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Stephen M. Ross School of Business

How to Create Lively Downtowns and Neighborhoods and How to own a Piece of the Action (Section 1)

Welcome to Placemaking from Professor Peter Allen
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Rethink real estate

Being successful in real estate requires to you to shift your thinking beyond real estate as a single, commodity-based asset. It’s about communities.

Learn the fundamental and advanced techniques needed for successful real estate development through this unique blended-learning program that combines online and in-person learning. You’ll develop a deep understanding of the larger cultural trends that shape successful real estate development and emerge with an action plan for applying it to your own situation.

The Experience

Professor (and placemaker) Peter Allen will guide you through the art and science of creating walkable, mixed use, transit-oriented downtowns and livable neighborhoods. Key elements include text and video lectures to learn the fundamentals, the creation of a small development plan in the city of your choice, a larger development and up-valuing feasibility, and final plan pitch on campus with guidance from successful placemakers and other real estate experts.

Section 1

A 15 chapter text, "Investing in Real Estate" with accompanying video lectures, PowerPoints, and financial templates. A final exam confirming your understanding of the core concepts for success in placemaking is expected. You'll learn:

  • The technical fundamentals of income based real estate
  • How to conduct real estate market research and stakeholder analysis.
  • How to conduct economic analysis and likely attraction of equity and debt, as the economy proceeds in its economic cycle.
  • How to implement the 5 key elements of Up-valuing real estate.
  • How to buy, develop and invest wisely in neighborhood, downtown real estate with the 12 Elements of Downtown Vitality.

Who should attend

  • Developers, development agencies, and real estate professionals with a passion for creating more than just buildings
  • Bankers, lawyers, contractors, government officials, and other leaders involved in real estate development
  • Private, public, and nonprofit professionals interested in city and neighborhood revitalization


Peter is most at home with his wife, Sal, spending time with his 3 children and 8 grandchildren, and looking forward to golf and tennis, and teaching and developing local real estate. With over 40 years of experience as an Ann Arbor area real estate developer and consultant, founder of Peter All...


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