day on the Job", and a series of mixers with their counterparts at the Anderson Real Estate Association. The RELA Board attracted 60 members, an extraordinary showing for a start-up organization.
Lindsey Havlena Barr, JD 2011, co-President of RELA, introduced the incoming Board of RELA:
Curriculum Advocate--Ryon Nixon
Alumni Coordinator--Leigh Richart
Alumni Coordinator--Colin Daley
Student Outreach--Matthew Joseph
Student Outreach (Internal)--Evan Grant
Ziman/AREA Liason--Matt Rising
Mentor Program Coordinator--Craig Bittner
Joining Lindsey in passing the baton were:
Co-President Andrew Wood, JD 2011
Vice President KC Hill, JD 2011
Outreach Officer Matt DeLira, JD 2011
Programs Officer Tony Consoli, JD 2011
Treasurer Elinor Eizdi, JD/MBA 2012
Kathy Smalley, on behalf of RELA, presented the first Alumnus of the Year Award to Roshan Sonthalia, BA 1999, JD/MBA 2005, now an associate at Skadden Arps. Colleagues from Skadden and Roshan's wife joined the celebration, to recognize Roshan's great contributions to the start-up efforts of RELA. He served as a speaker in the speaker series, coordinated the mentorship program with careful matching of mentors and students and ideas for activities, and he served as a mentor for one lucky law student. Roshan exemplifies the engagement we hope for from the profession and particularly UCLA alumni.
UCLA Anderson Announces Gift for Creation of Endowed Chair in Real Estate, Finance and Economic Policy
Gift will create an endowed fund to support research and teaching
LOS ANGELES -- Howard Levine, a leader in the Southern California housing industry, and his wife Irene, have pledged a gift of $3 million to the UCLA Anderson School of Management, which will be used to establish the Howard and Irene Levine Chair in Real Estate, Finance and Economic Policy in their honor.
The gift will create an endowed fund for ongoing support of research and teaching activities for a distinguished faculty member. Reflecting the Levines' keen interest in business ethics, the gift will also be used by UCLA Anderson's Richard S. Ziman Center for Real Estate to host the Howard Levine Lecture on Business Ethics, an annual event.
"Howard attributes his success in real estate to his studies at UCLA," said Judy Olian, Dean and John E. Anderson Chair of UCLA Anderson School of Management. "He and Irene have never forgotten that, and are now creating a legacy that will benefit others as they launch their careers and study with an industry leader."
"UCLA has been good to us,'' the Levines said. "Now it is time to give back. Our entire family is excited that we will be permanently part of this great institution. We take great pride in knowing that future generations will benefit from this gift.''
An endowed chair presents UCLA Anderson the opportunity to attract or retain an internationally acclaimed professor who, as a widely respected teacher and scholar, will continue to expand the school's reputation and influence. Such chairs are critical to protecting star educators and to attracting new ones who add disciplinary depth and diversity to our faculty.
Since the funding needed to support a chaired professor is generated by a permanent endowment, the school and the chair holder can focus on academic excellence, unencumbered by unpredictable or insufficient funding streams.
"The Levine chair is a game-changer for UCLA, the Anderson School, and the Ziman Center," said Stuart Gabriel, Director of the Ziman Center for Real Estate at UCLA. "It will provide for a new senior faculty hire in the field of real estate finance and economics and will help to assure UCLA's position among the top real estate programs worldwide."
The Levines' gift is especially significant, coming on the heels of the recent crisis in the overall economy and the real estate sector. It will help UCLA Anderson build on the intellectual capacity to understand the critical and abiding issues of real estate, the capital markets and the global economy, providing new insights for students, practitioners and policymakers.
The Levines have been long-term supporters of UCLA Anderson. Howard is a founding member of the Ziman Center Board and chairman of the Student Programs Committee, bringing in industry luminaries to share their insights with students. He has also been a guest lecturer and host of the UCLA Ziman Real Estate Alumni Group dinner.
Howard is the founder and former President/CEO of ARCS Commercial Mortgage Co., L.P., headquartered in Calabasas Hills, CA, a leading provider of commercial and multifamily mortgage financing with offices nationwide. ARCS has been the leading Fannie Mae apartment building lender in the United States for more than a decade, as well as one of the agency's top three affordable housing lenders. It was purchased in 2007 by an affiliate of PNC Bank, and now operates under the name PNC Real Estate - Multifamily.
Howard remains very active on the California Board for Mercy Housing, a large affordable housing provider. He is a past member of the Executive Board of the Mortgage Bankers Association, Commercial Board of Governors and the Multifamily Council of the Urban Land Institute. He currently serves on the UCLA Ziman Real Estate Alumni Group and the American Jewish University. He formerly served on the Board of Directors for the National Multihousing Council, the Multifamily Division of the National Association of Home Builders, the Menorah Housing Foundation and Camp Ramah.
Howard holds a BS in Accounting from NYU, and received his MBA degree in 1967 from UCLA Anderson, with an emphasis in Urban Land Economics.
About UCLA Anderson School of Management
Celebrating 75 years of Business Beyond Usual, UCLA Anderson School of Management is regarded among the leading business schools in the world. UCLA Anderson faculty members are globally renowned for their teaching excellence and research in advancing management thinking. Each year, UCLA Anderson provides a distinctive approach to management education to more than 1,800 students enrolled in its MBA, Fully-Employed MBA, Executive MBA, UCLA-NUS Global Executive MBA, Master of Financial Engineering, doctoral and executive education programs. Combining highly selective admissions, varied and innovative learning programs, and a world-wide network of 39,000 alumni, UCLA Anderson develops and prepares global leaders.
Media Relations, (310) 206-7707, email@example.com
Student learning is enriched when theory and practice are linked. The Ziman Center's Distinguished Speaker Series seeks to achieve this linkage by bringing a variety of successful real estate practitioners to campus. The speakers aim to provide students with real world experience, practical advice, and insight into their own paths to success. The Ziman Center works to incorporate these distinguished speakers into the student experience through lunchtime, evening and intimate dinner events. The past two academic quarters featured an impressive list of real estate luminaries from around the world. The speakers reflect the wide variety of topics and perspectives that have been presented to business and law students this year.
Robert Hart, President and CEO, Kennedy Wilson Multifamily
Leslie Reed, Associate, Pircher, Nichols & Meeks with Alexis Alonzo, Counsel, Bentley Forbes
John Long, Founder, Highridge Partners, Founder, Golden Boy Partners
Jeffrey Gault, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Solus Property Company
Dr. Ngee Huat Seek, President, GIC Real Estate
Ethan Penner, Executive Managing Director, President, CBRE Capital Partners
Jeff Friedman, Co-Founder, Mesa West Capital
Peter Bren, Chairman & President, KBS Capital Advisors
Jay Maddox, Managing Director of Real Estate, Kibel Green
Doug Schwartz, Vice President, JP Morgan
Brad Neel, Senior Vice President and Senior Real Estate Counsel, Warner Brothers
W. Michael (Mike) Bond, Partner, Weil Gotshal & Manges
Vantage Forum 2011
The UCLA Ziman Center and the Urban Land Institute, Los Angeles (ULI) presented the first annual VantageForum on January 11, 2011 at historic Royce Hall on the UCLA campus. This day-long, interactive conference featured a macro-economic overview from the UCLA Anderson Forecast and ULI's Emerging Trends in Real Estate report, followed by a series of panels featuring CEO-level speakers and moderators. Several Ziman Center board members participated as speakers, including Richard Ziman: Chairman, AVP Advisors; Jordan Kaplan: President & CEO, Douglass Emmett; Mike Van Konynenburg: President, Eastdil Secured; Steve Layton: Principal and Co-Founder, LBA Realty; William Petak: CEO, CorAmerica Capital; and Gadi Kaufmann: Managing Director & CEO, RCLCO. UCLA Chancellor Gene Block also spoke about the University's role in driving innovation and economic activity in California. Please visit www.vantageforum.org for more information and to view the complete program. A press release on the housing panel featuring Professor Stuart Gabriel, Director, UCLA Ziman Center, and Henry Cisneros, Former Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, is provided below.
Real Estate Experts Predict Modest Improvements in 2011
Former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros and UCLA Ziman Center Director Stuart Gabriel Make Projections for the Housing Market in the Year Ahead at VantageForum
Two of the country's foremost experts in housing policy and real estate market trends shared the stage this week to make predictions and offer insights on the residential real estate market at VantageForum, a major real estate conference.
Former U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros and UCLA Ziman Center Director Stuart Gabriel predicted economic growth in 2011 tempered by an uneven housing market whose recovery will occur in stages. Cisneros and Gabriel also identified the high deficit and anti-business policies in California as significant impediments to the state's overall economic recovery.
Other key projections included:
The Overall Economy Will Improve in 2011:
Stuart Gabriel: "The country is moving from economic stabilization to gradual improvement. We are on the road to recovery, and in 2011 we will see some local improvement in the unemployment rate, moving down to 10 or 11% in the next year. But the recovery will be gradual, and won't really take off until 2012."
Henry Cisneros: "We will see a substantially stronger economy as the year progresses, and I believe it will be stronger than most people think. There is evidence of increased hiring, and improving the jobs picture is critical to any recovery."
Improvements in Housing Will Vary by Sector and Location:
Stuart Gabriel: "The housing market overall will continue to struggle in 2011, but we will see improvement in some sectors and areas sooner. For example, multi-family properties will fare better than single-family homes. In Los Angeles, the prices have largely stabilized in the coastal areas, but we remain concerned about foreclosures and high inventory in the inland areas."
Henry Cisneros: "The housing market will continue to be held back by foreclosures, making the for sale market continue to lag, although I expect this market will reengage this year. Apartments will be strong in 2011 with lower vacancy rates, which will encourage investment in this sector."
Urban, Workforce Housing is an Important Growth Area:
Stuart Gabriel: "Creating more workforce housing near transportation centers and amenities is an important goal as we move through recovery of the housing market, and this is a sector that is growing. Unfortunately, housing values have dropped by as much as 75% in inland areas of California, whereas along the coast pricing is still challenging for those who inhabit workforce housing. This constraint on pricing may continue to move much of workforce housing to peripheral areas."
Henry Cisneros: "There is a strong market for compact, denser workforce oriented housing in cities, including Los Angeles where several of our developments are among the best in the country. After the recession we have seen an uptick in demand for infill, with populations including empty nesters and young professionals leading the charge."
The Country Needs a Balanced Housing Policy:
Stuart Gabriel: "Homeownership has been pushed hard in this country and we may have pushed too hard. We need to take a close look at the future of the GSE's and policies like the mortgage interest deduction. Owning a home has always been central to our housing policy, but we should look at increasingly valuing renting property as well."
Henry Cisneros: "We certainly need a more balanced housing policy, and we know that there is a large section of the population that is not prepared to be homeowners. That said, homeownership is the principal mechanism by which we move to the middle class, and homeownership is the definition of the American dream. It must be a continued opportunity."
California's Deficit and Business Policies are Major Challenges in its Recovery
Stuart Gabriel: "California is facing 12.5% unemployment, and its record deficit means that the state is unable to stimulate job production. Jobs are critical to any economic recovery, and especially to solving the issues in housing. While the unemployment rate will go down, I expect it to stay around 10 or 11%. The new state budget is predicated on significant cuts in spending and tax hikes, which are necessary because of the egregious nature of the deficit, but will mean the state stays fundamentally weak economically."
Henry Cisneros: "Quite simply, California must create an environment that is practical and reasonable when dealing with business and eliminate the significant disincentives for the growth that should be occurring in this state. I expect that there will be some changes in the near future because economic stability requires jobs, and that means reasonableness in business policies."
Please contact Heather Herndon (310-689-7538) or Heather@SugermanGroup.com if you are interested in interviewing Stuart Gabriel or want more information about the VantageForum conference. Please contact Carol Ruiz (310.892.4744) to request an interview with Henry Cisneros.
Real Estate Law Association (RELA) Launch
By Matthew de Lira, RELA Board member and Outreach Officer
Students at UCLA School of Law have formed the Real Estate Law Association (RELA), designed to facilitate student interest in real estate practice, investment, and activities. Membership started strong, with 10% of law students joining in this first year. With the support of the Ziman Center, RELA has already hosted several well-attended and successful talks and networking opportunities. Speakers in the fall included Brad Neel, Senior Real Estate Counsel and Vice President for Warner Bros. Pictures; Michael Bond, co-chair of the Real Estate Practice at Weil, Gotschal & Manges; and Professor Paul Habibi at UCLA Anderson School. A mentorship program, to match UCLAW students with practicing real estate lawyers has drawn a number of applications, and matching is about to begin. With an exciting line-up of spring speakers (Leslie Reed of Pircher, Nichols & Meeks, Alexis Alonzo of Bentley Forbes; Michael Brown and Casey Lynch of Pelican Holdings; Walter Sprunt of Aureus; Anton Natsis of Allen Matkins, Leck, Gamble & Natsis); a hosted mentor program from Standard Management Company scheduled in April; and a strong and interested group of first and second year students to succeed the current Board, RELA is well-positioned to create a vibrant real estate presence at UCLAW and in the real estate community.
Organization and Goals
The founding RELA Board comprises law students and joint degree law and business students with diverse experiences in real estate from working in law firms, private equity firms, and government agencies. This dedicated group of students launched the organization, planned the programs, contacted their counterparts at the Anderson Real Estate Association (AREA), sought funding, and worked with the Ziman Center and UCLAW faculty to bring speakers, networking opportunities, and mentorship opportunities to the RELA membership.
In its start-up year, RELA has focused on building a network of students interested in all aspects of real estate. During the first few months of operation RELA amassed a student membership that is roughly ten percent of the entire law school student population. As the organization takes hold, the Board plans to expand its mission to include working on curriculum initiatives and expanding the menu of real estate-related activities available to students, whether in case competitions or volunteer opportunities. Already as a result of the speaker events and interaction with AREA members, law students have increasingly enrolled in courses offered at the Anderson School of Management.
RELA's inaugural event drew on UCLAW's long-standing commitment to entertainment law, with Brad Neel, Senior Real Estate Counsel and Vice President for Warner Bros. Pictures. Neel spoke about his career in the real estate business and the unique intersection of real estate law within the entertainment industry.
The second speaker event featured Michael Bond, a partner and co-chair of the Real Estate Practice at Weil, Gotshal & Manges in New York City. Bond has represented Lehman Brothers in various real estate transactions and led the real estate team in the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy. Bond shared his experiences as counsel during the financial meltdown in 2008 and offered insights into the future of real estate on Wall Street.
The third event spotlighted Paul Habibi, Professor at UCLA Anderson School of Management, who introduced law students to the business side of the real estate world, explaining investments and finance principles to law students. Professor Habibi provided insights into other uses of a law degree and inspired some law students to take his real estate class this Winter Quarter.
The most recent speaker event involved Leslie Reed of Pircher, Nichols & Meeks and Alexis Alonzo of Bentley Forbes, who presented a development due diligence workshop for students. Since both speakers had given a similar presentation for the Los Angeles County Bar Association, students had the benefit to learn about the types and degrees of due diligence needed before purchasing real property. The workshop offered materials that outlined the crucial aspects of due diligence such as title and survey research, environmental assessment, and project entitlements. Each speaker then provided wisdom to students by elaborating on her experiences in developing the needed acumen and judgment for each aspect.
Three more upcoming speaker events include: (1) Michael Brown and Casey Lynch of Pelican Holdings, who will share their experience in starting their own real estate equity fund; (2) Tony Natsis of Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis and founding member of the Ziman Center, will share his experiences and perspectives on the real estate industry with students over an intimate lunch; (3)Walter Sprunt, who will speak on his involvement on investing in Baby-Boomer oriented real estate products, such as senior living facilities.
There is a strong demand among law students for connections to professionals engaged in all aspects of real estate. RELA is responding to this demand with two programs. First, after a pilot program with Julie Mebane (partner at Duane Morris) as the mentor, RELA is working with the Ziman Center to expand its existing mentor program to include the assignment of lawyer mentors to law students. Second, Samuel K. Freshman, president and chairman of the Standard Management Company, will offer a mentoring and career development luncheon for RELA members at his office in Century City.
Ziman Center Involvement
The Ziman Center has been enormously supportive and extremely involved in Real Estate Law Association's programming. Ziman Center Associate Director, Professor Kathleen Smalley, serves as the faculty advisor for RELA and was instrumental in organizing and facilitating student enthusiasm through her Advanced Real Estate Transactions course. Moreover, the contributions of the entire Ziman Center team, led by Executive Director Tim Kawahara and Assistant Director of Programs, Chelsea Lucio, have been extremely significant in helping RELA to design and source speaker events and professional development opportunities, as well as in bridging communication between the School of Law and the Anderson School of Management. Also, the Ziman Center team with the lead of Assistant Director of Marketing, Ellen Sutton, developed a logo for the Real Estate Law Association to enhance its visibility and influence. The funding and resources of the Ziman Center for Real Estate have been incalculable to the growth and influence of the Real Estate Law Association.
The Real Estate Law Association further plans to develop alumni events and an alumni network to provide continuing resources and connections for all Bruins engaged in the real estate industry. Furthermore, RELA hopes to establish a curriculum committee as part of the student organization in order to institute ongoing advocacy for topical and enriching real estate law courses and clinics. Quality and cutting-edge education is crucial to building the real estate leaders of tomorrow. This year RELA has opened and created channels to ideas, businesses, and people. The enthusiasm of first and second year students ensures that the organization will continue to flourish as the founding Board graduates. Because of the immense support of the Ziman Center for Real estate, what the Real Estate Law Association has done so far and what it hopes to do is something quite momentous.
An Interview with Ron Gonen
(President, EGC Luxury Homes)
By Tom Murray, UCLA Anderson Class of 2011
Graduating from UCLA in the early 1990's, Ron Gonen began his career in accounting and earned his CPA a few years later before he returned to UCLA as a part of the UCLA Anderson School of Management's Class of 1997.
While at Anderson Ron was a leader among other MBA students focusing on real estate. He was president of the Anderson Real Estate Association (AREA) which, at that time, boasted only 12 members. He recalled being frustrated at the lack of real estate management courses and the lack of support for AREA's initiatives. This motivated Ron to enhance UCLA's reputation among the real estate community but he recalls that "without a dedicated real estate center, it was almost impossible for [them] to create real estate classes or get the heavy hitters of LA real estate on campus to speak and meet students."
Upon graduation from Anderson, Ron joined EGC Luxury Homes, which specializes in development, ownership, and management of single and multi-family homes. EGC Luxury Homes has now been in business for over 30 years. In his role at the company, Ron focuses on developments throughout Southern California as well as a select number of projects throughout the US. He credits his UCLA education and network as a driving force behind his company's success and ability to weather the current economic downturn. The UCLA Anderson brand, Ron says, "is a door-opener and gives one immediate credentials. The LA business community appreciates the analytical and business management skills that an Anderson education entails."
In an effort to both give back to UCLA and improve his own real estate network, Ron is actively involved with the UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate. Since the founding of the Ziman Center in 2001, Ron has witnessed the dramatic impact the Center has had on the real estate programs and education across UCLA. "It's great for me to meet Anderson students that have come to UCLA specifically to study real estate," a phenomenon he says could not have happened without the Center's support over the past 10 years.
"With its ability to tap into the UCLA, business, and law school professionals around LA, the Ziman Center has built a bigger, strong network from the inside out. Through initiatives such as the Real Estate Alumni Group (REAG) and Ziman Center events, I have benefitted personally through the strengthening of my network throughout Southern California."
Currently, Ron leads the Ziman Center Mentor Program which links Anderson and law school students with a mentor from the real estate industry. As a sign of the Ziman Center's ability to get alumni involved, as well as Ron's efforts, there has recently been a dramatic increase in the number of alumni seeking to mentor students. Additionally, student interest in the mentor program continues to increase with over 5% of the Anderson student body taking part in the program. "This is further proof that the Ziman Center has put UCLA Anderson on the real estate education map!"
"Particularly in today's environment," Ron says, "it is crucial that students connect with and have access to UCLA alums working in the field. The mentor program is just one of many valuable services to UCLA real estate education that the Ziman Center makes possible.
Working alongside Ron to manage the Mentor Program, Ziman Center Assistant Director of Programs Chelsea Lucio has witnessed a dramatic shift in the program since Ron became involved in 2009. "Ron has spearheaded an effort to improve the Ziman Center Mentor Program, which has transformed the program and increased the value to the students," says Chelsea. Among his efforts, Ron personally interviews each student who applies to the mentor program in order to make the best possible pairing. "The students appreciate the time and care that Ron puts into their mentor matches and take the Mentor Program seriously as they see Ron's dedication to the process."
About EGC Luxury Homes:
EGC Luxury Homes has been in the multi-family and single-family acquisition, development, and management business for over 30 years. The company is proud to have endured the recent challenges while maintaining its integrity, repaying debts as originally promised and maintaining positive relationships with investors. Boasting an investor IRR close to 20% since its inception, the company looks forward to a bright future as the industry recovers in the coming years.
2011 UCLA Ziman REAG Membership Drive
The 2011 UCLA Ziman REAG membership drive is now underway. We are enthusiastic to announce that we are now accepting online membership renewals at www.giving.ucla.edu/REAG/. As a benefit of membership, all REAG members have access to the online member directory (www.uclareag.org), and all members are encouraged to update their professional profile to keep their contact information current. The REAG board has begun production on the 2011 REAG Member Directory that will be printed and sent to all members so please take a moment to update your information. If you have any questions or issues logging into your online profile, please contact Chelsea Lucio (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Preview: Ryan Vaughn's Strategic Foreclosure Doctoral Thesis
Doctoral student and Ziman Center research fellow Ryan Vaughn is in his final year of the UCLA PhD program and will soon be publishing his doctoral thesis, "Strategic Foreclosure: An Empirical Assessment of Strategic Behavior by Lenders in the Mortgage Market." A preview of his research is included below.
ABSTRACT-There is a new and growing literature demonstrating the negative pecuniary and social externalities of home foreclosures on local property values and crime rates. The literature on homeowner default behavior typically models the default decision of a homeowner as the point when the property is seized by the lender. A borrower must first be in default before their property is placed into foreclosure, but the timing of that placement is the decision of the lending institution. Thus if a lender expects that seizing a single property will push nearby properties into default, a rational lender may delay the seizure of delinquent loans when nearby properties are also in the lender's portfolio. The local pecuniary externalities from foreclosure by a mortgage lender upon a borrower depend on the number of nearby loans also in the lenders portfolio. This study uses a unique and proprietary dataset to provide reduced form evidence in favor of decreased foreclosure probabilities for delinquent loans when the lender is most likely to internalize local pecuniary externalities from the foreclosure decision. Results indicate that, all else equal, moving a delinquent loan from a zip code one standard deviation below the mean number of portfolio loans in a zip code to a zip code one standard deviation above the this amount has a similar effect on the probability of foreclosure as the loan recovering almost 4 months of payments.