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88Nine Radio Milwaukee

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Minority-focused real estate certification program reinstated

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  • Hundreds gathered at 88nine's headquarters for the ACRE kick-off event.
  • The program is open to minorities of all backgrounds and ages.
  • The application deadline is June 21.

The Associates in Commercial Real Estate program, or ACRE, is being reinstated at Marquette University. 

The course offers African-American, Latino, Asian-American and other minorities in Milwaukee a chance to learn about real estate development, property management and construction management. 

ACRE took off in 2004, headed by Marquette University’s Interim Keys Dean Mark Eppli.  The program served more than 140 students before it was cut short following the downturn of the commercial real estate market in 2010.

Now, the program has relaunched, thanks to a partnership between Marquette University and LISC Milwaukee, a non-profit working to revitalize troubled neighborhoods around the city.

“The interest and the energy was just huge because there are a lot of people that are looking to get into the field of commercial real estate that hadn’t before,” said LISC’s Commercial Corridor Revitalization Specialist Marjorie Rucker.

The 26-week curriculum is a combination of traditional education, networking, project-based learning and mentoring.  By graduation, students will have the knowledge and contacts necessary to gain entry-level positions in commercial real estate, Rucker said.   

Milwaukee has already seen some of the effects of the ACRE program with alumni Sherry Terrell-Webb and Tina Anderson’s work on the Mitchell Street Market Lofts on the South Side.  Eppli hopes the rebirth of the program will add even more to the city.

“People would rather have connectivity with the city and a set of activities that are important to them that is sustainable and you can bike to it, as well as live right next to it,” he said.  “It’s about non-site specific amenities that are in the neighborhood.  That’s what a lot of development would go towards with these folks that would graduate from ACRE.”

The program begins in September and accepts 20 students.  Eppli said the best candidates will demonstrate passion, not only about commercial real estate, but also about Milwaukee.

The application deadline is June 21, and paper applications must be postmarked by June 20.  Selected candidates are required to submit a $300 fee that is returned upon graduation.  

For more information, visit ACRE’s official website and click the player above to hear Nate Imig's interview with Mark Eppli and Marjorie Rucker.