Founding of the Chapter

Founded in 1977, the NAIOP San Francisco Bay Area chapter encompasses members from San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Marin and Sonoma Counties. Of these members, there is a strong representation of owner/developers and a wide array of service providers who cover the spectrum of real estate issues. The chapter’s mission is to support the Bay Area commercial real estate industry by proactively influencing legislative policy, providing superior educational events and fostering networking opportunities. The chapter is proud to have launched the first YPG (Young Professionals Group) yearlong educational program for Developing Leaders in 2013.

History of the Real Estate Challenge & Golden Shovel Award

The Real Estate Challenge was established in 1990 by Steve Chamberlin, a local developer and emeritus adjunct professor in real estate at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, to give graduate students hands-on experience in real estate development. Every year teams are assigned a project site and given just 60 days to come up with a development proposal. A select panel of jurors reviews both proposals in detail and chooses a winner after the final team presentations are presented at the annual NAIOP Real Estate Challenge luncheon, with hundreds of NAIOP members and Cal/Stanford alumni in attendance.

The winning team takes home the highly coveted prize and symbol of the Challenge, the James W. Brecht Memorial Golden Shovel, formerly known as “The Shovel. The winning team keeps the Golden Shovel for one year.


Year Winning Team Development Site
2023 Cal SF Market
2022 Cal City of Sausalito
2021 Stanford Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority
2020 Cal Justin-Siena High School, Napa
2019 Cal City of San Jose
2018 Cal BART / City of Fremont
2017 Stanford The City of San Bruno
2016 Stanford Prologis 245 South Spruce
2015 Cal Fort Mason, Pier 1
2014 Stanford Brooks Hall, San Francisco
2013 Stanford SFPUC, Millbrae
2012 Cal Balboa Reservoir
2011 Cal City of Livermore
2010 Cal Downtown Walnut Creek
2009 Cal Port of San Francisco, Piers 21-23
2008 Cal Port of San Francisco, Piers 90-94
2007 Stanford Solano County Fairgrounds
2006 Stanford Goodwill Industries, San Francisco
2005 Stanford The Villas Park Merced
2004 Stanford Goodwill Industries, San Jose
2003 Cal 8th and Brannan, San Francisco
2002 Cal Pacifica Site
2001 Cal Mare Island Legacy Partners’ Site
2000 Cal Port of San Francisco, Pier 70
1999 Stanford Union City BART
1998 Cal Spieker Sunnyvale
1997 Stanford Octel Headquarters
1996 Cal Hegenberger, Oakland
1995 Cal San Leandro BART
1994 Cal Hunter’s Point Naval Yard
1993 Stanford Santa Rosa Convention Center
1992 Stanford Oakland Rotunda
1991 Stanford Menlo Park Site
1990 Cal Port of Oakland