Understanding the Real Estate Development Process

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May 4 @ 8:00 am
May 6 @ 4:30 pm
Intercontinental New Orleans Hotel
444 St. Charles Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70130 United States
ULI Learning


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This course will be rescheduled.

A Real Estate Instruction Program

Real estate development is a complex, iterative, and interdisciplinary endeavor. To effectively develop, finance, or supervise a project, a fundamental understanding of the process and its many facets is necessary. Many real estate entrepreneurs enter the development business from a tangential discipline. This introductory course is designed for entry- to intermediate-level professionals from all disciplines, both public and private. The course objective is to provide attendees with a basic understanding of real estate development and finance concepts and a comprehensive overview of the development process.

The program begins with a review of the development process and quickly takes participants through several stages of real estate development, demonstrating the interdisciplinary nature of the process, and its inherent complexity. Lectures, case studies, and interactive exercises provide instruction in the fundamentals of successful design and development of real estate. Hands-on instruction in financial analysis provides attendees with a fundamental understanding of pro forma modeling basics.
The program will provide participants with practical approaches to real estate development and introduce attendees to acknowledged leaders in the field with whom they can share their experiences and exchange information.

Registration includes course materials, continental breakfast, lunch, and a networking reception.

Participants are expected to bring a laptop computer with Microsoft Excel to the course.


Alan RazakAlan Razak
AthenianRazak LLC
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Alan Razak is Principal of AthenianRazak LLC, a Philadelphia-based real estate services and development company. Alan has more than 40 years of commercial real estate experience, encompassing development, finance, architecture, and consulting. His diverse real estate background includes managing the development process both as owner and on a consulting basis as owner’s representative, and project types including residential, commercial and institutional, as well as specialized expertise in data centers and other highly technical facilities.

AthenianRazak has been responsible for the development of many projects in the Philadelphia region, most recently including the Curtis Institute of Music’s Lenfest Hall, 833 Chestnut Street, and the 76ers training and HQ complex in Camden. Consulting clients include the American Philosophical Society, Children’s Hospital, Montgomery County (PA), Swarthmore, Digital Realty, Drexel University, Citadel Investments, Vanguard and many others. The company’s property management operations specialize in workouts and receiverships, but have also included sites for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Penn State and, as master lessee in the planning stages of redevelopment, the Shops at Suburban Station in Philadelphia.

Prior to AthenianRazak, Alan was a Principal with Radnor Advisors, Inc., and later Insignia/ESGwhere he was worldwide Director of the Technology Practice Group and managed the Philadelphia office’s consulting group. During the early 1990s, Alan focused on international real estate development, along with technical consulting services for government and financial institutions. For much of the 1980s, he was a Partner at Rouse and Associates, where he managed urban development projects in Washington, DC and the Philadelphia region.

Alan began his career as an architect, and for purely sentimental reasons maintains his Pennsylvania architectural registration. He has served on the Central Philadelphia Development Corporation’s Board of Directors and is Board Chair of the Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre. He is a full member of the Urban Land Institute, where he is past Chair of its Responsible Property Investment Council, current Chair of the Philadelphia District Council, Chair of multiple Advisory Services Panels, and for 20 years has written and taught education workshops for real estate practitioners internationally. He is also Lecturer at the Weitzman School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania. He holds a B.S. in Arts and Design from MIT, a Master of Architecture from the University of Washington, and an MBA in real estate from Wharton.

David Farmer, PE, AICPDave Farmer
Keystone Development Advisors
Naples, Florida

David H. Farmer is the Principal of Keystone Development Advisors, LLC (KDA) a real estate development firm.  KDA is an advisor to lenders and investors in Florida.  David has more than 30 years of experience in real estate development and entitlement negotiation.  He joined ULI as a Full Member in 2002 and served as an officer and Executive Committee member to the ULI Southwest Florida District Council.  In 2010 he was named District Council Chair and completed his term in 2013. David is a passionate ULI member and promotes their mission wherever he has an audience.   His background in civil engineering and planning provide a unique perspective to deal sourcing, analysis and execution.  In 2015 David formed Metro Forecasting Models, LLC (MFM) a company which provides development forecasting for housing, commercial uses, industrial uses and public schools for governments to assist with their planning endeavors.

David began his career in the development industry in 1989 with an engineering firm designing commercial and residential projects for private clients.  A professional engineer, he left the engineering field in 2000 to work full time for Keystone Communities overseeing the entitlement, design and construction of residential communities, resort facilities, and commercial projects.  In 2002, after earning his Certified General Contractors license, he also became responsible for the permitting and construction of their projects.

Following a large sale of entitled and developed residential lots in 2003, the company’s focus shifted from development to entitlement and infrastructure development.  At that time, David  took on the additional responsibility of site selection and acquisition for the company.  In 2005, he was made a principal of the company and participated in both the rewards and costs of acquisition, entitlement, and development.

David’s development experience includes both very successful projects and those with limited success.  In the tradition of ULI, he feels it is important to focus heavily on mistakes made and lessons learned when teaching the real estate development process. One learns quickly what not to do when you are spending your own money on development projects.

David has brokered more than $70 million in real estate transactions and entitled thousands of homes and millions of square feet of commercial property.  His favorite quote is “Begin with the end in mind.”


ULI member: $1,095
Non-member: $1,460
Government and nonprofit ULI members: $950
Government and nonprofit ULI non-members: $1,265

Registration fee includes tuition, course materials, continental breakfast, luncheon, and refreshments.

Cancellations must be made in writing or by e-mail to ULI’s customer service department and are subject to a $100 administrative fee. Cancellations must be received at least seven days before the start of the program to be eligible for a refund. No refunds will be granted thereafter. You may transfer your registration to another member of your organization with no penalty.


Hotel accommodations are not included in the registration fee. A limited number of rooms at The InterContinental New Orleans are available for program attendees at a discounted rate of $185 (plus tax). Attendees must register by April 13, 2020 to receive this rate. Reservations can be made by clicking here or calling the hotel at 504-525-5566. Reference Urban Land Institute to receive the discounted hotel rate.

Program Highlights

  • Overview of the development process
  • Market analysis and real estate economics
  • Financial analysis of real estate
  • Site selection and due diligence
  • Negotiating and structuring the deal
  • Real estate finance basics
  • Fundamental financial analysis
  • Financing the project
  • Managing the entitlement process
  • Managing the design and construction process
  • Strategic marketing
  • Case studies