Announcing the Childress Klein Center for Real Estate

Monday, September 28, 2015
Real estate firm gives $2.5 million to center

Dean with Fred Klein, Chancellor and Don ChildressChildress Klein is donating $2.5 million to UNC Charlotte’s Center for Real Estate, now named the Childress Klein Center for Real Estate. The gift will fund a new endowed professorship, master’s student professional training programs and faculty fellowships related to research on real estate and urban economics topics. With an expected match from the State of North Carolina for the professorship, the total impact of the gift will be $3.2 million.

The center’s naming and the gift were announced on September 23 at UNC Charlotte Center City, during a luncheon attended by University officials and real estate, business and community leaders. Don Childress and Fred Klein of Childress Klein made the announcement alongside UNC Charlotte Chancellor Philip L. Dubois and Belk College of Business Dean Steven Ott.

Real estate industry supporters previously have raised more than $5.5 million for the center, which provides regional and national research on real estate and urban economics, a Master of Science in Real Estate program and outreach activities in partnership with the Charlotte business community. The gift by Childress Klein is the largest single gift in the center’s 10-year history.

Childress Klein is a longtime supporter of UNC Charlotte, beginning in 1990 with the Childress Klein Scholarship for Merit, then again in 1999 with the Childress Klein Faculty Research Funds and later the Childress Klein Fellowship Fund, as well as gifts to the Chancellor's Fund.

Childress and Klein, the senior managing partners of Childress Klein, said the gift is important for the University's development and Charlotte’s continued growth.

“We believe that UNC Charlotte has been instrumental to the growth and development of the Charlotte region,” Klein said.

Childress added, “The Childress Klein Center for Real Estate is an example of how an industry can support the education and research which in turn provides talent, ideas, and expertise directly back to the industry.”

Chancellor Dubois said the gift helps lead the University into the future.

“UNC Charlotte and the Center for Real Estate have a long-standing and deepening relationship with Childress Klein,” said Dubois. “The Childress Klein Center for Real Estate embodies the successful partnership between the University and the real estate industry - a relationship strengthened by a mutual interest in growing and supporting the North Carolina economy.”

Components of the gift include:

  • Childress Klein Distinguished Professor in Real Estate and Urban Economics - $1.3 million

    Funds will honor an existing member of the faculty of the Belk College of Business or recruit an outstanding scholar to conduct teaching and research in urban economics. Through the Distinguished Professors Endowment Trust Fund, the State of North Carolina is expected to match the $1,333,333 contribution in the amount of $666,667, bringing the endowment of the professorship to $2 million.

  • Childress Klein Fund for Professional Training for Master of Science in Real Estate Students - $600,000

    Funds will support workshops geared toward the real estate industry for students in the master’s program and real estate industry professionals.

  • Childress Klein Faculty Fellowships - $600,000

    Funds will provide resources to allow faculty to focus on applied research activities on real estate topics. These funds also provide Ph.D. student funding to attract talented scholars to UNC Charlotte to study real estate.

Ott, who is co-director of the center and the John Crosland Sr. Distinguished Chair in Real Estate and Development, said the gift will have direct impact on the Charlotte real estate community.

“Charlotte is a hub for commercial real estate in the region,” said Ott. “The gift positions Charlotte and UNC Charlotte as a leader in real estate scholarship, education and research.  It will be transformational for students in the Master of Science in Real Estate program and for the community that will benefit from the research and outreach.”

Childress Klein is a full-service firm offering a range of products and services covering all aspects of commercial real estate.

The Childress Klein Center for Real Estate at UNC Charlotte was established in 2005 to further the knowledge of real estate, public policy and urban economics in the professional community through its teaching, research and community outreach activities. It has been ranked among the 20 most active research institutions in real estate for the past decade.