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Auburn adds new graduate program in real estate

Last week, Auburn announced a new institute for real estate development. This new program will bring Auburn national recognition for exceptional real estate instruction, thought leadership, and research innovation across all major property sectors.

An anonymous donor gave a five-million-dollar gift to the program to get it started.

The plan is for the institute to build upon the strengths of the Auburn Master of Real Estate Development, or MRED program, an executive graduate degree offered jointly by the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business and the College of Architecture, Design and Construction, according to the university announcement.

Joe Hanna, Regions Bank Professor and Harbert interim dean stated, “The effective management of real estate projects and investments clearly involves aspects of architecture, construction, and finance. It is the ability to bring these aspects together through the institute that makes the collaboration between the Harbert College and the CADC particularly valuable and somewhat unique.”

Auburn University MRED Director Justin Benefield believes the program is “uniquely qualified because they have the right mix of institutional resources.” Benefield advised that this includes expertise in design, contract and build, finance and investment structures, engineering, e-commerce, hospitality management and other disciplines.

The institute has three pillars — exceptional real estate education, thought leadership for industry, and professional development and continuing education.

The goal is for the institute to provide real estate developers, faculty, students and other industry professionals with opportunities to network and learn through an expanded CityBuilders Symposium.

Modeled after the successful MRED-sponsored CityBuilders guest lecture series, the multi-day conference will feature national leaders in commercial real estate to share industry insights and best practices for economically sustainable development projects that benefit communities.

Furthermore, the university plans to add degree offerings to a broader student population by establishing a real estate minor for undergraduates and offering new real estate-related graduate-level certificates.

David Palmore is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News

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