Most Ambitious Program Yet Gets the Party Started

Stephen French speaking in front a group at reception

The Georgia Institute of Technology's College of Design hosted a reception November 7, 2017 as a formal announcement of the new Master of Real Estate Development.

Interest in the program continues to grow, with at least 12 more students expected to join the initial 14 that started this fall.

Reception guests on a rooftop patio overlooking the Atlanta night skyline
Reception guests were treated to an unparalleled view of the Atlanta night skyline.

The program provides an opportunity for the real estate development community to connect with Georgia Tech. Atlanta is a developer town, said Susan Sanders, Director of Development for the College of Design, and contemporary development requires expertise in land use, architechture, construction management, finance, and public policy to make cities viable places to live.

Betty Ledbetter and Susan Sanders looking at the skyline
Betty Ledbetter, wife of the late Robert Ledbetter, Sr., and Susan Sanders, director of development for the College of Design, discuss Atlanta's rapid development.

The reception also served to honor the late Robert Ledbetter, Sr. (IM58), who, for 20 years, was a big proponent for this program's creation. Ledbetter began to focus on real estate development in the late 1970s. His experience in the field led to an epiphany: real estate development programs needed greater vision than the conventional finance curriculum.

People need well-designed communities, places they will want to live and work, said Sanders.

Rick Porter in conversation with two others
Rick Porter, program director for the Master of Real Estate Development, discusses the new program.

This is a broad program with big ideas, said Rick Porter, the program director. The Master of Real Estate Development is designed to be a purposely multidisciplinary curriculum, created in response to the evolving and increasingly complex development industry. Coursework encompasses:

  • design and engineering
  • regulatory infrastructure
  • financial requirements
  • market supply and demand

The program will offer courses from the Schools of Building Construction, Architecture, City and Regional Planning, Civil Engineering, and Public Policy.