Commercial Real Estate Development

Designed to analyze the real estate development process primarily from the perspective of the equity participant, the Commercial Real Estate Development course concentrates on the identification and evaluation of critical assumptions related to the financial feasibility, construction, and financing of economically viable commercial real estate developments. Inherent risk factors and ways to manage risk are also explored.

All phases of the development process are examined: idea conception, marketability, financial feasibility, contract negotiations, and debt and equity financing. During this intensive three‐day course, prominent practitioners and real estate attorneys will join the lectures and review, in detail, two common contracts utilized in the development process—a Joint Venture (LLC) Agreement and a Construction Loan Agreement.

Computer Requirements:

Laptops or tablets are required as course materials will be distributed electronically.

Earn a Professional Certificate in Real Estate Finance & Development
This course is part of the Real Estate Finance & Development certificate program, offered jointly by MIT Professional Education and the MIT Center for Real Estate. 

Learn more about how you can earn a Professional Certificate when you take this and other real estate courses.

Lead Instructor(s): 

W. Tod McGrath


Jun 17, 2019 - Jun 19, 2019

Course Length: 

3 Days

Course Fee: 





  • Closed

It is highly recommended that you apply for a course at least 6-8 weeks before the start date to guarantee there will be space available. After that date you may be placed on a waitlist. Courses with low enrollment may be cancelled up to 4 weeks before start date if sufficient enrollments are not met. If you are able to access the online application form, then registration for that particular course is still open.

Registration for this course has closed. Register for updates to receive news about this program.

Participant Takeaways: 

Participants will be able to:

  • Identify the components of the real estate development process from the perspective of the investor
  • Evaluate the critical elements of a real estate development in deciding to go forward or not
  • Identify risk factors and ways to manage and price risk
  • Analyze the financial feasibility of a real estate project
  • Through team exercises, attendees will leave with a solid understanding of – and be more confident in negotiating, the terms of a Joint Venture (LLC) Agreement and a Construction Loan Agreement

Who Should Attend: 

This course is applicable to a wide range of professionals across the real estate, banking, finance/investment, and insurance industries. Specifically, the course may be of interest to fund managers, investment portfolio managers, financial advisors, investment bankers, fixed-income analysts, financial risk managers, global financial market specialists, and professionals working in macroeconomic policy. More generally, this class can be valuable to anyone dealing with global financial markets and real estate investments.

Program Outline: 

Please note that the schedule is subject to change.

Computer Requirements: Laptops or tablets are required to access course materials. All materials will be distributed electronically.

Day One:

8:00 am ‐ 9:00 am: Registration / breakfast
9:00 am ‐ 10:30 am: Dirigo International case 
10:30 am ‐ 10:45 am: Coffee Break
10:45 am ‐ noon: Dirigo International case (continued)
Noon ‐ 1:00 pm: Lunch Break
1:00 pm ‐ 2:30 pm: Discussion of permitting goals and processes from the perspective of the municipality and permit granting authorities.
2:30 pm ‐ 2:45 pm: Break
2:45 pm ‐ 4:30 pm: Discussion of permitting strategies (and how to execute those strategies) from the developer’s perspective

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm: Optional evening activity, MSRED Information Session, 105 Massachusetts Avenue, Building 9-354
The Center for Real Estate invites you to join us for an Information Session to learn more about our Master’s in Real Estate Development (MSRED). If you would like to attend, please RSVP to

Day Two:

9:00 am ‐ 10:30 am: Discussion of challenges and strategies associated with mixed-use development
10:30 am ‐ 10:45 am: Break
10:45 am ‐ noon: Discussion of the financial structure of joint ventures: preferred returns, promoted interests, development fees, capital calls, and completion guarantees. Introduction of a capital markets‐based framework for determining “fair” profit splits.
Noon ‐ 1:00 pm: Lunch Break
1:00 pm ‐ 2:45 pm: Breakout session with counsel to discuss required changes to the form Joint Venture Agreement
2:45 pm ‐ 3:00 pm: Break
3:00 pm ‐ 5:00 pm: Continued discussion with counsel followed by moderated negotiation of the form Joint Venture Agreement

Day Three:

8:30 am ‐ 10:00 am: Discussion of how to choose an appropriate construction contracting method
10:00 am ‐ 10:15 am: Break
10:15 am ‐ noon: Discussion of other project delivery issues and strategies
Noon ‐ 1:00 pm: Lunch Break
1:00 pm ‐ 2:30 pm: Managing a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT): Key Insights from Douglas T. Linde, Boston Properties’ President and Director 
2:30 pm ‐ 2:45 pm: Break
2:45 pm ‐ 4:30 pm: North Station case study

Course Schedule: 

This course meets 9:00 am – 4:30 pm on Monday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm on Tuesday, and 8:30 am - 4:30 pm on Wednesday.

Laptops or tablets are required as course materials will be distributed electronically.

Participants’ Comments: 


“Very interesting- great discussions- I highly recommend taking this course!”


“The discussions and moderated negotiations will be extremely valuable and applicable to my day to day responsibilities and future career development.”


“This was a very enjoyable and informational course and hope to attend the finance courses in the future.”


“This course was excellent and Tod is an incredible talent with commanding knowledge of Real Estate Development. You are not bored for one minute in three action packed days. The guest speakers are some of the best minds in the industry.”


“Everything I wanted from the course and more. A must do to understand contracts and real use scenarios.”


“This was another amazing course from Tod. The hands on negotiations were a wonderful teaching tool.”


“I was curious to see what MIT professional educational courses would be like. I was not surprised that they were comprehensive and well researched. However, I was surprised to have received so much information in such a little time. It never seemed overwhelming and actually, was rather fun. Tod and the visiting attorneys assisting him were very friendly, knowledgeable, and professional. This real world experience added an important level of depth to the classroom experience. I am now considering applying to the MSRED program. THANK YOU!”



This course takes place on the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. We can also offer this course for groups of employees at your location. Please complete the Custom Programs request form  for further details.


Fundamentals: Core concepts, understandings, and tools (40%) 40
Latest Developments: Recent advances and future trends (10%) 10
Industry Applications: Linking theory and real-world (50%) 50

Delivery Methods: 


Lecture: Delivery of material in a lecture format (40%) 40

Discussion or Groupwork: Participatory learning (60%)



Introductory: Appropriate for a general audience (65%) 65
Specialized: Assumes experience in practice area or field (35%) 35