The Kornblau Institute

The Kornblau Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University was established through the generosity of Sam Kornblau, a Richmond businessman and philanthropist. The Institute provides opportunities for scholars to produce impactful and high-quality research on commercial and residential real estate topics. 

We apply an interdisciplinary approach on issues such as land use, housing and commercial development. For each topic, we focus on the social, cultural and economic sides of the real estate business.

Our goal is to develop a network of researchers and a community of scholars who contribute to the body of knowledge in real estate and inform policymakers with scientific evidence.

The VCU Real Estate Program recently ranked No. 14 among U.S. universities based on the total number of pages published in the three top-tier, real estate-focused research publications – Real Estate Economics, Journal of Real Estate Research and Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics.  

Kornblau Scholars 2016-2018

Congratulations to our 2016-2018 Kornblau Scholars, chosen through a competitive application process.

Manu Gupta
Department of Finance, Insurance and Real Estate

Dr. Gupta is studying the internationalization of real estate firms, focusing on the relationship between the degree of internationalization and the performance of the firm.  Though real estate is not an asset that can be transferred internationally, real estate firms are still diversifying internationally by investing in real estate in other countries.  Dr. Gupta intends to study what motivates real estate companies to internationalize, the aspects of internationalizing that appeal to companies, and how internationalizing affects the performance and efficiency of companies. 

Linda Fernandez
Department of Economics and VCU Center for Environmental Studies

Dr. Fernandez has a joint appointment with the Department of Economics in the School of Business and the VCU Center for Environmental Studies.  She will be applying these two areas of expertise to evaluate the cost effectiveness of implementing agricultural, storm water and other land and water management practices in improving water quality in watersheds of the Chesapeake Bay.  Since the Chesapeake Bay watershed is spread among multiple states, it is common to have variations among those states in the water quality goals and policies for improving water quality.  Dr. Fernandez will analyze the strategies for interdependent states within watersheds, comparing the cooperative and non-cooperative frameworks.

Miroslava Straska and H. Gregory Waller
Department of Finance, Insurance and Real Estate

Drs. Straska and Waller are studying the use of sustainability investments in publically traded real estate companies.  They have noted that in the companies which pursue sustainability investments, they are seeing value returns at the property level, but this type of investment has not become a trend in the industry.  Drs. Straska and Waller will examine the factors that affect sustainability investments and the resulting changes in value to investors as a result of sustainability investments.

The Alfred L. Blake Chair

David H. Downs, Ph.D., is ranked the 7th in the Real Estate Academic Leadership (REAL) rankings of authors.

He has held the Alfred L. Blake Chair in Real Estate since 2003. The chair provides students with a strong academic background in real estate and keeps professionals aware of new industry developments. 

The Blake Chair was created with a generous gift from Alfred L. Blake Jr. in conjunction with the Virginia Association of Realtors’ charitable education foundation. It pays tribute to Alfred L. Blake Sr., a founder of the Mortgage Investment Corporation and Alfred L. Blake and Sons.

James H. Boykin, Ph.D., served as the first Alfred L. Blake Chair in Real Estate from 1972 until his retirement in 2002.