Mason Establishes New Center for Real Estate Entrepreneurship

Posted: November 16, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Jennifer Edgerly

The Washington, D.C., region is the fourth largest metro area in the United States, and its real estate market is one of the most desirable investment markets in the world. To serve this sector of the economy, Mason has established a new Center for Real Estate Entrepreneurship, a university-wide initiative that will further the educational and professional opportunities of real estate industry professionals in the national capital area and beyond.

The center will focus on shaping the next generation of real estate leaders and help them anticipate and meet the challenges of changing markets.

Relying upon existing resources and expertise from the School of Management, the School of Public Policy and the Volgenau School of Information Technology and Engineering, the center will offer degree programs in areas of real estate development such as land use and environmental considerations, acquisition dynamics and construction management.

To provide the most valuable and pertinent education offerings geared toward the needs of the region, Mason will work with the Northern Virginia Chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP). In addition, key members of the Washington real estate community will serve as adjunct faculty and guest lecturers, providing students the opportunity to take their educational experience beyond textbooks by learning from and analyzing success stories of the region.

“The Center for Real Estate Entrepreneurship is a perfect example of how George Mason University continues to serve the region by developing new academic programs to address a pressing economic need,” says Mason President Alan Merten. “I am especially pleased to offer a program that will help the many companies in this area who have been so important to the success of George Mason University.”

The local real estate community is already supporting the endeavor enthusiastically.

“The Center for Real Estate Entrepreneurship will play a critical role in the region’s commercial real estate industry by producing the next generation of leading industry professionals, people who can not only get the job done, but can take the lead,” says Eric Wells, 2007 chairman of the Northern Virginia chapter of NAIOP. “NAIOP’s commitment to the center includes a goal to contribute $2 million from our membership. We currently have commitments exceeding $1 million dollars.”

The center will begin offering graduate certificates and real estate concentrations in existing graduate degree programs in spring 2008. Master’s degree programs and a comprehensive undergraduate degree program are currently being established. Professor Greg Hero is the executive director of the center.

“Our graduates have a reputation for being smart and hard working, and adding value to their employers from the first day on the job,” says Merten “I have no doubt this program will produce the kind of graduates who will support and sustain this industry that is so vital to the region.”

For more information about the Center for Real Estate Entrepreneurship, see the web site.

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