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Real Estate Co-Powerment Series Teaches Local Residents the Basics of Real Estate

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The Real Estate Co-Powerment Series Pilot is rolling, with a cohort of 11 local residents learning the ins and outs of local real estate development!

An initiative co-created by Neighborhood Allies, Omicelo Cares and Local Initiatives Support Corporation, the Real Estate Co-Powerment Series, serves as an education platform for local Pittsburgh residents to learn about the real estate development process and ways to contribute to projects within their communities. The pilot series kicked-off in May 2017, welcoming a cohort of 11 residents to learn about topics ranging from Proforma Development and financial analysis to Design and Community Driven Design and How New Market Tax Credits work.

The class meets twice a week for six weeks and courses are being taught by an engaged and passionate group of instructors from the URA, City Planning, LISC, local development firms, law firms, real estate consultants and design firms, who are sharing their knowledge and experience to equip Pittsburgh residents to participate in and benefit from real estate development projects.

The power packed curriculum walks the cohort through all stages of development, starting with engaging the community to determine whether the project benefits the community and is consistent with the community’s desires.  Next, evaluating the financial feasibility of a potential project and improving the project to achieve feasibility based on the level of financing attracted while concurrently working on site acquisition, design, incorporating green elements and other predevelopment tasks.  Then, on to how to build an appropriate team and execute the construction of the project.  Lastly, operations and sustainability.  At the conclusion of the courses, each participant will have the opportunity to partner with a mentor and work up a proposal for financing.


“The Real Estate Co-Powerment Series is one the most worthwhile experience I have had in a long time. It is practical and it’s instructors are actual practitioners. This allows one to obtain knowledge while building a professional network at the same time. Upon completing the series, I am confident that I will be fully equipped to become successful in my development efforts.”

-Jacqueline Hill

An overarching goal of the education series is to shrink the technical proficiency gap that exists between real estate developers and community leaders that are involved in local development projects. We hope to create long-term, working relationships between private developers, real estate experts, community based organizations, business owners and active community members. A complete list of the course subjects and instructors can be found here.


What’s the cohort have to say about what they are gaining from the courses?

“Better vocabulary and understanding of types of real estate and financing.”

“Thinking more clearly about fundamental real estate principles.”

“Assessing tenant qualifications.”

“Understanding the factors that go into calculating financing.”

“Analyzing Cap Rate and Determining Market Value of property based on Cap Rate and Income.”

“Developing a proforma template.”


For more information on the Real Estate Co-Powerment Series, contact Emily Hammers at

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