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Cornell Real Estate Review

Abstract

This case focuses on an emerging tech, digital media, and entertainment industry market with a stringent entitlement environment, and the opportunity for a developer to create an innovative project that capitalizes on emerging trends. The case asks students to propose a development strategy for a featured site taking into account a wide range of variables and potential uses. The developer, The Oceanic Fund (TOF), has been invited to submit a purchase proposal for a compelling property that had recently come onto the market. In their proposal, TOF must elect to either purchase the asset outright or, alternatively, form a 50/50 joint venture with the seller – Mays McCovey – a creditor that has recently taken title to the asset pursuant to a foreclosure on the previous developer/owner. The case’s protagonist is Ben Taylor, a young Development Manager who has been tasked with devising a strategy for the projec, and preparing a proposal to TOF’s principals. Students must assess the project through Ben’s eyes and devise a strategy that accomplishes a suitable use(s) for the site that is feasible within the entitlement and financing environment, satisfies TOF’s return requirements, and intelligently capitalizes on the opportunities borne out of an emerging market. The proposed project gives students exposure to niche product types such as sound stages, recording studios, and creative office, in addition to more conventional asset types such as retail, residential, and hospitality. The case encourages forward thinking and the importance of understanding business trends and business culture, especially those of tech, digital media, and entertainment real estate, which are drastically different from traditional office space.

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