Chapman University has announced plans for a new institute on its Orange campus to study emerging real estate trends, funded with a $10-million endowment from local developer Roger C. Hobbs.
The Roger C. Hobbs Institute for Real Estate, Law and Environmental Studies will seek to place the building trade in context with issues that affect it, said Hobbs, who will also teach at the institute.
"We're really talking about things that past developers said they didn't have to deal with," he said.
"I'm very interested in protecting the environment but am also a proponent of quality development."
Doug Tuggle, dean of Chapman's George L. Argyros School of Business and Economics, said the institute would study how various public policy issues come together to affect development trends.
Among the most pressing issues, he said, is affordable housing, noting that only 16% of Californians can afford the median price of a home in the state, compared with 50% nationally.
"We're going to be facing questions connecting affordable housing, job growth and transportation issues interlinked with real estate matters," Tuggle said.
Chapman's business and law schools will collaborate with the institute in establishing a new real estate curriculum, said Chapman spokeswoman Mary Platt.
The first classes will be offered to students in fall 2006, she said.
Hobbs, 55 and an Orange native, has taught real estate classes at Chapman, UC Irvine, Cal State Fullerton and the University of Montana.
He is president of the R.C. Hobbs Co. and Century American Corp. and has constructed nearly 5,000 houses and apartments.
In addition to Hobbs' donation, the university received a $3-million contribution from Helen Hoag for the institute in honor of her late husband, C. Larry Hoag, a real estate entrepreneur.
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Chapman University endowments
Largest gifts in Chapman University history
*--* Amount Year Donor Purpose $26 million 1998 Anonymous $20 million 2004 Lawrence, Kristina Film/media arts college Dodge $17 million 1970s Nellie Gail Moulton Property $12 million 1999 Anonymous $10 million 2005 Roger C. Hobbs Real estate, law institute $7 million 2000 Doy, Dee Henley Multiple purposes $6 million 2005 Anonymous $5 million 1999 Harry, Diane Rinker Law library $5 million 2004 Marion Knott Film/media arts studio $5 million 2000 Donald Sodaro Digital arts center
Source: Chapman University