4 Intense Days in CDMX

The Mexico City (CDMX) portion of our trip was intense and a great combination of company visits, site tours and cultural activities.

The first meeting that we had was with Metrobuildings, a local multifamily company that is one of the pioneers in the industry in Latin America. One of the founders, Francisco Andragnes (CBS Alum), walked us through the macro aspects of the industry and gave us a very informative site tour of one of his new projects in the Polanco neighborhood. We learned about what is driving the multifamily industry in Mexico and also about every small detail about the design of the apartments.

Multifamily development site – Metrobuildings

Another amazing meeting was with CBRE Mexico. There we had a great presentation made by Lyman Daniels, Mexico’s Country Manager, where he went through the Office, Retail, Hospitality and Housing industries in detail.

CBRE Real Estate Outlook presentation

In a similar tone, we visited Morgan Stanley, and were able to go through a deep macro and market analysis, with a special focus on FIBRAS (the Mexican equivalent of REITS). We had deep discussion over regulation and the outlook of the real estate market in Mexico. We also discussed the current political shifts with the election of the new Mexican president (AMLO) and the effects of the Trump’s election on the NAFTA agreements.

Both CBRE and Morgan Stanley presentations were extremely useful for all of use to gain a better understanding of the markets and a better base to approach the other company visits.

Morgan Stanley Real Estate Division

Another interesting presentation was the one with O’Donnell, industrial developer in Mexico. David O’Donnell, founder and CEO, invited us for lunch at Club the industriales (business club) were we heard his perspective on the world’s industrial development and how Mexico has great conditions for this specific market. He also gave us some professional advice, and after lunch we walked through the Club and were able to see some paintings from Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo.

Club de Industriales – Business Club (O’Donnell meeting)

The trip has been great so far and all the information and knowledge that we are absorbing is coming together. It has been challenging to be able to stay concentrated but all meeting have been very interesting and have kept all of un engaged.

Valentina Pardo CBS’19

Mexico here we go!

We are about to begin the Mexico Real Estate Study Trip to Oaxaca and Mexico City! As the day come closer the organizing team, composed by 5 CBS students, goes through the last details to make the experience as complete and enriching as possible.

Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption, Oaxaca City Center

The trip will start with 2 full days in Oaxaca. This is a city in central Mexico that is mostly known for its colonial buildings, many of which are made from green volcanic stone, and the large variety of indigenous cultures. The food in Oaxaca is well known all around Mexico and some even say is the best of the country. During our time there we will explore the city center and its cathedrals, go to the local textile and crafts markets and try a few of the most renown restaurants in town.

The group will also explore the areas and towns around the city. we will visit Hierve el Agua to relax in the fresh water springs, and to Monte Albán to learn more about one of the earliest civil-ceremonial centers of the Zapotec cultures (500 BC). We will also learn about the process of distilling agave and do some Mezcal tasting before heading to the airport to Mexico City.

Reforma Avenue, Mexico City

The four days in Mexico City will be hectic, not only because of the huge traffic problem the city has, but because we will visit 11 companies and 3 projects/construction sites. Even though the trip is focused in Real Estate, the range of companies is broad in terms of focus. We will talk with Metrobuildings (multifamily developer), Thor Urbana (retail and hospitality developer), CBRE (research), Marhnos (for sale residential development), Morgan Stanley (IB), Intelimétrica (RE Big Data, proptech, entrepreneurship), O’Donnell (industrial development), Dahnos (REIT, mixed use developer) and Sordo Madeleno (mixed use developer). Site visits will include a for-sale luxury condos, a multifamily construction site and Toreo Parque Central, an iconic mix use project just outside the city limits.

We will also use our time there to explore the rich culture and history of the city. We will do a day tour of the city center (Zócalo), visit the Anthropology Museum, walk around the Chapultepec Castle, explore the neighborhood of Coyoacán and learn more about Frida Kahlo in the museum that used to be her house.

Stay tuned for more update during the trip!

Valentina Pardo CBS’19

Singapore, China & Hong Kong: the journey is upon us!

When I think of Singapore, skyscrapers and images of technological modernity immediately come to mind. I would be remiss by neglecting to mention the image of The Jetsons – a once popular American cartoon – that also comes to mind for me when this hyper-developed nation is mentioned. The trip will formally begin in two days, when 40 Columbia Business School students and two faculty members from the Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate depart for a study tour of Singapore and the Pearl River Delta region of China. The fortunate portion of our group that hasn’t endured an endless stream of final exams has already departed, visiting the beaches of the Far East before heading to Singapore.

Our first day will be filled with cultural visits: a visit to the Gardens by the Bay (pictured here), Chinatown and Little India. A riverboat tour and dinner at one of the most notable seafood restaurants will follow.

120607010620-gardens-bay-panoramic-horizontal-large-galleryWe’ll spend the next two days meeting with leaders in the real estate industry: multinational companies such as Blackstone Real Estate Partners, the largest real estate private equity company in the world, and Capitaland in addition to strong players in the regional market such as GIC. We’ll end our Singapore experience with an alumni reception at Spago.

Guangzhou, nicknamed the City of Flowers in southern China, is our first stop in the Pearl River Delta region. This area is considered the birthplace of the ancient maritime Silk Road, now used as a major trading and transportation hub.  This major city is an important commercial center in China and a focus for real estate development and investment.

The group will also explore Shenzhen – another major commercial center in the Pearl River Delta. Meetings with Vanke, Jones Lang LaSalle, Swire Properties, Fosun and site visits of the Ping An Finance Center and the Qianhai project await.

The trip will end with a day to explore Hong Kong before returning to New York City. I can’t wait for the adventure that lies ahead. I am, however, hoping to sleep for the duration of the 21-hour flight there!

Nicole Atoyan ’17