Summer 2022 Real Estate Internship Experiences – Cornell Real Estate Review

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This past summer, our Review editors had the excellent opportunity to work with exceptional firms in diverse locations. Below are some key highlights from their respective experiences:

Dahlia Idris, BXP Company, Seattle, Washington

In this short reflective essay it is difficult to sum up ten weeks’ worth of insightful and enlightening experience as Boston Properties’ (BXP) Summer Associate.  While working in the Seattle region office, I challenged myself in a way that fostered both my technical real estate knowledge and interpersonal growth.  As an example, I achieved numerous learning goals such as (1) live deal sourcing and underwriting, (2) asset repositioning milestones, (3) life science feasibility/capital market research, and so much more.  The rewarding experience can be attributed to the BXP’s comprehensive summer associate program, supportive colleagues, and the mentorship of my supervisor and Seattle Region Head, Kelley Loveshin.

It was fascinating to learn that despite COVID-19’s significant impact on cities, especially the office asset market, BXP has remained resilient.  The company’s strategy to focus on acquiring/developing in the growing market and high barriers to entry cities while providing best-in-class asset management services has shown to be advantageous.  Not only that, but the company’s comprehensive knowledge of the office asset class allows them to find opportunities in the market gap and unmet consumer demand.  All-in-all, I believe BXP’s adaptive strategies, evolving operations, and strong leadership, are the main factors of the office REIT’s resilience through the pandemic.  I anticipate Boston Properties to remain resilient in the next few years and to come out of these trying times stronger than ever.

Roshy Chhillar, Silverstein Properties, New York City, New York 

I spent my summer working as an asset management summer associate with Silverstein Properties in NYC at WTC 7.  Having spent 9 years in NYC, I still hadn’t explored Lower Manhattan to truly understand how the neighborhood had evolved over the years.  My key responsibilities included running Net Effective Rent analysis for potential office tenants based on market leasing assumptions and target-taking terms.  I worked on monthly cash flow reports, rent rolls, stacking plans, and leasing reports for office and residential assets.  It was valuable to understand the life cycle of an asset from different perspectives and the capabilities deployed in maximizing returns.  Throughout the summer, I worked closely with teams in various engagements by Silverstein Properties, ranging from the office to residential conversion of 55 Broad St with Metroloft to the Innovation QNS project in Astoria.  In addition, the intern group had weekly mentorship meetings with company executives Marty Burger, Dino Fusco, David Marks, Lisa Bevacqua, and Brian Collins.  These meetings offered great insights into the company’s future, the real estate market in NYC, and professional development.

I had the opportunity to attend exciting events such as the Tribeca Film Festival Simulation Event held at 120 Broadway and go to site visits for upcoming projects such as 4 Hudson Square.  The two main highlights of my internship were successfully performing an office underwriting assessment using ARGUS and meeting Mr. Larry Silverstein on the first day, which brought luck and instilled great spirits.

 

Connor Mattoon, Lincoln Avenue Capital (LAC), Santa Monica, CA

Over the summer, I worked as a Development Intern at Lincoln Avenue Capital (LAC).  LAC is focused on the development and preservation of affordable housing across the U.S and is headquartered in Santa Monica, CA.  Jeremy and Eli Bronfman started the company in 2016 and have been rapidly acquiring and developing affordable housing assets to become one of the biggest affordable housing developers in the U.S. My role at LAC was a combination of underwriting potential acquisitions, as well as managing business executions for ongoing live transactions.

In addition, during my time at LAC this summer, the team was in the process of selling an asset in the Los Angeles area.  I joined members of the development team to tour the property and work with brokers to determine the best route to take potential buyers through the property to highlight the assets of the interior units and community amenities.  During the final week of my internship at LAC, I presented a potential acquisition during investment committee meetings, which included the market, financial model, and suggestions on which business plan would be best suited for the acquisition.  I will continue working for LAC part-time throughout the school year, and I look forward to continuing to work for LAC upon graduation.

 

Sasha Paikin, Fengate Asset Management, Toronto, Canada

Over the summer, I worked on the Investments and Development teams at Fengate Asset Management in Toronto, Ontario.  Gaining experience on two teams during the summer was invaluable to my Cornell experience.  It allowed me to try multiple roles before choosing which field I would pursue a full-time career post-graduation.  On the investments team, I assisted by underwriting potential industrial deals we received from brokers and preparing investment committee memorandums.  Near the end of the summer, I had the opportunity to be on a team presenting to the firm’s investment committee after helping prepare the presentation showcasing the findings from underwriting and market analysis related to a potential multifamily investment. I also assisted with executing ongoing projects on the development team by performing entitlement and grant research, budgeting, and financial modeling.  In addition, after conveying my interest in sustainability in real estate, I initiated the process to upgrade the firm’s industrial portfolio to Net Zero Carbon Ready.

On top of gaining relevant work experience and significantly advancing my learning about the real estate industry, I also participated in exciting team social events ranging from attending ULI networking events to playing in the NAIOP beach volleyball tournament to trying axe throwing.  Overall, this summer was a fantastic experience, and I am very grateful to the team at Fengate for all their guidance and support!

Frederic Madigan, E.P. Madigan & Son Inc., San Francisco, CA

This past summer, I worked for my family’s real estate development firm in the San Francisco Bay Area.  Over the summer, I continued the work on a commercial transit-oriented development in a suburb of San Francisco.  It was interesting to work with the city to understand its goals for the central business district of the city.  There was also recent state legislation to change local zoning codes to increase density and housing, which was interesting to learn how it affected our project.  Other responsibilities include leasing out commercial space and providing the tenant with improvements necessary for the new tenants.  I also offered property management services to several multifamily buildings.

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