Each year the Nathan S. Collier Master of Science in Real Estate (MSRE) program concludes with a Capstone course involving a challenging, live real estate project. To begin, a property owner or manager, usually a member of the UF Real Estate Advisory Board, offers a site and a problem for the MSRE students to solve. Commonly, the problem is to draft a development plan for the property. The Capstone project is selected to be one of serious interest to the host, who covers the direct expenses incurred in the project and makes a contribution to the overhead of the course.
Recent Capstone project challenges have included proposing development plans for:
- a prime 50-acre hospitality oriented site adjacent to I-4 in Orlando
- a 135-acre, high intensity retail and residential site in Gainesville
- a former Navy airfield and docking facility on the St. John's river south of Jacksonville
In each case, Nathan S. Collier MSRE students work in teams to research and develop a plan. Late in the Spring term, each team presents its plan to an audience of peers, mentors, professors and others in the university community, the project host, and members of the UF Real Estate Advisory Board. The faculty, plus a panel of invited guests evaluates the presentations based on multiple criteria. The winning team presents their plan at the Spring meeting of the UF Real Estate Advisory Board.
In addition to providing fresh ideas to the project host, the Capstone competition allows UF MSRE students to refine their skills in teamwork, integrate their academic training, and gain a broader, interdisciplinary perspective on the challenges of real estate. It also is an excellent opportunity for them to demonstrate their capabilities.