Picture of construction - orange crane

What’s it like to execute a real estate development project from the ground up? Attendees had the chance to experience it firsthand.

In this case-study oriented course, participants got an inside look at Suffolk University’s $62 million development project at 20 Somerset Street.

Geared toward real estate and non-real estate professionals, such as architects, lawyers, consultants, lenders, brokers, and construction managers, the six-week course explored how a large urban project is originated, conceived, designed, approved, and built.


Using a case-study approach, the course included a series of intensive planning sessions and forums with professionals who are working on the 20 Somerset project.

Attendees Learned About

  • The real estate development process
  • Professional disciplines involved in large-scale, urban real estate projects
  • Project stakeholder issues and solutions
  • Organizational charts for typical real estate development projects and roles of the key participants and their inter-relationships
  • Differences among commercial, residential, and institutional real estate development
  • Handling conflicting perspectives that can affect the project design and budget

Case Study Topics

  • Project description/overview
  • Site search and evaluation/due diligence/acquisition
  • Team selection process
  • Project feasibility/budgeting issues
  • Permitting and approvals
  • Community relations
  • Design and engineering
  • Pre-construction and construction
  • Project delivery alternatives considered
  • Market analysis
  • Operating cost/life-cycle cost concerns
  • Financing
  • Building tour


Mahmood Malihi

Executive Vice President/Partner, Leggat McCall Properties

Mahmood Malihi co-manages the firm's development business and acts as project executive for select client relationships and principal investments. He is also a member of the Executive Committee and the Investment Committee. Malihi has held various positions, including chief operating officer, director of mid-Atlantic development, and director of fee-for-service activities.

Robert Palumbo

Senior Vice President/Partner, Leggat McCall Properties

Robert Palumbo is a seasoned development professional with nearly four decades of experience in real estate and construction. At Leggat McCall, Palumbo has worked with a number of institutional clients, including the First Church of Christ, Scientist and their 1.7 million-square-foot Christian Science Plaza Revitalization Plan that includes 950,000 SF of new mixed-use development. Palumbo is also part of the team providing strategic advisory services to Harvard University for their 360 acres of land holdings in Allston, Mass. Additionally, he advices Suffolk University on their Boston real estate portfolio, including the project management for a new $62 million Academic and Science building on Beacon Hill.       

During his career, Palumbo has been involved in industrial/commercial, office, research, institutional, and multi-family real estate development. 

Richard Taylor

Executive in Residence, Sawyer Business School

Director, Center for Real Estate

Richard Taylor teaches Introduction to Real Estate Principles and Real Estate Development and Public Policy, among others. he previously served as vice president for real estate development at Fidelity Investments working on the World Trade Center in the Innovation District. He has also served as secretary of transportation and construction for Massachusetts. He currently services as chairman of the Taylor Smith Group, a Boston-based real estate development and commercial brokerage firm.