Team bests five other schools in NAIOP University Challenge
MILWAUKEE – A team of Marquette University real estate students from the College of Business Administration took first-place honors at the NAIOP Minnesota University Challenge regional case competition earlier this month. The students bested teams from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Minnesota, St. Cloud State University, the University of St. Thomas and the University of Northern Iowa. The Marquette team won $1,000 and the right to host the traveling trophy for the next year.
NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, is the leading organization for developers, owners and related professionals in office, industrial and mixed-use real estate. The Minnesota chapter each year hosts the university case competition, in which student teams pitch commercial real estate development plans for a specific site. This year’s site was a hotel and restaurant property parcel next to the University of Minnesota TCF Bank football stadium in Minneapolis, adjacent to a new light-rail stop.
The Marquette team, which comprised Luke Hammer, Tom Jahnke, Michael Leon and Meg Murphy, proposed a dual-brand, single-flag hotel with separate entrances and three retailers connected to the lobby, as well as an 800-plus stall automated parking structure. In their remarks, the judges specifically mentioned the quality of the students’ written report, the feasibility of their project idea and their poise during the presentation.
“The team did a tremendous job of coming together as a group and taking a risk with their idea,” said Andy Hunt, associate director of Marquette’s Center for Real Estate. “Their proposal just makes sense given this site, and they did a terrific job of researching their idea with many outside professionals.”
Marquette students prepare for case competitions as part of the Advanced Real Estate Analysis course, taught by adjunct instructor Kris O’Meara. A second Marquette team recently took second place in the Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation Midwest Real Estate Challenge in Chicago.