Land Title Guarantee Company and NAIOP Colorado, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, will again host the Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge in 2013. The challenge is a premier real estate event which features students from the University of Colorado and the University of Denver as well as industry leaders in the Colorado real estate community. For the first time in the event’s eleven year history, the featured project will be within the city limits of Boulder, Colorado. The project will consist of student teams evaluating the redevelopment opportunity of the Boulder Civic Area, bound by 9th to 17th streets and Canyon Boulevard to Arapahoe Avenue.
The Challenge tasks more than 50 of the state’s best and brightest graduate students from the University of Colorado and the University of Denver to evaluate and make recommendations for a key block within the Civic Area while considering how the block integrates into the larger area.
The Challenge culminates with a banquet event on May 1, 2013, where students will present their findings to the City and an audience of over 600 real estate professionals. Tickets for the event, which will be held at the Marriot City Center in downtown Denver, will go on sale in early March.
To add to the complexity, this year’s Challenge overlaps with a larger planning process organized by the City of Boulder. The City has developed a comprehensive web portal that describes the project (www.bouldercivicarea.com). The overall city goal for the Boulder Civic Area is to transform this area into Boulder’s social, civic and environmental heart of the city.
“We are very excited about the project this year as it provides a wide variety of concepts for the students to consider and we feel is a manageable size for the students to undertake in the brief period of time the Challenge provides.” said Morgan Landers, Chairman of the NAIOP organizing committee. “This project requires that the students deeply understand public finance independently at the municipal level, as well as innovative public-private partnership structures to be successful in this year’s competition.”
“The Boulder Civic Area project as a visionary, public-driven project to help transform one of the most important areas of the city into a vibrant civic, environmental and cultural heart of the city.” said Samuel Assefa, Senior Urban Designer with the City of Boulder Department of Community Sustainability and Planning. “We are pleased this project is the subject area for the 2013 NAIOP Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge. Along with the recently completed international ideas competition, we hope to have the NAIOP Challenge harness creative, innovative, thoughtful ideas about urban design, land use and redevelopment. We also hope it will provide a rich experience for the students and fulfill the pedagogical objectives of their respective real estate programs.”
The outcome of the NAIOP Challenge will help the City understand the various development options for the site and evaluate the cost/benefits of different ideas for this important real estate asset. Student teams will be responding to an RFP formatted case statement that will weigh the civic goals, the economic realities and the environmental constraints of the site. The City of Boulder will be using this year’s challenge to help in their process of informing the urban design vision for public and private properties, identify best uses for the key block, and understand options for potential future city facilities.