Nov. 7, 2013

Real estate leaders gather for Cornell conference in NYC

More than 300 real estate industry leaders, Cornell alumni, professors and students gathered Oct. 10-11 in New York City for the 31st annual Cornell Real Estate Conference.

Sponsored by the 1,600 member Cornell Real Estate Council, the theme of this year’s conference was “Charting a Course: Pursuing Opportunities Midst Winds, Currents, and Hazards.” Industry experts from all real estate sectors offered firsthand insights into the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in real estate markets. Among the highlights from the conference:

Gerald Hines, founder and chair of Hines, a privately held real estate firm, was honored as the 2013 Industry Leader by the Cornell Real Estate Review for his leadership and career in the real estate industry.

Jonathan Gray, global head of real estate at Blackstone, participated in a “fireside chat” to discuss trends in real estate investment and share his thoughts on the future of single-family home rentals with author and New York Times and CNBC reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin ’99.

A panel that included Laurie Hawkes ’80, president and COO of American Residential Properties, and David Picket ’84, president of the Gotham Organization, discussed such critical questions as where single-family home renters are coming from and how long they expect to rent, which are keys to sustaining a the single-family rental market.

A panel of leading public company executives moderated by Robin Panovka ’83, partner at Wachtell Lipton Rosen and Katz, and including Richard Baker ’88, governor and CEO of the Hudson’s Bay Co., and Douglas Braunstein ’83, vice chairman at JP Morgan, discussed what their companies are doing to sustain momentum, take advantage of hot sectors or other growth opportunities that create value, and remain compelling investments for their shareholders.

Future opportunities for U.S. and global real estate private equity markets were discussed by a panel of executives including David Rupert ’79, president of Griffin Capital Management, and Adam Metz ’83, managing director and head of international real estate at The Carlyle Group.

The conference included several social events intended to bring current Cornell students and alumni together. The Cornell Associate Real Estate Council hosted a cocktail reception at the W New York Downtown, where a number of Cornell alumni and students mingled while overlooking the World Trade Center.

JP Morgan was the principal sponsor and host of the conference.

Evan Doran ’14 is a graduate student in Cornell’s Baker Program in Real Estate and is a senior editor of the Cornell Real Estate Review.