ASPIRE: Association of Students Promoting Innovation in Real Estate

ASPIRE: Association of Students Promoting Innovation in Real Estate Student Real Estate Club at Stanford University Student Real Estate at Stanford University

On March 2, 2018, ASPIRE and members came together for a tour of 444 Castro Street. Rising twelve floors up, the propert...
03/17/2018

On March 2, 2018, ASPIRE and members came together for a tour of 444 Castro Street.

Rising twelve floors up, the property stands as the tallest and most prominent building in downtown Mountain View. With a breathtaking view of the Peninsula stretching from Stanford to Moffet Field, 444 Castro Street is prized as one of the most valuable assets in The Swig Company’s portfolio. ASPIRE had the pleasure to be hosted by two members of The Swig Company: Connor Kidd, Vice President of Investments, and Jay Scholten, Vice President of Asset Management.

Preceding the tour, lunch was hosted at XANH, a Vietnamese restaurant, bar, and lounge that accommodated us with a buffet meal. The restaurant offers a wide range of selection from bun thit nuong to cha gio, overall a great appetizing experience.

After the meal, we strolled around downtown Mountain View for a quick overview of the area and the city’s characteristics. This proves a useful segue into the tour as we learned more about legal processes from Mr. Kidd and Mr. Scholten. Acquired over almost a decade ago, 444 Castro survived as the only high-rise after the city council changed the zoning law of the neighborhood. We also got a quick glimpse into the market to understand how the property would be leased out as an office instead of retail space in downtown Mountain View.

We then proceeded to tour the under-construction portion of 444 Castro, joined by a representative of the general contractor. The exposure to this conversation was an excellent opportunity for ASPIRE members to learn more about the construction aspect of a building, ranging from the health hazard of asbestos to the roles of construction inspectors.

Overall, the tour broadened ASPIRE members’ knowledge not only on local commercial real estate, especially office leasing, but also on real-life construction not taught in the traditional academic setting.

On January 31, 2018, ASPIRE hosted its winter quarter kickoff event at the Graduate School of Business to welcome new me...
03/17/2018

On January 31, 2018, ASPIRE hosted its winter quarter kickoff event at the Graduate School of Business to welcome new members and launch the winter event line-up. The event was well-received by both undergraduates and graduate students from diverse academic backgrounds. New members included students from programs such as Master of Business Administration, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Law School, and Management Science and Engineering.

During registration, attendees enjoyed Neapolitan-inspired pizzas served from the famed Pizzeria Delfina of Downtown Palo Alto. The event started off with a keynote address by Elizabeth Youngblood ('91), the Executive Director of Stanford Professionals in Real Estate (SPIRE), on SPIRE core values and the wide-ranging programs for current students, such as the mentor program and resume book.

Subsequently, Onza (Moom) Janyaprasert ('18), the President of ASPIRE, introduced the board members of ASPIRE to the audience and delivered a presentation on the activities that the club will be hosting this quarter. The activities cover four main areas: property tours, professional workshops, speaker series and business case competitions. Some of the key events this quarter include a property tour at 444 Castro Street, the tallest Grade-A office building in downtown Mountain View, on March 2. Another highlight event is a discussion panel on affordable housing policy between Community Legal Services of East Palo Alto (CLSEPA) and the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR) on March 6. The kickoff ended with multiple small group discussions led by the board members.

On January 26, 2018, ASPIRE invited its member on the first property tour of 2018: San Antonio Place in Mountain View. S...
02/07/2018

On January 26, 2018, ASPIRE invited its member on the first property tour of 2018: San Antonio Place in Mountain View. San Antonio Place is a 120-unit efficiency apartment aiming to relieve the housing crisis for low-income individuals in the Bay Area. ASPIRE had the pleasure to be hosted by Kathy Robinson, Director of Housing Development at Charities Housing.

Prior to the tour, we came together for lunch at Chef Chu’s, a restaurant famed for its Chinese food staple and favorited by celebrities such as Serena Williams or Justin Bieber as much as important figures like George P. Schultz, former US Secretary of State. Of the multitude of selections, we took delight in Chef Chu’s tangerine beef, Peking duck, and seafood yee mein. As we enjoyed the food, we learned more about what brought our interests together in affordable housing.

After the lunch, we took a short 10-minute walk to San Antonio Place where we were warmly greeted by Kathy Robinson and Laura Ruiz, the on-site property manager. Since its competition and opening in 2005, the property has been in constant operation to provide housing for individuals whose income fall in the range of 15% to 45% of the median income. While San Antonio Place is incredibly affordable, we learned that the property rarely has any vacancy and its wait-list is a highly competitive pool (around 300+ applicants for one recently vacant apartment). In addition, the process to prove eligibility is complicated by certain number of requirements such as non-student status and marital status. We also toured a 325-square-feet room and heard Ms. Robinson discuss the designing aspect of the property.

After having acquainted ourself with the property’s structure, we sat down to chat with Ms. Robinson about the financing of the project. To our surprise, we realized that the construction cost of an affordable housing property is not cheaper, if not more expensive, than that of a luxury apartment. Ms. Robinson revealed to us that the property’s finance is multi-layered with a heavy reliance on tax credits. A quick lesson on tax policies and the government was also a great bonus learning experience for many ASPIRE members on this tour.

In sum, the tour was a crucial experience for ASPIRE in broadening interest and knowledge in affordable housing real estate. In the future, we hope to replicate this experience and bring it closer to the Stanford student body.

On January 26, 2018, ASPIRE invited its member on the first property tour of 2018: San Antonio Place in Mountain View. San Antonio Place is a 120-unit efficiency apartment aiming to relieve the housing crisis for low-income individuals in the Bay Area. ASPIRE had the pleasure to be hosted by Kathy Robinson, Director of Housing Development at Charities Housing.

Prior to the tour, we came together for lunch at Chef Chu’s, a restaurant famed for its Chinese food staple and favorited by celebrities such as Serena Williams or Justin Bieber as much as important figures like George P. Schultz, former US Secretary of State. Of the multitude of selections, we took delight in Chef Chu’s tangerine beef, Peking duck, and seafood yee mein. As we enjoyed the food, we learned more about what brought our interests together in affordable housing.

After the lunch, we took a short 10-minute walk to San Antonio Place where we were warmly greeted by Kathy Robinson and Laura Ruiz, the on-site property manager. Since its competition and opening in 2005, the property has been in constant operation to provide housing for individuals whose income fall in the range of 15% to 45% of the median income. While San Antonio Place is incredibly affordable, we learned that the property rarely has any vacancy and its wait-list is a highly competitive pool (around 300+ applicants for one recently vacant apartment). In addition, the process to prove eligibility is complicated by certain number of requirements such as non-student status and marital status. We also toured a 325-square-feet room and heard Ms. Robinson discuss the designing aspect of the property.

After having acquainted ourself with the property’s structure, we sat down to chat with Ms. Robinson about the financing of the project. To our surprise, we realized that the construction cost of an affordable housing property is not cheaper, if not more expensive, than that of a luxury apartment. Ms. Robinson revealed to us that the property’s finance is multi-layered with a heavy reliance on tax credits. A quick lesson on tax policies and the government was also a great bonus learning experience for many ASPIRE members on this tour.

In sum, the tour was a crucial experience for ASPIRE in broadening interest and knowledge in affordable housing real estate. In the future, we hope to replicate this experience and bring it closer to the Stanford student body.

Join ASPIRE for the kickoff of our winter quarter events.RSVP: goo.gl/6qCcHEWhen: Wednesday, Jan 31st, 5:30 - 7:00 PMWhe...
01/29/2018

Join ASPIRE for the kickoff of our winter quarter events.
RSVP: goo.gl/6qCcHE

When: Wednesday, Jan 31st, 5:30 - 7:00 PM
Where: Room C105, Stanford Graduate School of Business

Join ASPIRE this Friday for a tour of San Antonio Place, an affordable housing project in Mountain View!Register now at:...
01/25/2018

Join ASPIRE this Friday for a tour of San Antonio Place, an affordable housing project in Mountain View!

Register now at: goo.gl/KCqVNb (with a free student membership account)

On Nov 2, 2017, ASPIRE launched the first of its property tour series with a visit to the Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel in Me...
01/25/2018

On Nov 2, 2017, ASPIRE launched the first of its property tour series with a visit to the Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel in Menlo Park. The tour was led by Avi Haksar, the Managing Director of Rosewood Sand Hill, and Michael Bordoni, the Director of Asset Management at the Stanford Real Estate Office.

Before the tour, the students enjoyed an ASPIRE-sponsored social lunch at Madera, a one star michelin restaurant on the hotel grounds. Students enjoyed dishes like seared New England scallop and Vodouvan spiced chicken while learning more about each other’s experience and interests in real estate.

After the meal, Mr. Haksar and Mr. Bordoni gave the students a brief history of the property, beginning with Stanford’s plan to develop the 21-acre parcel on Sand Hill in August 2004 and how the partnership between Stanford and Rosewood was formed. Mr. Haksar also explained the unique and valuable position that Rosewood Sand Hill holds relative to its peers. “Our entry-level guest rooms are over 500 sq.ft., which is very rare in this market,” Mr. Haksar described. “And every room features either a private terrace or balcony.” As part of the tour, students had the opportunity to visit the Luxury Suites, which feature fireplaces and separate powder rooms, and the Premier Rooms which have vaulted ceilings and phenomenal views of the outdoors – including flowering gardens and the pool and spa.

The students were also able to discuss interesting topics with Mr. Haksar and Mr. Bordoni, including one that revolved around the future of hotel industry with the advent of service robots. The topic came up after the students learned that Rosewood invests a lot of capital into its celebrated staff training program and other employee benefits. Service robots seemed likely to one day replace human service. However, Mr. Haksar said he believes it is very unlikely that robots can replace humans in the luxury segment: “At hotels like Rosewood, guests would still want to interact with humans, not robots,” said Mr. Haksar.

All in all, the tour was a wonderful experience for the group of Stanford students, and ASPIRE is looking forward to exposing more students to the off-campus real estate ecosystem in future tours.

On Nov 2, 2017, ASPIRE launched the first of its property tour series with a visit to the Rosewood Sand Hill Hotel in Menlo Park. The tour was led by Avi Haksar, the Managing Director of Rosewood Sand Hill, and Michael Bordoni, the Director of Asset Management at the Stanford Real Estate Office.

Before the tour, the students enjoyed an ASPIRE-sponsored social lunch at Madera, a one star michelin restaurant on the hotel grounds. Students enjoyed dishes like seared New England scallop and Vodouvan spiced chicken while learning more about each other’s experience and interests in real estate.

After the meal, Mr. Haksar and Mr. Bordoni gave the students a brief history of the property, beginning with Stanford’s plan to develop the 21-acre parcel on Sand Hill in August 2004 and how the partnership between Stanford and Rosewood was formed. Mr. Haksar also explained the unique and valuable position that Rosewood Sand Hill holds relative to its peers. “Our entry-level guest rooms are over 500 sq.ft., which is very rare in this market,” Mr. Haksar described. “And every room features either a private terrace or balcony.” As part of the tour, students had the opportunity to visit the Luxury Suites, which feature fireplaces and separate powder rooms, and the Premier Rooms which have vaulted ceilings and phenomenal views of the outdoors – including flowering gardens and the pool and spa.

The students were also able to discuss interesting topics with Mr. Haksar and Mr. Bordoni, including one that revolved around the future of hotel industry with the advent of service robots. The topic came up after the students learned that Rosewood invests a lot of capital into its celebrated staff training program and other employee benefits. Service robots seemed likely to one day replace human service. However, Mr. Haksar said he believes it is very unlikely that robots can replace humans in the luxury segment: “At hotels like Rosewood, guests would still want to interact with humans, not robots,” said Mr. Haksar.

All in all, the tour was a wonderful experience for the group of Stanford students, and ASPIRE is looking forward to exposing more students to the off-campus real estate ecosystem in future tours.

12/02/2017
ASPIRE: Association of Students Promoting Innovation in Real Estate
10/20/2017

ASPIRE: Association of Students Promoting Innovation in Real Estate

10/04/2017

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ASPIRE stands for Association of Students Promoting Innovation in Real Estate. The club aims to attract students from all departments and degree programs across campus, and to connect current students with the expansive alumni network of SPIRE (Stanford Professionals in Real Estate). ASPIRE provides a forum for future place-makers to develop their skills through workshops, speaker talks, off-campus site visits and networking opportunities. ASPIRE caters to a wide range of interests related to the built environment. From solving the housing crisis and structural environmental sustainability to becoming the next real estate tycoon, ASPIRE is the club for you.

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