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Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University Launches New Course to Train Students on Shaping the Changing Long Island Real Estate Market

Photo of students in the Real Estate Development Seminar course visiting a local construction site

Leading industry experts expose students to effective project development strategies. 

As real estate challenges continue to escalate on Long Island, the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University is offering a new, intensive course that will provide students with the skills to navigate and shape the future of Long Island real estate development. Offered through Hofstra Law’s Wilbur F. Breslin Center for Real Estate Studies and in partnership with the Long Island Real Estate Group (LIREG), the interdisciplinary Real Estate Development Seminar will expose law and business students to every aspect of a real estate development project, from concept to construction.

Photo of Professor Ashira Ostrow, director of the Breslin Center for Real Estate Studies, and students in the Real Estate Development Seminar course visiting a local developed property“Hofstra’s continued dedication to the success of their students accompanied by LIREG’s goal of bolstering the next generation of Long Island real estate professionals has led to this strong and exciting partnership,” said Alison Brennan, a LIREG board member and chief executive officer of Einbinder Development.

A recent study released by Nassau County Comptroller Jack Schnirman revealed that corrective action must be immediately taken to keep millennials, who are currently leaving in droves, on Long Island. Two key steps for solving this problem is updating zoning codes and developing affordable housing options.

“By providing students with an in-depth, practical understanding of how to navigate each phase of a real estate project, they will be able to graduate law school with the tools needed to thrive in the real estate industry and confront the major real estate issues in the area,” explained Professor Ashira Pelman Ostrow, executive director of the Breslin Center. “The course also exposes law students and business students to the many employment opportunities within real estate.”

Each of the 14 class sessions will focus on a different aspect of real estate development and be taught by a variety of industry expert lecturers, including developers, bankers, lenders, and title experts. Topics to be discussed are feasibility studies, zoning and approvals, negotiating the contract of sale, title search, environmental review, product design, construction and finance, leasing, brokerage/marketing, property management, and condo/co-op residential housing.

On September 18, the students visited two communities developed and constructed by Engel Burman, based in Garden City. The first site, which recently broke ground in Uniondale, is designed to address the shortage of rental housing for young people and seniors on Long Island. This site will include two different communities: one for active adults age 55 and up, and the other designed specifically for students and young people entering the local workforce. The second site, in Jericho, also consists of two communities, both of which address senior living.

“Real estate development on Long Island has always been inherently complicated due to fragmented politics and antiquated zoning codes. We’re finding that development is becoming increasingly difficult over time here,” explained Scott Burman, partner at The Engel Burman Group. “Our collaboration with Hofstra Law is extremely exciting,” he added, “and I look forward participating by educating the next generation of professionals about the intricacies of real estate. I hope we can excite and inspire some smart young people to join our trade in the future.”

Fourteen students have been accepted to take the course, which is fully enrolled and has a waiting list. “Engaging with those in the trade and learning all aspects of buying, selling, financing, developing, leasing, and managing is exactly why I came to law school,” said Jad Sayage, a second-year law student.

The new course is part of Hofstra Law’s mission to expand and enhance interdisciplinary opportunities for students and professionals through partnerships with Hofstra University’s schools, including Business, Engineering, and Medicine. The Law School took over the Breslin Center, a key part of this initiative, in January 2019. On October 7, the Breslin Center will sponsor a Land Use Training Program for Municipal Planning and Zoning Officials.