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Peter Smirniotopoulos

Visiting Assistant Professor of Practice of Urban and Regional Planning

A nationally recognized development strategist, urban theorist, educator, and award-winning author, Peter Smirniotopoulos is a native of Washington, D.C. and moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan, in June 2018. He has 38 years of hands-on experience in corporate finance, deal-structuring, and transactional analysis; public finance and government funding sources and strategies; public outreach, advocacy, strategic thinking, and organizational analysis; and the full range of project development, planning, design, and financing for large-scale residential, mixed-use, mixed-income, and affordable and workforce housing projects. Smirniotopoulos is a visiting assistant professor of practice at the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Design at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI, as well as an adjunct professor at Seattle University School of Law in Seattle, WA.

Smirniotopoulos practiced law in Washington, D.C. for 15 years; served as a public housing and redevelopment official for 4 years; was a senior real estate executive focused on developing and financing workforce and employer-assisted housing for 6 years; and has maintained a national, private consulting practice for over 11 years. Since graduating from Georgetown University Law Center in 1981, Smirniotopoulos has worked for and with private-sector, federal and other public-sector, higher-education, and non-profit organizations. Additionally, he is a nationally recognized author, speaker, policy advocate, commentator, and opinion writer. Since 1985, Smirniotopoulos has been a featured speaker at numerous national industry and other conferences. He holds an undergraduate degree in Government, with a concentration in Public Administration, from Georgetown College (1978).

Smirniotopoulos has authored over 100 articles in national and international print journals and on the web. His writings cover a breadth of subjects including urban planning and revitalization; the design of the built environment; residential and mixed-use development and finance; federal tax and housing policies; public, affordable, and low-income housing finance; and public primary and secondary education and higher education policy. Among his scholarly work, Smirniotopoulos served as Research Director and Principal Author for The George Washington University’s Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis (CREUA) research study and report, Conflicts of Interest in Commercial Real Estate Transactions: Who Represents the Tenant? (Nov 2014), and the follow-up executive summary Who Represents the Tenant in Commercial Leasing Transactions? (Mar 2015). On November 18, 2016, his textbook, Real Estate Law: Fundamentals for The Development Process, First Edition, was published by Routledge/Taylor & Francis, the world’s largest publisher of textbooks and academic journals. Smirniotopoulos’ latest scholarly article, co-authored with Ryan Mathisen (SeattleU Law 2019), “DAVID vs GOLIATH: How Dual Agency Harms Commercial Tenants,” was published in October 2019 in Volume 43: Issue 1, of the Seattle University Law Review.

Smirniotopoulos is a Contributing Editor for The New Geography, and a Contributor to The Huffington Post. His articles include “The Meaning of Place,” Urban Land, March 2001, recipient of ULI’s 2001 Apgar Award, and a winter 2014, three-part series for Huffington Post Education on shrinking the skills gap and unemployment in the U.S. In November 2019, he became a Real Estate Contributor to Forbes. Smirniotopoulos has been quoted as an expert in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Miami Herald, and The Baltimore Sun, among others, as well as in several editions of Planning and Urban Land magazines, respectively. Since 1999, Smirniotopoulos has taught in real estate master’s degree programs at Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, and GW Universities (MBA program); and upper-class, undergraduate finance courses at George Mason University School of Business. He has served on six ULI full-week Advisory Services Panels, two as Panel Chair.