Undergrads take on corporate real estate in the Triangle

The Undergraduate Real Estate Club took a phenomenal trek to Raleigh that focused on corporate real estate in April 2018.

We started the day at Citrix with a tour of their office, which includes rehabilitated storage containers, a living wall, a yoga studio and a basketball court. Along the way, Jenna Geigerman (MBA ’97), senior manager of facilities and real estate, explained how site selection meshed with design to form the unique space. Citrix is a great example of how tech companies offer diversified office space to continue attracting top-notch talent.

Next we walked over to Red Hat to meet with Patrick Hoffman, director of global real estate strategy, and Ana Marshall, workplace identity specialist. He shared a real-life example of site selection for a Red Hat office in India. He explained basic tenets of both office and retail, as well as what kind of data to consider when selecting an office location.

Our next visit was to McDonald’s regional office in North Hills. McDonald’s was an eye-opening visit for many students. While Ray Kroc, McDonald’s System, Inc. founder, disagreed, many view McDonald’s as a real estate company. Rich Davis, regional real estate manager, provided an in-depth view of their company operations beyond the popular film “The Founder.” (For you real estate geeks, it’s an awesome movie!)

Lastly, we visited SAS’s beautiful campus in Cary. Caren Glenn, manager of design operations, explained the recent design and construction of recent buildings. Neville Devlaliwalla, manager of corporate real estate, discussed the importance of feasibility for expansion. Emma Eakes, senior leasing and acquisitions specialist, explained the process of acquiring new office space through a partnership with Cushman & Wakefield. We also learned about some of the amazing benefits of working at SAS.

Overall, the Undergraduate Real Estate Club gained exposure to a unique side of commercial real estate that many students did not know existed. Learn about expansive companies that operate right here in the Triangle was a wonderful opportunity. Students were fascinated with how these companies utilize real estate principles to fuel company growth. This trek provided a great deal of knowledge to assist students in their future career searches.

By Mathis Nedell (BA ’19)