Real Estate Team Takes 1st Place in Ninth Annual NAIOP University Challenge

Monday, July 15, 2019

2019 USD School of Business NAIOP Team pictured below (from left to right) Alex Baracchini ‘19, Alex Spangler ’19, Zachary Burns ’19, Claire Hunn ’20, Ryan Todd ‘19, Mitch DiLorenzo ‘19

On April 25, a team of six undergraduate real estate students from the University of San Diego School of Business was awarded first place in the Ninth Annual NAIOP University Challenge. The USD team went head-to-head against teams from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and San Diego State University (SDSU). 

The USD NAIOP team consisted of Alex Baracchini ’19, Zachary Burns '19, Mitch DiLorenzo '19, Claire Hunn '20, Alex Spangler '19 and Ryan Todd '19. The USD team advisors included Stath Karras, executive director of the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate, and Jake Schwartz '02, vice president of Urban Housing Partners Inc.

“From the beginning, we set a mission to promote San Diego culturally, socially, and economically,” says DiLorenzo '19. “As a team, we created ‘The Delta District’ and accomplished that mission in a bold way. This was a remarkable learning experience for each of us on the team. The breadth of collaboration and teamwork within our team and with the industry resources we got to work with made this first-place recognition incredibly special.” View the video rendering of the USD team's project. Viewphoto renderings of the USD team's project.

For 2019, the NAIOP competition focused on the highest and best use for a real, proposed site/case study at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR), located at 4301 Pacific Highway, San Diego, CA 92110-3127. NAIOP San Diego provided each team with professional industry resources, including a loan broker, title company, architects, construction estimators, land use attorney and an appraiser. Potential issues which the students could address, included financing, transit-oriented issues, sustainable development, traffic patterns, community impact, feasibility and investment returns.

The judging panel and investment committee consisted of nine, senior-level commercial real estate professionals. One-third of the total score was based on the written proposal, one-third based on the judges Q&A interview (held on April 24) and one-third based on a final presentation which was held on April 25 at AMP&RSAND at 350 Camino De La Reina in San Diego. More than 325 commercial real estate executives and investors, government officials, students, parents and staff from the competing schools attended the final presentations.

“The NAIOP Challenge allows the students from USD, SDSU and UCSD to involve themselves in a ‘real-world’ development scenario,” says Karras. “The learning experience they receive in having to create and financially justify their vision is unparalleled. Through their interaction with industry professionals, prospective tenants and government and military leaders, each team conceived a viable project. We are hopeful that the input from the three universities will help guide SPAWAR and the Navy in its ultimate development. I am proud of the USD student team and applaud the great effort of SDSU and UCSD.”

The USD undergraduate real estate team also took first place in the 2017 NAIOP University Challenge.

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Renata Ramirez
(619) 260-4658