WINNING TEAM IDEAS FOR A PORTION OF THE BOULDER CIVIC AREA FEATURES THE BOULDER INTERNATIONAL CENTER
DENVER, COLO (May 6, 2013).– The University of Colorado is keeping the NAIOP Cup in Boulder, claiming victory last Wednesday as the winners of the 11th annual Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge. The team also received a $7,500 scholarship, courtesy of The Opus Development Company’s Foundation grant. This year’s event, presented by Land Title Guarantee Company and NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, brought together Colorado’s finest and brightest graduate students to deliver a development proposal that highlighted the best use for the project.
The winning team from CU, Tatonka Development Partners, presented by Andrew Browning, Jason Elliott, Cody Kirkpatrick, Dan Konecny, Nathan Stern & Andrea Woodhams, envisioned a portion of the 24-acre Boulder Civic Area to include the Boulder International Center, a globally driven, locally inspired center home to a boutique Hyatt hotel, indoor farmer’s market and arts center. CU won the event because of their ambitious proposal that pushed the envelope and showed what the civic heart of Boulder could be. The runner up, Flatirons Development Team from DU, presented by Cody Bergan, Jon Devlin, Daniel Rodriguez, Tye Seagren and Eric Thorsen, made a compelling case for their Boulder Creek Civic-Scape. Both teams were praised for their solid financial analysis and deep understanding of the market in Boulder.
This year’s Challenge event is one of the many ways the City of Boulder is generating ideas for the site. “The very professional and innovative concepts presented by the teams at the Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge provide an exciting vision that will engage our community and energize our planning efforts,” said City of Boulder Mayor Matt Appelbaum. “While the proposal by the CU team was chosen as the winner, all four teams should be proud to know their work and big ideas will help shape the future Boulder Civic Area plan.”
Each school held an internal competition to determine who would represent their university and present their proposal to over 600 real estate and development professionals at the Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge on May 1st. “Each year, the students raise the bar,” said Morgan Landers, Chair of the committee that coordinated the event. “The level of professionalism and preparedness they bring to the event shows us that the future of the commercial real estate industry is in good hands. Luckily, most of these students are staying in the Denver Metro area!”
The Boulder Civic Area is bound by Arapahoe to the south, Canyon to the north, 9th to the west, and 14th to the east, and the Challenge was focused on a key block within the Civic Area while considering how the block integrates into the larger area. The City of Boulder is undertaking a visionary “community driven” project to rethink and evolve this site, one of downtown Boulder’s most expansive public spaces with key transitional blocks connecting the Civic Area to downtown’s commercial and residential areas. All of the ideas generated by the student teams will be provided to the City of Boulder for consideration and the City will use these ideas as just one of the ways to generate development opportunities within the marketplace.
In addition to taking home the coveted NAIOP Cup and receiving course credit, students involved in the Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge experience an enormous learning opportunity, a chance for scholarships as well as future employment offers. Jason Elliott, member of the winning CU team, said that “the time and effort spent on the (Challenge) project was the highlight of the MBA program.” Jason talked further about how “The application of classroom principles into a tangible, comprehensive, and meaningful development project provides not only an incredible learning experience, but also affords a unique opportunity to introduce ourselves and our abilities to the greater professional community.”
New to the event this year were the ability to sponsor a student attendee, appearances by each school’s mascot and cheerleading teams, and complimentary wine with dinner. In addition, special guest emcee Conor McGahey, public address announcer for CU Buffs Football and DU Pioneers Hockey and Lacrosse, kept up a lively commentary to help entertain the crowd. The networking and festivities made for a memorable night.
In closing John Freyer, President of Land Title said "It was wonderful to feel the excitement and encouragement by fellow real estate industry professionals in the audience brought on by the superb presentations from the CU and DU students along with a little help from an improving economy.
This event was a great example of public and private cooperation between the City and County of Boulder and the real estate industry. The Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge also serves as a tremendous forum to showcase the emerging talent found in the college real estate programs across Colorado. Congratulations to all, especially the University of Colorado team for their win."