Student Real Estate Trek to Northern VA
April 06, 2023
The UVA Center for Real Estate and the Built Environment hosted its inaugural real estate trek for students on Thursday, April 6, 2023. More than a dozen students from the Darden School of Business, the McIntire School of Commerce, and the College of Arts & Sciences joined Professor Drew Sanderford and Center/UVA staff on tours of several prominent real estate buildings in Northern Virginia, including the Capital One headquarters in Tysons and the Amazon HQ2 marketing center in National Landing. The students received a warm welcome from the alumni and friends of the Center, who hosted them at each stop on the packed one-day field trip.
On provided transportation, students departed Charlottesville at 9 am and enjoyed lunch during the first visit with AvalonBay Communities in the Ballston neighborhood of Arlington, VA. At AVB, the students learned about the company’s vision and took a tour of their headquarters’ innovative features, and heard from UVA alums Hannah Reeves (McIntire ’21) and Jordan Williams (A&S ’15) about their career paths and job duties. The group learned the importance of tailoring building design to target the missions of the company or consumer and viewed a presentation on the latest trends in apartment communities and the impact of technology on real estate.
The second stop on the trek was to the marketing center for Amazon’s HQ2 in “National Landing” – the new name for the geographic area encompassing Potomac Yard, Crystal City, and Pentagon City in Arlington. During the visit with Andrea Murray (A&S ‘06) and Connor Stewart of JBG Smith, the students learned about the various stages of real estate development, such as land acquisition, zoning, construction, transportation, and leasing.
The trek’s final stop was to the new Capital One headquarters in Tysons Corner, where Reed Miller (Darden ‘22), Jennifer Threadgill, and Ned Goodwin of Cushman Wakefield discussed the process of designing a large commercial building for a specific tenant. Innovative features throughout the property were created in close collaboration with architects, developers, and the company that will ultimately occupy the building.
After departing Capital One, the trek stopped briefly for dinner in Tysons and were joined by Center advisory board member Chase Minnifield (A&S ’10), before heading back to Charlottesville late the same evening. The trek provided practical insights into the real estate industry, inspired the students to explore different careers and avenues within the real estate industry, and exposed students to numerous UVA alumni in the region for networking and career exploration discussions.