January 7, 2022

Real World Prudential Center Course Challenges Students to Find Solutions for Business Problems

This past fall, as part of the NYU SPS Real World portfolio of courses, students from across the School were challenged to focus their energies on creating a plan for the redevelopment of the area around the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. Taught by Shawn Amsler, an adjunct instructor at the NYU SPS Schack Institute of Real Estate, the course titled “Prudential Center Real World,” provided the opportunity for students to solve a real-world business problem for a real-world business. The targeted area for redevelopment is a 200-acre zone that includes the Prudential Center and the recently completed Mulberry Commons park, Newark’s City Hall, Gateway Center, several large federal buildings, courthouses, and the USPS building, Symphony Hall, and Lincoln Park.

Map of Newark

On the first day of class, the client—Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment Real Estate—presented a brief, outlining the business area problem/challenge that needed an actionable solution. That challenge focused on how already existing facilities; transportation hubs; and recent improvements and investments in infrastructure, new schools, and residential, food, and entertainment complexes could be leveraged to make Newark an appealing destination in which to live, work, and have fun.

Students worked in multidisciplinary teams, in fluid consultation and communication with the client’s executives and NYU SPS faculty members to research, prepare, and present their solution. Guest speakers helped to provide insights into the project, ways to develop ideas, and how to pitch and present them. Students also had the opportunity to visit the Prudential Center. Selected ideas/solutions were chosen by the client to be implemented, concretely, into their business practice.

Upon the conclusion of the course, students submitted a “Newark 2035” Masterplan that will serve as a long-term planning document, which provides guidelines for the future growth and development of Newark. Students had an amazing experience that helped them to build their critical thinking and problem-solving skills, while working in teams to find solutions—all abilities that hiring managers seek. The testimonials below truly illustrate their enthusiasm and their deep appreciation of the experience they acquired.

“This is one of the most amazing and exciting classes I have taken at NYU SPS. There were a lot of guest speakers presenting in the class, which was very helpful. I learned about the different aspects of the Newark Prudential Center community. Since the project required comprehensive skills including research, observation, creativity, feasibility, financial analysis, 3D model building, team work, leadership, and presenting, it was a great opportunity to learn and use these skills in solving a real-world situation.”
Vikie Luo 

“I really enjoyed the Real World class this semester. It was so exciting to work with my peers and pitch our ideas on how to revitalize Newark to HBSE. I learned so much on how the process of creating a master plan works. It was a very educational experience.  Thank you so much, Professor! It was such an amazing semester!”
Noah Hakim 

“This semester’s SPS Real World course was an incredible learning opportunity and provided insights into “real world” challenges that affect urban real estate development. One of the highlights of this course was the close relationship we maintained with the client and the excitement they expressed when seeing our hard work.  Thank you, again, for all your support and everything you have done to make both this course and the market analysis course two of my favorite classes I’ve taken at Schack! I look forward to keeping in touch.”
Sebastian Richardson

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