On Thursday, Sept. 14, a small group of Villanova students and faculty traveled to Washington D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland on a real estate TREK. The group left the University at 7a.m. and did not return until around 8:30p.m.
“These DiLella Center-sponsored TREKs give our students first-hand experience with the people and places in major commercial real estate markets,” Professor Charlie Davidson said.
The first stop of this trip was Amazon’s brand-new HQ2 in Arlington, Virginia. Students and faculty heard from Amazon leaders involved with the planning and development of the office. The 2.5-billion-dollar headquarters is unique compared to most office buildings. The space contains places for dogs to rest, a banana truck that gives out free bananas, a large terrace, a gourmet food court and a two-story large LED screen in the center of the office. Development Manager Vivian Ramirez shared many of the details incorporated to motivate employees to return to the office after years of working from home.
Following Amazon HQ2, students and faculty engaged in an alumni networking lunch at a local restaurant. Over Italian food, many prominent and successful real estate professions in Washington D.C. shared invaluable advice and guidance.
The group then traveled 45 miles north to Baltimore, Maryland to tour the Harbor Point Development project. The 27-acre mixed-use project has three million square feet of office, retail, residential and hotel uses and 9.5 acres of open space. The site was previously used for chromium chemical manufacturing but had sat vacant since 1980. After extensive clean-up efforts, development began on the land in 2008.
At Harbor Point, students suited up in hard hats and safety vests as they toured the active construction site of the new 450-million-dollar T Rowe Price Headquarters. Students went in construction elevators to the top floors of this unfinished building. This unprecedented access allowed students to walk around and understand all that goes into commercial development.
Following Harbor Point, the bus made the short drive to the Mount Vernon Club where food, drinks and conversation flowed. Many Baltimore Real Estate industry professionals joined to chat with students.
While busy and long, students and faculty all had a wonderful time on the trip.
“As a senior majoring in Real Estate, I embrace the Real Estate treks, as they afford me invaluable opportunities to delve deeper into the industry and expand my horizons beyond the confines of the classroom,” senior Elizabeth Curley said.
Trips like these are organized by the Daniel M. DiLella Center for Real Estate and sponsored by the Davis Fund for Student Experiences. They are open to all class years and schools.
“As a College of Liberal Arts and Sciences student who is unable to gain hands-on classroom experience in real estate, this trek was an amazing way to learn and network,” senior Ethan Brown said. “I highly recommend signing up for future trips to any student interested in pursuing a career in real estate.”
Two real estate TREKs occur per semester, with the next one being to Boston in October. In the spring, trips to the New York and Philadelphia markets are planned.
Source: Villa Novan