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UT Arlington offers new Certificate in Property Repositioning and Turnaround Strategies

May 28, 2009

News Release — 21 May 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEMedia contact: Herb Booth, (817) 272-7075,

ARLINGTON – The measure of future real estate developers might not be what they can build from scratch, but what they can generate from formerly distressed commercial properties.

Michael Buckley, a nationally renowned real estate educator most recently from Columbia University, will team with Fred Forgey, a returning UT Arlington College of Business real estate professor, to teach students how to revive distressed commercial properties. UT Arlington’s School of Architecture offers the Certificate in Real Estate Repositioning and Turnaround Strategies to equip developers and builders with the tools they need to transform troubled properties into thriving business hubs.

“As far as we now know, we’re the only university addressing this current problem with a dedicated certificate program,” said Buckley, head of Halcyon Ltd., a development advisory firm. Buckley was most recently director of Columbia’s Master’s of Science in Real Estate Development Program and head of the Center for High Density Development, a Columbia research initiative.

“At UT Arlington we’ll create specific coursework that people can immediately use in this economic environment,” Buckley said. “There’s a defined need, and there are robust opportunities to use these skills for the good of the real estate industry and the community.”

The courses are designed for working professionals with sessions held all day Fridays and Saturday mornings over 13 weeks. The program is expected to appeal to project managers, bankers, architects, developers and real estate brokers. The certification is fast-paced and topical, directors say.

The courses will delve into how the private sector meshes with public sector interests, Buckley said, in what developers often call “real estate workouts.”

Buckley, a Midland native who earned degrees from Rice University and MIT, will oversee three core courses in asset repositioning, due diligence and restructuring strategies. He also will oversee mini-courses and special symposia on workouts.

Forgey will teach an accelerated financial analysis and valuation course.

“My part will deal with risk, cash flow analysis and examining alternative uses to generate income,” said Forgey, who will lead graduate real estate programs in the College of Business. Forgey has had several stints at UT Arlington in addition to positions with the University of North Texas, UT Austin, The University of Auckland in New Zealand and Texas A&M University.

The program will draw on the expertise of professionals across the region for practical, on-the-street advice for participants, Buckley and Forgey said.

Don Gatzke, dean of the UT Arlington School of Architecture, said demand is great for such training.

“We must equip our students with new practical and applicable skills for today’s economic environment,” Gatzke said. “This certificate coursework will draw upon many disciplines. We see it being very popular and eventually evolving into a master’s degree in development.”