Published: April 3, 2014

Apr. 3, 2014

The Winning Team

BOULDER, COLORADO --- A team of five MBA students from the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder and one student from the University of Colorado-Denver College of Architecture and Planning has won the 11th Annual Colorado NAIOP Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge held May 1 at the Marriott City Center in Denver.

The Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge is an annual event designed to serve as a learning tool for students of the University of Colorado and University of Denver's graduate real estate programs, while assisting the project sponsor with the development options for the specific property. Student teams are aided by real estate professionals and architectural/engineering experts to deliver development proposals that determined the highest and best use for the project.

“The competition utilizes a real world exercise of real estate development. The students needed to master design, finance, and presentation skills to win the competition,” says Sherm Miller, executive director of the CU Real Estate Center.

Andrew Browning, Jason Elliott, Cody Kirkpatrick, Dan Konecny, Andrea Woodhams, all MBA candidates from the Leeds School of Business at CU-Boulder, and CU-Denver Planning student Nathan Stern comprised the winning team.

This year’s competition site is located in downtown Boulder: the 3.7 acres boarded by Canyon Boulevard, 14th Street, Arapahoe Avenue and 13th Street. The team from the Leeds School of Business at CU-Boulder proposed a 214-room Hyatt hotel, about 180,000 square feet of office space, a 28,000-square-foot community events center, a public market, structured parking for 750 cars and a public bike station.

The proposal met the City’s requirements to enhance the farmer’s market, to retain the Dushanbe Tea House and the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art and to provide office space to consolidate some City administrative services. The project development cost about $157 million and was financed with a combination of public debt, private debt, EB-5 financing and a private equity partnership.

“The students’ proposal significantly enhances land use in the heart of the City of Boulder, creating a gathering place for both residents and tourists” said Tom Thibodeau, the Academic Director of the University of Colorado Real Estate Center. “The proposed plan for financing the development is both creative and feasible.”

The event is sponsored by NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association.