Extension CED gains real estate expertise with new faculty member

December 11, 2018

Daniel KuhlmannReal estate development matters to communities, whether it’s residential, providing homes for community members; or commercial, creating jobs and boosting the local economy

To address this important facet of community development, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach’s Community and Economic Development (CED) program has added a new member to its team. In August 2018, Daniel Kuhlmann joined ISU’s Department of Community and Regional Planning as an assistant professor with responsibilities in the CED program and with the ISU Ivy College of Business.

Kuhlmann came to ISU from Cornell University, where he earned a master’s degree in 2014 and a PhD in 2018 in city and regional planning. Prior to studying at Cornell, he served as a business systems consultant for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage in Minneapolis from 2010 to 2012. He previously had been a researcher for CB Richard Ellis in Bloomington, Minnesota, and an associate consultant with RCLCO in Los Angeles.

It was his time in Los Angeles, where he worked with planners, that sparked Kuhlmann’s interest in planning. 

“Through [the job at RCLCO] I got introduced to planning and real estate in one fell swoop,” he said. “I was interested in the way that planners look at real estate. I like the way it’s not just about profits; it’s about what you’re actually building and I think both from a feel-good perspective and certainly from a practical perspective understanding what cities want and need and how they regulate new real estate development is an important skill for real estate developers to have.”

Kuhlmann was attracted to the position at ISU because he thought that it fit well with his research and career goals.

“I was really looking for teaching positions where I could teach planning and real estate and then sort of live at the intersection of those two fields. I think that’s exactly what this position [is],” he said. “I also really like to do applied policy work and I think Extension’s a great place to be able to apply that trade as well.”

Originally from Minnesota, Kuhlmann is also happy to be back in the Midwest.

Since starting at ISU in mid-August, Kuhlmann has worked primarily in housing. For example, one project on which he is working looks at the relationship between transportation and housing—specifically, understanding whether owning a vehicle and/or having access to good transportation networks affects the likelihood of people being evicted or forced to move.

He is also in the process of developing Iowa-specific research.

“Housing quality is a big issue, especially in rural Iowa,” Kuhlmann said. “Trying to understand how we can develop programs and policies that help improve the physical condition of housing stock in these small, rural areas where incomes are low and housing is inexpensive but not inexpensive enough.”

Fifty-percent of Kuhlmann’s appointment is teaching in the Department of Community and Regional Planning. He will be teaching a real estate development and marketing course, which he hopes to present from the planner’s perspective: “how during the real estate development process do real estate developers interact—successfully or not—with cities and understanding the ways cities see real estate development.”

In addition to his extension and teaching responsibilities, Kuhlmann will also help lead a new master’s program in real estate development offered by the College of Design and the Ivy College of Business. The Master of Real Estate Development (MRED) is an interdisciplinary, professional degree offered in a blended format of online courses and brief campus residencies. The program, which can be completed in 21 months, is especially suited for professionals with work experience in a real estate-related field. It will launch in fall 2019.