Green Street Real Estate Ventures, LLC (“Green Street”) is collaborating with the Chelsea Detrick Experiential Learning Center (“Chelsea Center”) through Webster Groves High School to teach an 18-week course on real estate development this semester.
In addition to classroom and independent learning, “Keeping It Real: Real Estate 101” provides students direct interaction with real estate industry experts. Once a week, students spend time off campus with career professionals breaking down the various aspects of real estate development beginning with site selection and due diligence, through design, financing, and municipal approvals to completed construction.
“Our objective with ‘Keeping It Real’ is to unwrap the complexities of real estate development and provide exposure for our local high school students to post high school options that require no college, trade schools, four-year and advanced degrees,” said Joel Oliver, managing director and senior vice president of development for Green Street. “We have enjoyed highlighting the varying career choices within the industry and helping our students make those connections. Now that we have the template, we hope to partner with additional schools and organizations to continue the momentum.”
Industry professionals that have shared their expertise include Mara Perry, director of planning and development for the city of Webster Groves; George Stock, president of Stock & Associates Consulting Engineers; Ron Carroll, principal of ATON Environmental; Jenn Brenner, realtor with the Joel Svoboda Team; Kyle Howerton, senior vice president with George Smith Partners; Tom Young, senior designer/architect with HDA; Eli Knight, preconstruction manager with Green Street Building Group; Joel Oliver, managing director and senior vice president of development for Green Street; Liz Austin, chief marketing officer for Green Street; and Matt Bauer, development manager with Green Street.
“This whole course was a complete game changer for me. I already had an interest in real estate, but Green Street expanded my knowledge times ten. Everything was so hands on, and I was able to see different trades and careers I didn’t even know existed, creating the best learning experience for me,” said Karrie Smith, Keeping It Real student. “I shadowed Eli Knight, Green Street Building Group’s Project Manager, and she explained to me about the union codes and the life of a project manager. She even took me to visit job sites, and I got to hear from bricklayers, cement workers, carpenters and laborers, and hear all about their opinions on their careers. I went from being unsure about how to mesh my interests in building and real estate to knowing carpentry is exactly what I’m going to do and feeling good about it.”
As part of the curriculum, students toured two Green Street projects currently under construction to include The Armory building, a planned destination entertainment redevelopment, and Terra At The Grove, a 307-unit multifamily development in The Grove neighborhood of St. Louis. To supplement learning, students are reading “The Birth of a Building: From Conception to Delivery” by Ben Stevens. The goal is that each student will have their own development portfolio to present at the end of the semester.
“Green Street’s investment in our students has been transformational. Students now speak about real estate development with a whole new vocabulary and understanding,” said Dr. Kerry Arens, Coordinator of the Chelsea Center. “They are able to apply that learning immediately to their own passion projects, which include development plans for vacation homes, high end apartments, Corvette plants, candy shops and more! Students have also learned the value of professional networks through this course, as these new connections have opened doors to job shadowing and scholarship opportunities.”
Green Street Real Estate Ventures is an entrepreneurial, full-service real estate solutions provider. Green Street distinguishes itself through the application of sustainable design and building principles in the adaptive reuse of infill locations. With over 5 million square feet of development experience, Green Street utilizes its established experience to complete innovative real estate projects as an advisor, a developer, a builder and as a property owner. #makemorepossible. To learn more, visit www.greenstreetstl.com .
The Chelsea Detrick Experiential Learning Center supports Webster Groves High School students through experiential learning by allowing them to make meaning and create knowledge through direct experience. By providing students with the opportunity to wonder, design, tinker, collaborate, adapt, and communicate, experiential learning prepares students for the excitement and challenges of their current and future lives. The Chelsea Center engages students in practicing these skills while also providing support for reflection on their personal, social, and emotional growth. To learn more, visit https://www.webster.k12.mo.us/domain/288 .