This year’s Real Estate Development Studio course was once again run in conjunction with the Pacific Northwest NAIOP Real Estate Challenge. Our team of twelve students competed against students from the University of British Columbia to craft a development proposal for a portion of the original Rainier Brewery site located in the Georgetown Neighborhood of Seattle and owned by Sabey Properties. The competition focused on redeveloping the portion of the site containing the 100+ year old Malt House Building. It was an extremely challenging site due to the functionally obsolete nature of the space, high costs to modify the existing improvements, and constraints imposed by zoning, building code, and historic preservation regulations.
Our students came up with an innovative strategy to redevelop the site into a mixed-use property including a Brew Hall and a large self-storage component, which their research revealed was the only use capable of generating an acceptable financial return on the site. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to convince the judges that their proposal best met Sabey’s criteria – and UBC was declared the winner of the competition and awarded the Bob Filley NAIOP Cup. Nonetheless, Al Levine and I are both proud of the effort the team put forth this year and would like to thank all those who gave advice and feedback to the students. We will do our best to bring the Cup back to UW next year!