Undergraduate Real Estate Team Takes First Place in NAIOP University Challenge

Monday, May 1, 2017

On April 27, 2017, a team of University of San Diego School of Business undergraduate real estate students took first place in the Seventh Annual NAIOP University Challenge. USD real estate seniors Danielle Priore '17, Alexander Splinter '17, Gwendolyn Walter '17, Demarco Duran '17, Forrest Greenwalt '17, and Anh Nguyen '17 competed against teams from the University of California San Diego and San Diego State University. The competition involved the highest and best use analysis of the downtown county courthouse site, comprised of 3.45 acres along three blocks of land, which was first built in the 1870s.

The University Challenge comprised three parts: a written report; a private question and answer session with a panel of nine senior level commercial real estate executives who served as judges; and a final presentation before 300 industry professionals at a NAIOP reception.

The USD team proposed a project titled “The Quartz” to fit in with the other gem-like building projects downtown. The project incorporated a creative residential component tailored specifically to millennials, featuring 250 micro units at 250-350 square foot each. Along with the residential component, commercial and retail space also encompassed three blocks of prime downtown San Diego. The project also boasted numerous community benefits including: a San Diego Innovation Center Museum; a 5,000 square foot dog park; an open-air concert venue; and much more.

The USD undergraduate team addressed real estate-related topics, including financing, transit-oriented issues, sustainable development, traffic patterns, community impact, feasibility and investment returns.

“Being on the NAIOP University Challenge team was the most incredible learning experience,” says Priore ’17. “It provided me with the opportunity to connect what I’ve learned about market research and finance in class with creating a real development project from start to finish and I gained hands-on leadership experience as team leader. I am grateful and excited that we won and got to bring the trophy home to USD.”

“We are proud to have our outstanding real estate students recognized for their hard work dedication and commitment involved in this competition, says Stath Karras, executive director for the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate.

The students were guided by faculty advisor, Charles Tu, the Daniel F. Mulvihill Professor of Commercial Real Estate, along with Jake Schwartz ’00. This marks USD’s first victory for the undergraduate NAIOP competition.

View photos of the event.

Media coverage about the win:

SD Metro