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.  

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.