Applications for the 2022 CBREDT class are now being accepted and are due December 8, 2021. Find out more below!



Gain direct knowledge and hands-on experience to redevelop your commercial property. Learn about the things that matter in real estate development—from financing a project, to permitting and approvals, to design and construction. Connect with instructors and mentors who are seasoned real estate development professionals. Be part of a group of community developers ready to keep Buffalo’s East Side commercial districts moving forward. 


Use the Online Application


Download PDF Application and return via mail or email:

Mail to: 

Monique Sullivan-James
c/o University at Buffalo Regional Institute
77 Goodell, Suite 302
Buffalo, NY 14203

– OR –

 Scan completed application and email to:

Applications must be postmarked or received by December 8, 2021 at 5:00 PM ET. There are no in-person drop-offs and late applications will not be considered.

Any Erie County resident, 18 years or older, with a high school diploma or equivalent, is eligible to apply. Overall, students will be selected based on their likelihood of successfully developing a commercial or mixed-use (residential and commercial) property on the East Side after completing the training program. 

Applicants will be reviewed based on the following criteria: residency, commercial property ownership, development experience, vision for commercial property development, entrepreneurship, and impact. See Program Guidelines and FAQs for more details.


The Community-Based Real Estate Development Training Program will empower community members with the skills and know-how to plan for and implement redevelopment of their own commercial property and/or vacant or under-used parcels. The program is intended to ensure that land and buildings along the East Side corridors are improved for productive use, in a manner driven by the community, and less likely to fall into the hands of absentee landlords and/or sit unused as blighting influences. The goal is to build a community of citizen developers interested and equipped to take an active role in revitalizing their neighborhoods. 


This is an adult education program and is completely non-credit-bearing. Students who successfully complete the training program will receive a Certificate of Completion and be invited to participate in the Completion Ceremony in August 2022.


The 23-week program starts Wednesday, March 2, 2022, and is designed to provide an overview of the commercial real estate development process, including pre-development, construction management, property management, and financing the project from private and public sources. The course includes weekly virtual classroom instruction by experienced professionals. There will also be five (5) mandatory Saturday sessions from 10-12 noon. Four additional Saturday sessions will be held. Attendance is strongly encouraged but not required.


Applicants accepted into the program are expected to fulfill the following requirements:

  • Actively participate in 23 weeks of classroom instruction. Attendance will be taken at all classes. Requests for excused absences should be submitted to the program administrator in advance. STUDENTS WITH MORE THAN THREE (3) UNEXCUSED ABSENCES WILL BE DROPPED FROM THE PROGRAM.
  • Students are also required to attend these five (5) Saturday sessions: UrbanPlan, Intro to Excel / Intro to Financial Modeling, Financial Modeling 1, Financial Modeling 2, Financial Modeling Workshop. The UrbanPlan class is a realistic, engaging exercise in which students learn about the fundamental forces that affect real estate development. Through role-play, students will become familiar with private and public sector roles, complex trade-offs, and fundamental economics in play when proposing realistic land use solutions to vexing growth challenges. 
  • There will be four (4) additional Saturday sessions including a Site Tour which will provide students the opportunity to visit a local real estate development project that is under construction. Attendance is strongly encouraged but not required.
  • Actively engage, via email correspondence, in-person, and/or virtual meetings, with an assigned mentor for at least one hour per month.
  • Successfully complete all assignments and present a final class project to a panel of jurors (may be a team project or an individual project).


There is no fee to apply to the program. However, if you are accepted into the program, there is a one-time non-refundable $100 registration fee. Other costs are covered through a partnership of private foundations and corporations.


All candidates interested in participating in the 2022 Community-Based Real Estate Development Training Program must participate in a two-step application and interview process. There is no fee to apply.

Step 1: Complete an application in one of two ways: 

  1. For online applicants: Use this link to complete an electronic form.
  2. For paper applicants: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are no in-person drop-offs. Applications can be downloaded and printed here. Completed paper applications can ONLY be returned by:

Mail to: 

Monique Sullivan-James
c/o University at Buffalo Regional Institute
77 Goodell, Suite 302
Buffalo, NY 14203

– OR –

 Scan completed application and email to:

Applications must be postmarked or received by Wednesday, December 8, 2021 at 5:00 PM ET. There are no in-person drop-offs and late applications will not be considered.

Step 2: After review, selected applicants will be invited for an interview in January 2022. If invited for an interview, applicants are required to submit a current resume via email to


Classes are limited to 20 students. This is a competitive application process and not all applicants will be accepted. The program is ideal for individual commercial property owners. Prioritization is given to applicants who reside on the East Side, own and/or are interested in commercial real estate development on the East Side.

Applicants will be notified of their acceptance into the program by the end of January 2022. Accepted applicants must complete and return all required forms and pay a one-time non-refundable $100 registration fee. 

The registration fee and required forms must be received by February 15, 2022, to reserve a seat in the class. 


December 8, 2021Applications Due
January 10-21, 2022Interviews of selected participants
January 31, 2022Notification of Acceptance
February 15, 2022Registration Fee & Media Release Form Due
March 2, 2022Classes Begin
Late July 2022Final Project Presentations
August 2022Completion Ceremony


Any questions regarding Community-Based Real Estate Development Training should be directed to Monique Sullivan-James at (716) 878-2440 or



For more background, view the comprehensive East Side Plan.