U of T receives $15 million to establish The David Feldman Centre for Real Estate and Urban Economics at the Rotman School of Management

The David Feldman Centre will be a catalyst for developing the next generation of skilled real estate professionals

A generous $15-million gift from David and Angela Feldman is propelling the University of Toronto’s expertise in real estate education and knowledge generation to the next level of global excellence.

The David Feldman Centre for Real Estate and Urban Economics at the Rotman School of Management will equip students with the skills needed to become dynamic real estate professionals who can advise on the complex decisions needed to build, finance and manage capital-intensive real estate projects.

Recognized around the globe for its stability, the sophistication of its architecture and the sustainability of its building practices, Toronto’s market is the ideal environment to launch the next generation of world-class real estate leaders. The David Feldman Centre will deepen both U of T’s and the industry’s global reputation for excellence. 

“As cities like Toronto continue to grow, it’s critical that we have experts who are well-prepared to lead the development and management of real estate,” says Meric Gertler, president of the University of Toronto. “David Feldman’s generous and forward-thinking gift will enable U of T to educate the next generation of real estate leaders – and help us make cities more accommodating for all of their residents.”

The Feldmans’ gift comes at a crucial time. As we navigate our recovery from the pandemic, the impact of remote work and the skyrocketing demand for affordable housing, there’s an acute need for expertise on some of the most pressing real estate challenges facing society today. To meet that need, the David Feldman Centre for Real Estate and Urban Economics will embed and strengthen real estate teaching within the MBA and Rotman Commerce programs at the Rotman School. This will help ensure that students have the academic grounding needed to succeed in the real estate industry – and take on challenges like the housing crisis.

The David Feldman Centre will also tackle urgent questions that span the fields of urban economics and real estate – including the economics of cities, real estate development, house price dynamics and more. The centre’s cutting-edge research will help inform how we address pressing economic, environmental and social issues facing our cities.

“As the world’s largest asset class, real estate plays a critical role in our lives and portfolios,” notes Susan Christoffersen, dean of the Rotman School and William A. Downe BMO Chair in Finance. “David Feldman’s visionary investment will reinvigorate real estate education and shape the real estate sector of the future.”

This transformational gift will support that training effort – and spark innovative co-curricular offerings that leverage U of T’s vast array of related disciplines. The David Feldman Centre will combine U of T’s strengths in real estate, urban economics and other adjacent fields to deliver executive training, workshops and public events that prepare students to be exceptional leaders within the industry. Through this, students will gain complementary skills in finance, negotiation, team building, leadership, valuation, investment, sustainability and public and private financing.

This interdisciplinary vision marks the David Feldman Centre as truly unique – and will help foster a dynamic and agile generation of real estate professionals with the expertise needed to reshape the real estate industry and inform policy that improves our cities.

“It’s important to recognize that the issues around housing, offices and real estate in general won’t be solved overnight,” says David Feldman, president, founder and CEO of Camrost Felcorp. “The challenges are often generational in nature. That’s why our family supported the decision to make a purposeful contribution to the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. With its multidisciplinary resources, Rotman will provide a solid foundation for the establishment of the David Feldman Centre. Our family has high expectations for the growth and success of the centre, and we believe that its graduates will possess the skills to lead and implement thoughtful solutions that meet the housing and community needs for today and for future generations.”

David Feldman’s development firm Camrost Felcorp has been in business for almost 50 years and has built many award-winning communities in the Greater Toronto Area, including office and commercial towers, rental and condominium complexes, and public, senior citizen housing and co-operative housing.

“The Feldman family’s gift is a shining example of how mission-driven philanthropists are finding compelling reasons to partner with U of T,” says David Palmer, vice-president, advancement at U of T. “Today’s donation will further define their corporate and personal legacies as city builders. Thanks to their generosity, the David Feldman Centre will be a game-changer for how we train people to think about real estate and shape the future of our city region.”

Ultimately, by cultivating tomorrow’s real estate leaders, the David Feldman Centre for Real Estate and Urban Economics is destined to become one of the world’s leading research and learning establishments for real estate and urban economics.


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