Continuing with George Mason University’s tradition of close collaboration with the Northern Virginia Real Estate community, a group of Masters in Real Estate Development students in the Real Estate Design and Development class did an in-depth review of a Duke Realty development project, being built by DAVIS Construction. The tour not only allowed the Masters in Real Estate Development students to learn from the developer’s perspective, but also allowed them to see several important aspects of developing a property, including, sustainability, construction management, and collaboration.
The review was multi-dimensional, beginning in the classroom. Many faculty in the George Mason University Masters in Real Estate Development are successful real estate professionals who draw on their real world experiences to enhance classroom learning. The two professionals who teach this course are Mark Hassinger of West Dulles Properties and Brian Palmer of Duke Reality. By partnering with business leaders who bring relevant research and fresh insight into the classroom, students have the opportunity to gain more than a text book understanding of the development process.
The Masters in Real Estate Development students at George Mason University receive a unique learning experience within the classroom because of the type of instructors within the program. Experiential learning is an important part of a real estate graduate degree experience, and George Mason University provides students the opportunity to engage outside of the classroom and experience real dirt development.
The Masters in Real Estate Development students began the day with a presentation by the lead architect on the project, Manoj Dalaya, of KGD Architecture. Mr. Dalaya spent over an hour reviewing the multiple interactions between the building owner and the design team as they narrowed down the design solutions that best matched the owner’s needs. He explained the final plans were a happy marriage between client requirements and architectural creativity. Manoj is a Mason Alumnus of the MBA program (Class of ’99). Seeing first hand his success demonstrated the academic and business collaboration promoted by the graduate programs in the School of Management at George Mason University.
The final portion of the review was an on-site tour which gave the students an opportunity to apply classroom theories to a real-life example. The tour was hosted by Duke Realty’s on-site project management team. They allowed the class to see some of the architectural features discussed in class, as well as some of the unique site features that required ingenious solutions by the project team.
Many thanks to the participants who made the classroom and site review possible!
Written by Paul Apostolakis, Masters in Real Estate Development Student