Land Title Guarantee Company and NAIOP Colorado, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, will host the 13th Annual Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge. The challenge is a premier real estate event featuring students from the University of Colorado and the University of Denver, as well as industry leaders in the Colorado real estate community. Building on the Challenge’s 12-year history, the featured project will focus on an infill site on Brighton Boulevard in Denver, Colorado, which is located in River North (RiNO), one of Denver’s most active re-development areas. Student teams will evaluate the development opportunity at Midtown Industrial Center, which features TOD opportunities and primary connectivity between Interstate 70 and Downtown Denver. This site represents unique opportunities for development and place-making in an edgy area that is home to art galleries, lively restaurants, bars, and breweries, and has become a hotspot for many of Denver’s artistic minds attracting creative businesses and entrepreneurs to the area.
In its 13th year, 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 this mixed-use site, owned by the Westfield Company. The students will form teams which will compete against one another for scholarships, future employment and the NAIOP Cup (awarded to the winning school each year). Beginning in January 2015, student teams will begin a four-month period of working with industry professionals and the Westfield Company to analyze every aspect of the site.
The Challenge culminates with a banquet event on May 7, 2015, where students will present their recommendations to Westfield and an audience of over 700 real estate professionals. Tickets for the event, which will be held at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Denver, will go on sale in early February.
The 14+-acre private property encompasses unique challenges and opportunities for the student teams. The location enjoys easy access to commuter rail and I-70, natural amenities such as the Platte River, and is located just south of the National Western Stock Show Complex, all of which creates a ripe environment for future mixed-use development. Balancing these site advantages with vocal neighborhood groups and an existing tenant base will create a stimulating environment for varied approaches.
“We are pleased to have a private developer as the project sponsor who is motivated to incorporate the ideas presented by the students through this Challenge. This is exactly the type of project students would face once they graduate. This year’s Challenge site represents a real-world scenario for putting all of the development pieces together on a deal,” said Tim Schlichting, Chairman of the NAIOP organizing committee. “To be successful in this year’s competition, students will be wearing the hat of developer and will have to balance the interests of multiple stakeholders and develop a deep understanding of the unique make-up of the RiNo district while defining how the site will ultimately be re-developed.”
“The overall goal for Westfield is to leverage opportunities within this evolving neighborhood and create a vibrant place for people to gather. We are anxious to see the student’s creative ideas for the site,” said Kevin McClintock, Partner for Westfield. “We believe that sponsoring the NAIOP Real Estate Challenge, in support of the participating university students and programs will help us think through the many redevelopment options associated with this significant 14 acre assemblage."
The outcome of the NAIOP Challenge will help Westfield understand the various development options for the site and evaluate the cost/benefits of different ideas for this unique real estate asset. Student teams will be asked to assume that their team is a private developer seeking debt and/or equity capital for development of the project. Westfield Company will be using this year’s challenge to help create a better understanding of the site development potential and are optimistic that elements of the outcome can be a part of what is ultimately built on the site.
About Westfield Company
Westfield Company is a premier integrated real estate investment, development and management firm, which seeks superior performance for a select group of private investment clients by providing enhanced operating and living environments for tenants and residents in its owned, developed and managed properties. Based in Denver with operations in the Mountain West and Phoenix area, the company develops highly innovative office, town center, and apartment projects as well as build-to-suits using vanguard technologies and systems. For more information, visit www.westfield-co.com.
About Land Title Guarantee Company
Land Title Guarantee Company is a locally owned and operated title insurance company, dedicated to serving Colorado and its people since 1967. Land Title provides quality title, closing and escrow services to home buyers and sellers, residential and commercial real estate professionals, mortgage lenders and servicers, and home builders. One company has it all Guarantee(d). .. LOCAL: A genuine Colorado product—produced by Coloradoans for Coloradoans. STABLE: Our principled financial, business and underwriting practices maintain the security of our customers’ transactions and funds. PROFESSIONAL: Most courteous, accurate and experienced title & closing experts in the industry. RESOURCEFUL: Continually invest in our legal, IT, construction disbursement, and 1031 groups. COLLABORATIVE: Build relationships with our clients to provide networking, business planning and marketing support. For more information, visit our website at www.ltgc.com.
Tickets to the 2015 Challenge Event AVAILABLE NOW via 2015 NAIOP SPONSORSHIPS!
Additional Tickets & Tables Available in February 2015! Visit naiop-colorado.org for details.