Winning First, with a Design Built to Last
In designing a development for a small mountain town, MBAs blended creativity, local engagement and lessons from the CU Real Estate Center
Anyone can create a development. The bigger challenge is creating a community.
Marigold Partners—a Leeds student team in NAIOP’s annual Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge—won this year’s competition not only thanks to their real estate and business smarts, but because of their willingness to engage the host town of Minturn to build something that reflected the character of what its mayor calls “a proud, funky mountain town.”
Each of the students—Jesús Bañuelos-Rivera, Erika Vette, Joe Plastino, Paula Chavarria, Kyle Clinton and Simon Egerton—completed a master’s or MBA in real estate this spring. The team was selected to represent the university in the NAIOP challenge; Marigold Partners bested a team from the University of Denver to win top honors.
“This competition shows our students that their lessons aren’t just theoretical—that, in fact, a holistic approach is required in creatively solving problems and bringing new developments online,” said Michael P. Kercheval, executive director of the CU Real Estate Center. “I’m extremely proud of our students for putting together such an impressive project.”
Through the center, and their own networks, the students were able to tap other resources, as well—architects, financing experts, retailers and so on—allowing them to create an idyllic community centered around sustainability, authenticity and environmental responsibility.