CU Wins 15th Anniversary Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge

Denver (May 3rd, 2017) — This year marked the 15th Anniversary of the Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge, presented by Land Title. The widely anticipated event was hosted at the Marriott City Center in downtown Denver, where students of Colorado University and Denver University, commercial real estate industry professionals from almost 300 companies and special guests, gathered for dinner and networking and to find out which school would win the prestigious NAIOP Cup.

The Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge is designed to serve as a learning tool for students of the University of Colorado and University of Denver’s graduate real estate programs and for the local business community to interface, while assisting the project sponsor with development options for the specific property. A property is selected in the region that serves as the competition site, under the control of the project sponsor. This years project was TERMINAL AT 51st; an assemblage of sites located in north Denver’s Globeville neighborhood.

_MG_2866Project Sponsors JRL 51st Street LLC, a joint venture between real estate entrepreneurs Joe Henry, Ryan Oliver and Loren Snyder, recently had the property rezoned to C-MX-5 and anticiapte that the project will be a change agent that will transform the North Globeville neighborhood. The close proximity of the Asarco site to the north (Crossroads Commerce Park, Trammell Crow Company) and the National Western Center redevelopment to the east, has really helped to place the Globeville neighborhood on the map.

How does it work?

Student teams were asked to evaluate development opportunities on the 20 acre site, to create a mixed-use development that was both responsive to the project criteria, as defined in their project competition materials, as well as market-driven factors. Each team was charged with creating a vision for the property, conducting market research on uses for the property, working with a local architectural firm (secured to participate by NAIOP) to assist them in the project’s design, and refinement of the vision with respect to the zoning and entitlements carried by the property.

Several notable architectural firms served as invaluable resources for the students this year: EVstudio, Farnsworth Group and OZ Architecture worked with CU and LAI Design Group, KTGY Architecture and Planning and RNL Design assisted DU.

And the winners are…

The finalists from each school were judged by a group of seasoned real estate professionals the day of the event. The Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder were this years proud honorees. Students outlined their winning project “Coalesce,” which included three focused areas for improvement: Community, Industrial and Multifamily. Health and Wellbeing of the community was of importance to the school for which they utilized the expertise of the Mental Health Center of Denver. The students also proposed an Aquaponics component to their development that would provide fresh food to the community and an affordable housing development.

Sherri Goldstein with Land Title, presented CU with the NAIOP Cup and Mark Johnson with Opus Development, presented with schools with their scholarship checks from The Opus Foundation – $7,500 prize for winning team and $2,500 for the runner-up. Tom Bisacquino, NAIOP Corporate President & CEO announced the Challenge Winner.


Images courtesy of NAIOP

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