A $600,000 donation from New Orleans real estate executive Robert W. Merrick will help support the University of New Orleans’ Institute for Economic Development and Real Estate Research. The institute, which is a public service division of the College of Business Administration, provides technical assistance and applied research in the areas of economic development and real estate for public, private and nonprofit organizations.
The gift will establish the Robert W. Merrick Support Fund for the Institute for Economic Development and Real Estate Research.
Each year, the institute holds the Dr. Ivan Miestchovich Economic Outlook and Real Estate Forecast Seminars, one for New Orleans and one for the North Shore. The events draw hundreds of real estate professionals from around the region who rely on the expert information and sophisticated analysis furnished at the seminars.
“This endowment will support the current employees and activities of the Institute for Economic Development and Real Estate Research,” said Robert Penick, the institute’s interim director. “It will allow the institute to continue to offer the valuable services that it provides to the University of New Orleans community and the New Orleans metropolitan area.”Merrick is the chairman and CEO of Latter and Blum, Inc. His support for the University of New Orleans has taken many forms over the years. He has served as a member of the UNO Foundation Board of Directors and contributed significantly to the creation of the Max Derbes III Professorship in Real Estate. Latter & Blum, Inc. is the institute’s executive partner for the Dr. Ivan Miestchovich Economic Outlook and Real Estate Forecast Seminars. In 2014, Latter & Blum, Inc. also donated $100,000 to UNO to support a new graduate certificate program in coastal sciences and coastal engineering, as well as student scholarships.