University of San Diego School of Business Undergraduate Real Estate Team Takes First Place in the Ninth Annual NAIOP University Challenge

The Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate (BMC) is pleased to announce that a team of six undergraduate real estate students from the University of San Diego (USD) 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.”

For 2019, the NAIOP competition focused on a 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 was based on the judges Q&A interview (held on April 24) and one-third was 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, perspective 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.

USD NAIOP team photo is attached (from left to right) Alex Baracchini ‘19, Alex Spangler ’19, Zachary Burns ’19, Claire Hunn ’19, Ryan Todd ‘19, Mitch DiLorenzo ’19.

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD recently concluded our successful $317M Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represented the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university. In September 2016, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.


Kimberly Malasky
(619) 260-4786