Since 1999, The Counselors of Real Estate Foundation (formerly known as the James E. Gibbons Educational Trust Fund) has underwritten more than eighty projects that build better lives. These projects range from research and education initiatives to economic development and design programs, including:
· Paradise Association of REALTORS
The Foundation recently approved funding to engage the CRE Consulting Corps to provide a strategic action plan for housing and commercial redevelopment in Paradise, CA as the town recovers from the devastating 2018 “Camp Fire.” The fire burned more than 18,000 buildings – destroying 90% of Paradise residential structures and 80% of its commercial buildings. Challenges facing the community include a significant housing shortage, high cost of construction, and septic/sewer issues.
· Center for Creative Land Recycling (CCLR)
The Center for Creative Land Recycling (CCLR) is the country’s leading national non-profit exclusively dedicated to building local capacity for sustainable and equitable land reuse, working directly with communities to transform underutilized and environmentally-impacted contaminated properties and brownfields into community assets. CCLR requested and received funding to identify and screen candidates for a potential CRE Consulting Corp project.
· Portland State University’s Center for Real Estate (PSUCRE)
The Foundation recently approved funding to conduct a study of Portland’s efforts to address commercial affordability in retail, industrial and other types of commercial space in gentrifying urban areas
· Valuation and Lending Seminars in Africa
The Foundation approved funding for seminars on valuation and lending in Nigeria and Johannesburg. These seminars are conducted in conjunction with the International Real Property Foundation, the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria, and the National Property Forum.
· Development of Technology Platform for Management of Government Property
OpportunitySpace, a Harvard/MIT student-led venture, requested and received funding from the Foundation for the pilot phase of a program to develop a standardized information system for management of public real property resources.
· Training Seminar for Women of Uganda
The Foundation approved funding to support a training seminar for women of Uganda that aims to raise awareness and education levels for women in the field of property rights and appraisal, and enable them to become leaders in the real property arena through training and association affiliations.
· Yantalo Volunteer House
The Foundation approved funding for construction of the first housing project in Yantalo, Peru and the development of framework for future housing.
· North American Youth Leadership Project for a Sustainable Future
This program supports youth-led education that targets youth, the public at large, and adult decision-makers.
· Commercial Real Estate Women Foundation (CREW)
The Foundation approved funding to develop and implement an e-Mentoring Program designed to train mentors and establish an e-monitoring system to create a North American-wide member database of almost 8,000 professional women who are leading experts in specialties including law, brokerage, investments and finance, and asset management.
· Real Estate Associate Program (REAP)
The Foundation provided funding to support REAP’s mission to identify and facilitate career opportunities for minority professionals and to identify minority talent for the real estate industry.
· Kenya School of Monetary Studies
The Kenya School of Monetary Studies sought funds to establish a small student exchange program in Africa. Program support from the Foundation provided the means to bring three Kenyan students to study in the United States and sent three Counselors of Real Estate to Kenya to share knowledge and expertise.
· Community Design Collaborative
The Foundation awarded funding to provide support for the third phase of the Infill Philadelphia project which will focus on retooling and recycling Philadelphia’s industrial landscape as sustainable, 21st Century workplace environments.
· South Florida Jobs with Justice
Through funding from the Foundation, the Jobs with Justice organization engaged the CRE Consulting Corps (a consulting service of The Counselors of Real Estate) in helping to create land ownership opportunities for low-income Latino and Haitian residents of Miami, Florida.
· Bay Area Council Family of Funds
Two scholarships in the Ross Program were funded by the Foundation. The program provides intensive executive training to real estate professionals from minority groups with the skills necessary to develop and invest in significant real estate projects in underserved communities.
· Appraisal Classes in Uganda and Rwanda
Funding was provided to facilitate appraisal classes taught in both Uganda and Rwanda in East Africa.
· Benedictine Women of Madison
The Benedictine Women of Madison received funding to engage the CRE Consulting Corps to develop a strategic plan for utilizing its real property holdings, thereby enabling the Benedictine community to attain sound financial footing while preserving and protecting environmentally sensitive open land located at the fringe of a dynamic growing mid-sized metropolitan area.
· University of Southern California Ross Minority Program in Real Estate
The Ross Minority Program in Real Estate provides training for individuals active in redeveloping minority and underserved communities, either by completing development projects or by participating in the development and planning process.
· DePaul University
Funding was provided to assist with the printing and distribution of a special focus issue of Real Estate Issues.
· Counselors in the Classroom
Support of this program that matches CREs and ARES members, academic real estate programs, and specific areas of CRE expertise with university real estate curricula.
· Portland State University Center for Real Estate
Support for the center to conduct a study of mixed-use redevelopment of school properties in downtown regions, including research, a symposium and a final report.
· Philadelphia’s Point Breeze Faces Redevelopment Challenge
Residents of the South Philadelphia’s Point Breeze community needed a detailed plan to face its economic challenges. Through the issuance of a non-recourse loan, the Foundation supported the development of the site design and preliminary funding packages. The plan outlines a $30 million mixed-use development project that includes a performing arts center after-school program, charter high school, local retail shops and subsidized housing.
· Antietam Historic Homes Documented
Antietam was the scene of the bloodiest single day in American military history. More than 23,000 soldiers were killed or wounded on a single day: Sept. 17, 1862. Renowned as the most preserved Civil War battlefield, Antietam is surrounded by homes and churches that still bear the scars of battle. The Foundation has provided funding for a publication to document and publicize the history of these significant structures.
· Confusion Replaced by Understanding
Building in Vermont is governed by Act 250, which regulates construction to protect the environment; balance development with local, regional and state issues; and provide a forum for residents to voice concerns. However, the law is confusing for many. Through the support of the Foundation, Vermont Law School’s Land Use Institute is developing brochures to help the state’s 251 municipalities — many of which are led by citizen boards that turn over frequently — understand and adhere to Act 250. Civic bodies across the state will use the brochures to develop smart and sensitive municipal plans, zoning and other land-use ordinances.
· James A. Graaskamp Consulting Papers Preserved for Posterity
Scholar and icon James Graaskamp, CRE, (1933-1988), helped establish the field of real estate in the realm of academia and is credited with creating a multi-faceted, ethics-based curriculum. A group of highly respected real estate practitioners, former Graaskamp students when he was department chair of real estate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, are working to locate, digitize and publish the entire body of his work. Through the support of the Foundation, more than 20,000 pages of his pioneering real estate analysis will ultimately be available to students and professionals worldwide.
· DePaul Interdisciplinary Design Project for Senior Housing
The Real Estate Center at DePaul University, the Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture, and the Kent State University School of Design developed an Interdisciplinary Development and Design project for Senior Housing. Students from the three disciplines of design, architecture, and real estate, were placed in teams, providing each student with insight into real estate development from all three perspectives. Courses were taught using videoconferencing, and students traveled to attend workshops and to participate in the final project, which took the form of a juried competition to create a development proposal for an actual senior housing development in Chicago.
· China-U.S. Sustainable Land Use Training Program
The China-U.S. Sustainable Land Use Training Program introduced approximately 80 senior land use officials from China’s national, provincial, and municipal governments to the U.S. real estate industry and its practices in land use, infrastructure development, property rights, and citizen participation.
· Pioneer Institute: Initiative on Local Housing Regulation
The Pioneer Institute for Public Policy, in a joint effort with Harvard University’s Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston, conducted new research into land-use regulation in the Greater Boston area. Using this data, these organizations have attempted to document and analyze housing regulations, and spur public debate on eliminating the most significant obstacles to housing production.
· Homeless Coalition Seeks Solutions
The Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida — dedicated to providing support to those with no where else to go — was at an impasse with city government about the location of its four-acre facility. Could a shelter and family services operation exist without deterring economic development in a gentrifying neighborhood? Through underwriting by the Foundation, a panel of Counselors of Real Estate conducted a CRE Consulting Corps assignment to identify and assess possible relocation sites.
· Immigrant Experience Reenacted at Lower East Side Tenement Museum
Each year, more than 25,000 students visit the Lower East Site Tenement Museum for a first-hand look at the lives of turn-of-the-century immigrants. Through historical reenactment in a restored tenement, students witness how working-class people toiled tirelessly to establish their families’ futures in the U.S. The Foundation supports the museum’s exploration of housing, community and diversity issues — matters that are still pressing nearly a century later.
· Safe Horizon Provides Much-Needed Conflict Resolution Services
Safe Horizon, the leading nonprofit victim-assistance advocacy and violence-prevention organization in the U.S., launched a conflict-resolution program for residents of three affordable housing facilities in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Because of the Foundation, several shelter staff members already have completed the program’s intensive 40-hour Basic Mediation Training course, furthering Safe Horizon’s goal of embedding mediators at shelters to provide instant, onsite mediation services.
· University of Wisconsin-Madison Real Estate Seminar for Kyrgyzstan
The University of Wisconsin-Madison, the World Bank, and the American University in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, developed a distance learning program that used online videoconferencing to conduct the course, “The Real Estate Seminar Program for Kyrgyzstan,” which addressed the need for training in a market-driven real estate concepts.
· Center for Regional and Neighborhood Action Smart Growth Program
With the involvement of members of The Counselors of Real Estate and other experts, the Center for Regional and Neighborhood Action (CRNA) developed a seminar on Smart Growth for representatives from the public, private, and non-profit sectors.
· California Center for Land Recycling
The California Center for Land Recycling Rail yard Development Pilot Project hosted the conference, “Next Stop: Rail yard Revitalization,” that focused on a 240-acre Union Pacific facility. The conference discussed scenarios for the reuse of this property into a mixed use site, and addressed a wide range of property issues including valuation, public policy, economic development, environment, and historic preservation.
· First Nations Studies in Real Estate Leadership, Business and Management Program
The First Nations Studies in Real Estate Leadership, Business and Management Program was developed at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia. The four-day program offered workshops and training in concepts of business and real estate to representatives of the First Nations (the tribal peoples of Canada).
· The Polish Association of Real Estate Counselors
The Polish Association of Real Estate Counselors (PAREC), the first real estate counseling organization in Central and Eastern Europe, received start-up support which included the development of educational seminars and conferences.
· Monmouth University Real Estate Institute
The Monmouth University Real Estate Institute developed a certificate program entitled “Regulations and the Real Estate Development Process,” which concerned land use laws. The program was developed to address the need for stronger education in land use and real estate development law among public officials in the state of New Jersey.
· 20/20 Vision for Concord
The symposium, “Initiative for a 20/20 Vision” for Concord, New Hampshire, created a roadmap for the city’s future and examined transportation, infrastructure, economic development, and preservation of the city’s traditional neighborhoods and its environment.
· Marine Stadium Redevelopment
With matching funds providing by the City of Miami, the CRE Consulting Corps provided site analysis and reuse strategy for the Commodore Ralph Monroe Marine Stadium, which was destroyed in Hurricane Andrew of 1992.
· Urban Plan Berkeley
Developed by the University of California at Berkeley and the Urban Land Institute, UrbanPlan is an educational curriculum that educates students with the multiple disciplines that are necessary for effective urban development. Utilizing online and classroom tools, students participate in a simulated redevelopment project, and are required to consider economic goals, sound urban planning and design concepts, and the needs of the community. The program has been used in university-level programs as well as high schools.
· Pioneer Institute: School Choice
The Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, an organization that supports scholarships to improve public policy in the state of Massachusetts, launched an initiative to explore the ways that school choice might be used to improve public education for students in low-income communities.
· Town of Ticonderoga
The Town of Ticonderoga, New York, developed a comprehensive future plan for its revitalization efforts that addressed sustainability and growth, while also taking into account the town’s infrastructure, cultural, historical and natural resources.
· DePaul Real Estate Center Counselor Cases
The Real Estate Center of DePaul University in Chicago began development of its “Counselor Cases” program. Using case studies of actual projects undertaken by members of The Counselors of Real Estate, this program is to be used in MBA real estate investment curricula through the U.S. and abroad.
· New Ecology Green Affordable Housing Project
New Ecology conducted research and training concerning environmentally responsible real estate development, analyzing environmentally sustainable building and real estate practices, which resulted in a publication on green building.
· Tougaloo College
Through matching funds from Tougaloo College in Mississippi, the CRE Consulting Corps conducted an assignment to assess the development and highest and best use potential for the excess land owned by the college, while also considering the needs and interests of the institution and its community.
· Real Estate Issues/Global Cities Edition
A special double edition of Real Estate Issues, the journal of The Counselors of Real Estate, was published in conjunction with The Journal of Real Estate Portfolio Management. The edition provided commentary and analysis from the “Global Cities in an Era of Change” conference, which was co-sponsored by The Counselors of Real Estate, Harvard Design School, and The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.