Wharton Business Radio

The Real Estate Hour: September 7, 2018

Host Sam Chandan is joined by Eric Larson (President and CEO; CEO, Downtown Detroit Partnership, Larson Reality Group) and Robert Dietz (Chief Economist and Senior Vice President for Economics and Housing Policy, The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)) on the Friday, September 7, 2018 edition of The Real Estate Hour.

Air Date: Friday, September 7, 2018 on SiriusXM 132

Hosted By

Eric Larson

Air Time: 12:00 pm
Featuring: Eric Larson

Robert Dietz

Air Time: 12:30 pm
Featuring: Robert Dietz

Featured Guests

Eric Larson

President and CEO; CEO, Downtown Detroit Partnership, Larson Reality Group


In mid-2014, Mr. Larson took over the role of CEO of The Downtown Detroit Partnership; an organization whose board he has been a member of since 1995. The Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP) is a private/public partnership of corporate and civic leaders that supports, advocates and develops programs and initiatives that create a clean, safe, and inviting Downtown Detroit community. DDP is involved with a large number of enterprises within Downtown Detroit. The Downtown Detroit BIZ is a special assessment district formed by property owners that provides cleaning, safety and landscaping services. Examples include safety and security initiatives such as Project Lighthouse and Clean Downtown, which provides litter and graffiti removal and landscape maintenance. The Detroit 300 Conservancy is a subsidiary of the Downtown Detroit Partnership and raised more than $20 million to create, design and construct Campus Martius Park. Opening in 2004, the park was the recipient of the first ever 2010 Urban Land Institute’s Amanda Burden Open Space Award. It has more than 2 million annual visitors and stimulated an estimated $1 billion in new investments downtown. The Conservancy is also activating, improving and programming three other historic downtown parks and public spaces including Grand Circus Park, Capitol Park and Paradise Valley’s Beatrice Buck Park. Another of DDP’s initiatives is D:hive, which is a physical storefront, open six days a week, in Detroit’s Central Business District that connects people to resources that help them live, work and engage in the city.

Eric is also the founder, president, and chief executive officer of Larson Realty Group (established in 1999), a privately owned, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan based company engaged in real estate investment, development, asset management and leasing. Mr. Larson has over 30 years of experience in real estate and prior to establishing Larson Realty Group, served as vice president of a global real estate company, Hines, and as a partner and senior vice president with Bruce S. Brickman and Associates in New York. During Mr. Larson’s career he has developed, financed, owned and managed over $3 billion of real estate including; General Motor’s purchase and redevelopment of the Renaissance Center (5.5 million square feet) and Millender Center, the development of One Detroit Center (1 million square feet) and The A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education (1 million square feet) in downtown Detroit.

In addition to owning Larson Realty Group, Mr. Larson served as managing partner at Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC (Bedrock) between February 2013 and February 2014; he continues to provide consulting services on significant new developments. Bedrock is a Detroit-based full service real estate firm specializing in the purchasing, leasing, development and management of commercial space. The company conducts business across diverse geographies and industries, overseeing more than 10 million square feet of commercial space in downtown Detroit, Cleveland, Ohio; Scottsdale, Arizona; Charlotte, North Carolina; San Diego, California; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Bedrock is affiliated with Dan Gilbert’s Family of Companies which includes, Quicken Loans, Rock Ventures, The Cleveland Cavaliers, Fathead, Title Source and ePrize.

Immediately prior to joining Bedrock, Mr. Larson served as Non-Executive President for Olympia Development of Michigan. Olympia Development of Michigan is a Detroit-based full-service real estate company owned by Detroit entrepreneurs Michael and Marian Ilitch. The company is responsible for developing and investing in some of Detroit’s most recognized and visited venues, including Hockeytown Cafe and the nationally acclaimed Comerica Park. As head of Olympia Development, Mr. Larson led the real estate development projects which included the planning, designing, financing and development activities for the new Red Wings Hockey Arena. He was also actively involved in the organization’s economic development activities throughout the region, while simultaneously leading the management, development, parking and security divisions.

Mr. Larson also founded, and is now serving on the board of the Community Investment Support Fund (CISF) which is a Michigan Non-Profit Corporation. The purpose for which CISF was organized is multi-faceted, but it engages exclusively in such charitable and educational activities as may qualify it for exemption from Federal income tax under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. The primary purpose of CISF is to promote economic development and the creation of wealth and job opportunities in low-income communities. This is being accomplished by promoting and facilitating the investment of both private and public capital in the form of equity or loans and providing operational assistance with commercial real estate projects, retail and wholesale businesses, service providers and business incubators.

Downtown Detroit – downtowndetroit.org
Full Profile

Robert Dietz

Chief Economist and Senior Vice President for Economics and Housing Policy, The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)


Robert Dietz, Ph.D., is Chief Economist and Senior Vice President for Economics and Housing Policy for NAHB, where his responsibilities include housing market analysis, economic forecasting and industry surveys, and housing policy research.

Dr. Dietz has published academic research on the private and social benefits of homeownership, federal tax expenditure estimation, and other housing and tax issues in peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Urban Economics, Journal of Housing Research, the National Tax Journal and the NBER Working Paper series. He has testified before the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, and the Senate Banking Subcommittee on Economic Policy on housing and economic issues.

Prior to joining NAHB in 2005, Robert worked as an economist for the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, specializing in revenue estimation of legislative proposals involving housing, urban development, and other business tax issues. He is a native of Dayton, Ohio and earned a Ph.D. in Economics from the Ohio State University in 2003.

Twitter – @dietz_econ
Full Profile

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