Summer 2020 Newsletter

In this issue (click to jump to each section)

Webinar July 22: Current and Future Impacts of COVID-19 on Multifamily Housing

Webinar hosts

Join us for the “Current and Future Impacts of COVID-19 on Multifamily Housing” Webinar, taking place on WEDNESDAY, JULY 22 | 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. CT.

COVID-19 means most of us are spending more time at home, and this has important implications for multifamily housing. Learn from real estate experts from Northwestern Mutual about how owners and operators of multifamily properties should respond and how current conditions could reshape the multifamily sector in the long term.

Presented by Kevin Kennedy, Grad '99, Senior Director, Northwestern Mutual; and Brian Konyn, CPA, Bus Ad '12, Associate, Northwestern Mutual. Moderated by Anthony Pennington-Cross, Bell Chair in Real Estate, Marquette University.

Registration is free.


Marquette Students Take 1st, 2nd Place at Case Competitions

A huge congratulations to a group of four Marquette real estate majors who won the 2020 NAIOP Minnesota Real Estate challenge!

This year’s competition focused on a development site in Shakopee, Minnesota, adjacent to Canterbury Park, a gambling, horse track and event center located 20 miles southwest of Minneapolis. The students began the competition in January after applying and being selected for REAL 4330 – Advanced Real Estate Analysis. The competition was originally to take place on Thursday, April 16, but was cancelled due to concerns around the coronavirus pandemic. However, NAIOP asked each school to submit a written proposal to be judged, and in mid-April the Challenge Committee informed instructor Dan Cowell that the Marquette team had won!

Taking part in this competition was easily the best decision I've made at Marquette.  It was a great finale to our Real Estate educational experience at Marquette!  We are all blessed to have been taught by some fantastic teachers and mentors.” - Matthew Newell, member of the NAIOP student team

Members of the winning Marquette group included Megan Aust (Bus Ad ‘20), William Braxton (Bus Ad ‘20), Matthew Newell (Bus Ad ‘20), and Kathryn Skelton (Bus Ad ‘20). Congrats again, team! Additional congratulations to our peer schools St. Cloud State University and the University of Minnesota for taking 2nd and 3rd place this year as well. 

A recap and copy of the student presentations can be found at NAIOP Minnesota’s website.

NAIOP case members

Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation Real Estate Challenge: Additional congratulations to a team of four students who took second place at this year's Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation Real Estate Challenge! The team delivered a fantastic presentation and the final decision was very close. Congrats to DePaul University for taking top honors and Ball State for rounding out the top three. A huge thanks to the entire HEEF organization, especially the volunteers who pulled off an amazing virtual event!

The student team included Matt Hock (Bus Ad ‘20), Carter Himley (Bus Ad ‘20), Gunnar Lawler (Bus Ad ‘20) and Abby Thyne (Bus Ad ‘20).

Eisenberg case members


Summer Externship Program Created for Students who Lost Internships

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We are incredibly excited to announce the creation of the Marquette University Center for Real Estate Summer 2020 Externship Program! Just under 90% of students surveyed in May and June said they’d be interested in an experiential program to offset their lost internship opportunities or reduction of hours, so the Center for Real Estate got to work designing something to meet their needs.

The externship is serving 25 students, most of whom lost or did not secure summer 2020 internships prior to COVID-19 hitting in early March. This five-week program kicked off July 6 and runs through early August. Students attend weekly virtual experience meetings and conduct individual project-based learning, including a non-MU Financial Modeling Course (FARM Excel Modeling, created by three University of Florida MBA grads: James Barrios, Mike Harris and Connor Kreis), a NAIOP course of each student’s choosing or completion of ICSC’s new student certificate program, a discussion of COVID-19 impacts on real estate, an in-depth overview of software programs most commonly used in real estate, a personality assessment focused on creating more self-awareness, and an assigned alumni mentor. The mentor connections include weekly meetings to discuss careers, learning course progress, insights into their personality assessment results, and new connections with alums!

A huge thanks to the more than 30 alumni who have volunteered their time to speak, mentor and support our students! If you have any questions about this externship experience please contact CRE Director Andy Hunt at


CRE Launches Flash Polls in March, April around COVID-19 Impacts

This spring as the coronavirus pandemic took hold and lockdowns spread across the country, the Center for Real Estate realized an important question was rising unresolved: “How is this going to impact commercial real estate?” This, along with questions around expectations for the duration of impacts and curiosity about strategies being used with tenants and bankers, led to the Center partnering with three other organizations to deliver two timely flash polls.

The insights gained from these polls were ahead of their time, delivering real-time data to professionals all over the country and helping them better make business decisions as rents and mortgages came due, tenants reached out for assistance, and owners sought strategic plans to cope.

A full recap of these polls can be found online in a post authored by CRE Director Andy Hunt and titled, “How is the CRE market evolving during the COVID-19 pandemic?”

A huge thanks to the industry partners who helped spread this poll, especially Tracy Johnson (CARW), Jim Villa (NAIOP Wisconsin), and Nicole Allard and Michele Raysich (WCREW) for their collaboration on this project and their efforts to promote this poll to their members.

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New COBA Building Announced, Planning Underway

On January 29 Marquette President Dr. Michael Lovell officially announced that the university would build a new home for the College of Business Administration!

Groundbreaking is slated for Fall 2021 with an official opening in August 2023. While planning for this new facility continues, the building will be approximately 110,000 square feet and will anchor the west end of campus by being located at the corner of 16th Street and Wisconsin Avenue (the former site of McCormick Hall, adjacent to the Alumni Memorial Union directly to the east and the 16th Street Parking Structure directly to the west.

 new building rendering

Early rendering of the new home for Marquette Business and innovation leadership programs.

See the official announcement and press release, as well as more photos.

COVID-19 Causes Massive Pivot to Online Learning Nearly Overnight

This reflection comes from Andy Hunt, Director of the Center for Real Estate

They were all gone – and suddenly it became real that they weren’t coming back.

Marquette officially announced that all classes would be moved 100% virtual on Thursday, March 12 at 11:34 a.m. At the time, all students were on spring break, most of which were traveling away from campus. We had expected something like this pivot more and more each day in the week or two leading up to this – in fact, in our final in-person faculty meeting on Friday, March 6, everyone was warned to start thinking about how they would pivot their courses online if this happened. But still, the official announcement was surreal. The knowledge we wouldn’t see the students again for a while (we had no idea how long) even tougher.

Few people really step back and realized what higher education accomplished – 4,000+ colleges and universities across the United States moving every course they offer 100% online in less than 14 days? There has never been a bigger disruption in the history of higher education.

In addition to quickly moving our upcoming Residential Real Estate Summit (March 23) online and rescheduling our Chicago Leadership Breakfast (April 21, postponed until 2021), I was faced with the task of moving the course I co-teach with Dr. George Cashman, REAL 4061 – Real Estate Modeling, into a virtual format.

But I was lucky – our class, which had 42 students (mostly juniors, with a handful of seniors and sophomores) worked well virtually. We had just finished our two big modeling projects prior to spring break and were about to dive deeper into Excel modeling functionality. In fact, presenting an Excel spreadsheet onto your computer while you’re meeting virtually was in some ways better than squinting at the small text on-screen from the back of an in-person classroom: you saw it all, in real time, right in front of you. We did our best to help the students, lobbying Argus for cloud-based access to their software for our students (who previously needed to use the computer lab), making sure they knew we were available by email/phone/text anytime, and shifting our guest speakers (including CBRE, Hammes Partners, and Midloch Investment Partners) into Zoom meetings. And the students showed incredible resiliency throughout such a tough situation – especially at a place like Marquette, where our close-knit classes and student-faculty interactions are what make the Jesuit value of cura personalis come alive. In short, we missed (and still miss) the students dearly, even though they can theoretically reach us any time.

As of today we plan to be partially in-person this fall – like many colleges, we’re moving the big lecture courses online, keeping the small course in-person, and taking a hybrid approach (some in-class, some virtual) for the classes in-between.

We continue to learn and adapt – classes concluded online this spring, and we learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t. No matter what happens this fall, our ability to deliver high-quality education in an online format has been greatly enhanced by what we’ve learned in the past few months. But nothing can replace the person to person interactions and mentoring with our students.


Andrew Hunt, Director, Center for Real Estate

MU CRE Club Launches a Podcast! Big-name Interviews

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Online classes and quarantines didn’t scare off the Marquette Real Estate Club this past semester! The club is actively finding new ways to stay in touch with students and professional, how to provide learning opportunities, and improve their new podcast: Real Talk. Real Topics. Real Estate.

  • Episode 1 features a segment on co-working
  • Episode 2 honors March's Women History Month with guest speaker Molly McShane from McShane Construction
  • Episode 3 features David Barry, a leading broker of the Barry Company, as he discusses his experience in both the Chicago and Milwaukee markets
  • Episode 4 features Trish Connolly from B6 Real Estate Advisors who discusses how students can differentiate themselves during these difficult times
  • Episode 5 features Kevin Newell from Royal Capital Group and guest-host Frank Onyeaghala, junior real estate major, discussing development and diversity in real estate

The episodes can be found on Spotify: MU CRE Club Podcast and Libsyn: MU CRE Club Podcast

The club is looking for new and creative episodes for the podcast – if you have ideas for future speakers and topics email: Anna Lovell, Club President and host, at and Laura Russel, Director of Communications and producer, at


Alumni Continue Networking During Pandemic

Over the past few months, REALM members have found ways to stay connected during quarantine through virtual happy hours! REALM members of Minneapolis, Chicago, Milwaukee, New York and Denver were among those that enjoyed this virtual networking. It was great to catch up with everyone during this chaotic time and hear how the markets have been reacting got the COVID-19 pandemic.

Just because we have had to stay home doesn’t mean we can’t stay in touch with fellow REALM members! Stay up to date with the virtual happy hours coming up, and other networking events, by visiting the REALM website: REALM Events Page

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