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REEX summer learning program returns to campus

Canan Safar (’12), SVP of development (CV Properties) presents Land Use & Zoning lecture, REEX JUNE 2022

“It’s important for CRE to host REEX, we need culturally diverse students to see MIT as a viable school choice when it’s time to start applying to colleges and universities, but also to see commercial real estate as an actual career option — I think we accomplished both.” – R. Kelly Cameron, CRE Career Development Officer and Curriculum Director for REEX @ MIT.

Offered in two cohort modules, MIT is one of six universities to host the 2022 Real Estate Exchange (REEX) Jumpstart Program, a two-week, in-residence commercial real estate summer learning program for high school students, sponsored by Real Estate Executive Council (REEC).  Launched in 2019, REEX returned to the MIT campus after two years of virtual programming.  Joined by Harvard University, REEX @ MIT delivered a commercial real estate curriculum to 20 African American and Latinx teenagers from across the US. The cohort one module consisted of MIT, Howard University, and the University of Miami.

The REEX Program, thanks in-part to Urban Land Institute Boston/New England and its UrbanPlan program, focuses on six core fundamentals of commercial real estate; 1) highest and best use, 2) land use and zoning, 3) finance proforma, 4) capital stack, 5) operations and stabilization, and 6) evaluation and exit strategy.  In addition to the six core fundamentals, students also participated in several professional panel discussions, development project field trips, coaching sessions for capstone presentations, and received an overview of the college admissions process. 

In addition to area professionals contributing to the learning program, the MIT cohort was fortunate to have MSRED alums Canan Safar (’12), present on Land Use & Zoning and serve as a capstone presentation juror, Amanda Strong (’02) lead a campus tour of MIT and real estate gaming exercise in the corporate office of MITIMCo, Marcella Barriere (’13), participated as a member of the program planning team and fireside chat contributor, and Weijia Song (’18) serve as our pre-capstone presentation advisor. 

This year, REEX participants created a development plan related to Dorchester Bay City.  To better understand the site and its proximity to major roadways, transit and area institutions, Kelly Taylor (she, her), development associate with CV Properties lead a site tour of the nearly 35-acre development site. 

Amanda Strong (’02), Director, Asset Management (MITIMCo) leading a campus tour of MIT and sharing an overview of the development performed by MITIMCo, REEX JUNE 2022

The learning program concluded with a Shark Tank-style competition, where students formed corporate teams to pitch their development project to a panel of real estate professionals.  Serving as capstone presentation jurors were Canan Safar (’12), SVP of development for CV Properties, Taidgh McClory, founder and principal of TH McClory, LLC and Michael Fergus, senior project manager for CBRE.  As the cohort one module neared completion, the team representing MIT competed against teams representing Howard University and the University of Miami.  The MIT team placed second in the cohort competition, with Howard University placing first.

Congratulations and thanks to all students and the organizers who brought this program to campus again after the pandemic.