The Center for Real Estate and Finance
April 2021
From the Director As anticipated the first part of 2021 has been a whirlwind, for Cornell, CREF and the entire Real Estate industry. Our students have mostly been back to campus and are engaging better than we hoped possible. Due to the efforts of so many at the University and School of Hotel Administration we are closing in on a successful spring semester. Classes, although mostly virtual, have been actively engaging our industry partners as guest lecturers. Read more here.
CREF Highlights
6th Annual Titans of Real Estate This year's event featured an interview with 2021 Titan honoree Brian Kingston, Managing Partner and CEO of Brookfield Property Partners.
We’d like to give a special thank you to our sponsors: Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) and Rubacha Philanthropies.
Empty hotel rooms have become private dining rooms and office spaces It’s the kind of necessity-driven idea that hotels around the world have been weighing for nearly a year as the pandemic slashed vacations and business trips and emptied rooms that would have otherwise been filled with travelers.
Lessons in Corporate Real Estate: A discussion with Sara Baldi Flexibility in where you work may be the new normal for office landlords to grasp. Cornell’s Baker Program in Real Estate welcomed Sara Baldi, Global Vice President of Realty Services for Raytheon Technologies, to its Distinguished Speaker Series in Real Estate.
The Phoenix is Rising - CREF Indices #38
Although the price of hotels along the east coast declined again this quarter, the rate of decline has continued to lessen. Hotels in gateway cities reversed course, outperforming hotels in non-gateway cities. Price performance metrics indicate that both large and small hotels remain undervalued, pointing to a buy opportunity.
6th Annual International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) & Cornell International Retail Real Estate Case Competition Congratulations goes out to the Cornell team consisting of Angad Jaspal '21, Angela Lu '22, Jai Patel '22, and Carol Wang '21, who will receive the $5,000 first place prize. Second place and $3,000 goes to KTH Royal Institute of Technology, and $2,000 to Indiana University who came in third place. Watch the finals here.
"As a long-time CREF Advisory Board Member, there are several reasons why I support this organization. The main reasons are that I enjoy the direct relationship with Hotel School faculty and students; CREF research assists my company in our strategic planning; and the interactions with fellow CREF members gives me insights from and access to industry thought leaders and decision makers."

- Dave Pollin '90, Co-founder and President of the Buccini/Polllin Group
Welcome New CREF Advisory Board Members!
Jun Ahn MPS RE '00 joined YIDO in 2020 and is dual-hatted as the CEO of Core Value & managing director of the Real Estate Division. Jun manages YIDO’s real estate operations in Korea, including opportunistic real estate acquisition, operation & management.
Adam Docks is a partner and firmwide co-chair, Hotels & Leisure Industry Group at Perkins Coie LLP. Adam handles a wide range of complex real estate matters, placing a primary emphasis on the acquisition, disposition, development, management, and financing of hotels.
David Hirschberg is a managing director and co-head of H.I.G. Realty Partners, the real estate private equity platform of H.I.G. Capital. H.I.G. Realty Partners targets both equity and debt investments across all property types located throughout the U.S., Europe, and Latin America.
Jason Lee '95 is a managing director and CIO for AEW in Asia Pacific and senior portfolio manager for AEW Value Investors Asia fund series.  He is also a member of the firm’s Finance Committee, and AEW Asia Pacific Investment and Risk Management Committees. 
Michael Lipson serves as chairman of the board and CEO at Access Point Financial, LLC. During his tenure in this position Michael has led business operations and oversaw asset management and technology teams responsible for day-to-day functions.
Rachel Roginsky '79, a member of the ISHC, is the owner and founder of Pinnacle Advisory Group. Rachel has more than 35 years of experience in hospitality consulting and provides hospitality operational, investment counseling and advisory services to corporate, institutional, and individual clients on all facets of hospitality real estate.
John Ryan is the founder and CEO of Tampa-based Metro Development Group, one of the area’s leading developers of master planned communities in West Central Florida and the driving force behind infusing Metro Places neighborhoods with 21st century technology and world-class amenities.
Eva Wassermann joined GEM Realty Capital in 2012 to oversee its hospitality investment platform. Eva divides her time equally between asset management and acquisitions and is responsible for the management of GEM’s hotel assets working closely with acquisitions to source investments in the lodging sector.
Save the Dates
June 3, 2021 - CREF Advisory Board Meeting
June 22, 2021 - Webinar: Owner Transactions

October 22, 2021 - 39th Annual Cornell Real Estate Conference
CREF Featured Corporate Partners

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