The 2015-2016 Associates in Commercial Real Estate (ACRE) class was recently announced at the Historic Pritzlaff building in Milwaukee’s Third Ward. ACRE is a 26 week program designed to expand the representation of minorities in commercial real estate, property management and construction management in Milwaukee. Administered by Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) in partnership with the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), Marquette University College of Business, new this year, the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee School of Architecture & Urban Planning. ACRE offers an innovative format to provide skills and knowledge, as well as access to industry leaders and networks.
“Commercial real estate development is a relationship-driven industry, and hard to break into. ACRE provides entre for students who are highly-motivated and committed leaders with abundant ideas and talents, and their own set of networks. As a result, this program is reshaping both the industry and the future landscape of Milwaukee. ” said Sakuri Fears, ACRE program manager and a graduate of the program.
The 2015-2016 ACRE class includes 20 students of all ages who were accepted after a highly competitive process. One in three applicants were admitted to the program. Class members have varied professional experiences which include banking, architecture, economic development, low income housing, legal services, government, and private business. All were selected, in part, for their passion and vision for Milwaukee’s future.
“There is no better time than now to invest in the development of Milwaukee’s urban communities. The ACRE program will provide more minority representation in commercial real estate, especially in the rapidly growing neighborhoods on the north and near-south sides of the city. I look forward to being a part of this new class of commercial real estate professionals and seeing my own childhood neighborhood fulfill its goal of becoming a thriving and healthy community,” said ACRE student Tim Hoye.
Classmate Rafael Garcia noted, “While many of us have will to see Milwaukee grow and become a much greater city, ACRE will help us actually acquire the tools necessary to make it happen.”
In 2014 the ACRE program expanded its curriculum to include property and construction management to reflect current market needs and trends. The program’s collaborative framework allows students to meet and learn from top industry leaders and participate in related professional networks. Students also complete a development project plan which is presented to a panel of industry experts at the end of the year. In addition, ACRE students will also participate in a year-long onsite case study of the proposed Welford Sanders Historic Lofts, located off Historic Martin Luther King Drive in the Northside Harambee neighborhood.
“The partnership between LISC, Marquette, MSOE, and UWM Community Design Solutions allows us to integrate real estate, construction and architectural design into successful neighborhood development solutions. This is exactly the kind of collaboration we need to meet the challenges facing Milwaukee,” said Laura Bray, Executive Director, LISC Milwaukee.
ACRE is also supported by major support from the Mandel Group and The Opus Group. Other industry leaders who support the program include: Continental Properties, Gorman Construction, GRAEF, Odgen and Company, WaterStone Bank, and the Wisconsin Preservation Fund. Professional associations CARW, NAIOP, and IREM are also contributors.
Students named to the 2015-2016 class are Jodee Benavides, Jackie Carter, Qaiyim El-Amin, Rafael Garcia, Natasha Gray, Meng Long Hao, Heidi Henley, Kate Hill, Raynetta Hill, Tim Hoye, Ariam Kesete, Omar Mallick, Samuel Martinez, Ashley Norris, Christopher Orr, Fausto Rivera, Alexander Walker, Mikal Wesley, Darnell Williams, and and Lavelle Young.