Asuka Nakahara serves as Associate Director of the Zell/Lurie Real Estate Center at Wharton and teaches an MBA course titled “Real Estate Development”. Over the past 18 years, he has received multiple “Excellence in Teaching” awards, presented to the top 8 professors in the Wharton MBA Program based on student ratings, and is a past recipient of both the Helen Kardon Moss Anvil Award, the top Wharton teaching honor, and the Class of 1984 Award, accorded to the professor with the highest teaching ratings.
He has served as lecturer, panelist, facilitator or moderator for Harvard Law School, Professional Golfers’ Association of America (PGA), Wharton’s National Football League (NFL) program, Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW), Pension Real Estate Association (PREA), Urban Land Institute (ULI), CoreNet Global, Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR), International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), the Los Angeles County Bar Association, FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), and others.
Asuka has consulted with investment management, international real estate and construction, private equity, golf course, restaurant, media, and entertainment companies, as well as family offices and a university. Areas of focus included strategy, leadership development, financial management, organizational assessment, real estate, deal assessment, and executive coaching. Asuka is a Co-Founder of Triton Atlantic Partners, a real estate advisory firm and investment vehicle.
Asuka joined Trammell Crow Company (TCC) in 1980 and was named a Partner in 1983. He opened the Philadelphia office in 1985 and was promoted to Northeast Regional Partner in 1987, joining the firm’s Management Board. He subsequently had responsibility for TCC’s business in the northeastern U.S., including development/acquisition, finance, and operations. In 1996, Asuka was promoted to Chief Financial Officer of TCC, overseeing finance, capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, marketing, Trammell Crow University, human resources, and other initiatives. TCC went public on the NYSE in November 1997. Asuka retired from the company at the end of 1999.
Asuka received his B.S. – Civil Engineering with honors from Rice University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He serves on the boards of Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA) and CBRE Clarion Global Real Estate Income Fund (NYSE: IGR). He previously served on the boards of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Foundation, the United States Golf Association, the PGA, Merion Golf Club, and Ardmore Presbyterian Church. In his board service, he has chaired Investment, Governance and Finance Committees. Asuka and his wife Karen have 3 adult children and reside in Merion Station, Pennsylvania.
This course evaluates "ground-up" development as well as re-hab, re-development, and acquisition investments. We examine raw and developed land and the similarities and differences of traditional real estate product types including office, R & D, retail, warehouses, single family and multi-family residential, mixed use, and land as well as "specialty" uses like golf courses, assisted living, and fractional share ownership. Emphasis is on concise analysis and decision making. We discuss the development process with topics including market analysis, site acquisition, due diligence, zoning, entitlements, approvals, site planning, building design, construction, financing, leasing, and ongoing management and disposition. Special topics like workouts and running a development company are also discussed. Course lessons apply to all markets but the class discusses U.S. markets only. Throughout the course, we focus on risk management and leadership issues. Numerous guest lecturers who are leaders in the real estate industry participate in the learning process. Format: predominately case analysis and discussion, some lectures, project visits.
The Excellence in Teaching Awards are awarded annually to eight (8) MBA faculty members who receive the highest average instructor rating on their course evaluation forms over the three prior semesters. The course evaluation forms are filled out by the students at the conclusion of every course.
The Class of 1984 Award is awarded to the faculty member with the highest average instructor rating over the same time period. The faculty member must have taught at least one semester’s worth of course hours during the prior academic year in order to be eligible. A WGA subcommittee, the Excellence in Teaching Committee, calculates the award winners, along with a selected faculty advisor. Each of the recipients is awarded a plaque.
All awards are presented at the Spring Salute and are also recognized during the MBA Graduation Ceremony.
The Helen Kardon Moss Anvil Award is awarded to the one faculty member "who has exemplified outstanding teaching quality during the last year." A list of nominees is generated through a vote by the MBA student body and nominations from the academic departments. The Anvil Award Selection Committee, comprised of student leaders, administrators and past Anvil Award winners, selects the recipient.
All awards are presented in the Spring semester and recipients are also recognized in the MBA Graduation Program.