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Cal Team Wins the 33rd Annual NAIOP SFBA Cal-Stanford Real Estate Challenge

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NAIOP San Francisco Bay Area Chapter (NAIOP SFBA) the premiere commercial real estate development association is proud to announce that the Cal team, Axe Associates, has won the organization’s 33rd Annual Real Estate Challenge.

The Real Estate Challenge, NAIOP SFBA’s version of the Big Game, is a real estate development competition between legendary rivals Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley (Cal). The unique program is designed to give graduate students hands-on experience in real estate development. Teams are charged with devising and successfully pitching a solution to a complex real-world real estate scenario. Participants embark on an intensive ten-week journey in which they engage with a large number of project sponsor representatives and city officials as well as real estate industry professionals for guidance and mentoring along the way. 

Coaching the Cal team to victory was Bill Falik, Managing Partner, Westpark Communities. Team members included Brent Clark; Josh Kasten; Kyle Deshon; Daniel Gorczyca and Blaine Tehaney. In addition to bragging rights, the team took home the coveted James W. Brecht Memorial Golden Shovel and a $2,000 check for charity compliments of Mechanics Bank at NAIOP SFBA’s annual Cal-Stanford Real Estate Challenge Luncheon on April 28th. 

This year’s Site Sponsor was The City of Sausalito in partnership with Carlito Berg of Berg Holdings. Teams were tasked with determining the highest and best use of three sites on Caledonia Street while creating a bold vision for solving the some of City’s toughest problems including: retaining community identity, slowing and adapting to climate change, meeting City housing needs per the Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA), fostering equity and inclusion, building a resilient economy, and creating revenues to help offset the current $2M budget deficit.

The Cal team impressed the jury with The Catalyst, an innovative proposal which includes a Caledonia Street Corridor Specific Plan with two community serving anchors, Catalyst Square and Sausalito Civic Center. Catalyst Square consists of 223 units of LEED Platinum Multifamily with 149 market rate condos and 74 affordable senior rental units. Additionally, the project includes a 16,000 sf Public Market and 10,000 sf library. Sausalito Civic Center features a new LEED Platinum Mass Timber City Hall and a Civic Plaza.

The deal delivers $81 million in incremental public value over 10 years and includes multiple funding mechanisms including impact fees, an assessment district and transferable development rights (TDRs). Tax revenues are estimated at $10 million. Projected developer returns include a 19.83% IRR, yield on cost of 27% and an equity multiple of 1.73x.

The Stanford Team, Redwood Development Partners, was coached by Todd Regonini, Sares Regis. Team members included Carly Lincenberg; Alexander Michalatos; Andrei Mochynsky; Rae Oakley and Henry Robson. Their concept, The Neighborhood, featured transforming City Hall and creating robust community amenities and programing as well as building a 104-unit housing development with 24 townhomes, 40 market rate apartments and 40 affordable senior apartments. The deal would bring in $17.4M in upfront cash and generate approximately $700k in annual revenue. Particularly commendable was their vision for retaining the character of the beloved public facilities, a gentle increase in density to create housing in a manner likely palatable to neighbors, and their deep community engagement efforts.

“Congratulations to the Cal Team, you killed it! We are so grateful for your inspiration, creativity and hard work. Your community engagement was exemplary and a model for local government decision making,” said The Honorable Janelle Kellman, Mayor of Sausalito. “We were so fortunate to have two extremely talented teams helping us with a new perspective for change around sustainability, diversity, and long-term community benefits. Thank you and know that you are always welcome in Sausalito.” 

This year’s esteemed jury was chaired by Chris Birdwell, Pacific Union Company. Jury members included Michael Mulligan, Mechanics Bank; Amanda Monchamp; Monchamp Meldrum, LLP; Paul Stein, SKS Partners; Anne Stedler, City of Newark; and Alicia Estercamp Allbin, A Space Development, LLC.

NAIOP Real Estate Challenge Chairman Dennis Williams, Managing Director, Northmarq Capital, who has served in a leadership role since 1992, once again lead the process and was back by popular demand for his 21st year as luncheon Master of Ceremonies. Williams was supported by Co-Chairs including Alexandra Stoelzle, BCG Holdings; Anna Cole, Stockbridge; Alysia Vigil, Shorenstein Properties and Evelyn Weis, Calzada Capital Partners. Committee members include Lauren Pressman, Hillspire; Lauren Young, PCCP, LLC; Charlie McEachron, Drawbridge Realty.

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