2017 NAIOP Real Estate Challenge

January 30, 2017

MSRE 2017 Candidate Sean Durkin shares his thoughts on the NAIOP Real Estate Challenge. This unique competition is the framework for the Real Estate Development Studio, a course requirement for the development option in the MSRE curriculum.

The likely winning team debates potential layouts for the Translink site in Coquitlam, BC Disclosure: This picture is of the authors team

The likely winning team debates potential layouts for the Translink site in Coquitlam, BC Disclosure: This picture is of the authors team

This year’s NAIOP Real Estate Challenge takes University of Washington Runstad Center development-focused students to Coquitlam, British Columbia to compete against the Portland State University and University of British Columbia real estate development students.

The subject site, surrounded by heavy and light rail as well as a 20-terminal bus roundabout, is currently operated as a park & ride. It is owned by the Canadian government’s transit arm, TransLink, and is ripe for a re-imagination, the focus of the competition.  The challenge includes aspects of public and private collaboration, new development analysis and underwriting, phasing, costs of construction, market analysis and forecasting, and financial feasibility analyses.  Thanks to The Runstad Center, second year students have been well-educated in these aspects and will bring a diversity of ideas and work experience for a responsible, transit oriented, development. With foreign tax laws and market cycles, Greater Vancouver offers students an unfamiliar market to enthusiastically tackle.

Under the direction of Runstad professors Al Levine and Pike Oliver, students are responsible to gather and verify market data and site information in order to deliver an economically viable development project that will beautify the transit station and rider’s experiences, continue to offer park and ride potential, benefit the community, and attract a for-profit developer.

With UW being four-time victors of this 14-year development competition, competition is high amongst the class with three internal teams independently developing a plan of action. Students will vote on the most viable work and unite late in the quarter to all work on finalizing the design and deal structure that serves TransLink, an outside developer and the community best.

Are you on the Washington Chapter NAIOP email list?  Look for the blast email from Seattle’s NAIOP chapter to register for the Seattle March breakfast event where teams from each school will present their proposals and a winner will be announced.