28th Annual Real Estate Challenge – Winner

Stanford Team Takes Home Golden Shovel at the 28th Annual Cal-Stanford Real Estate Challenge

The Stanford University Graduate School of Business team, Build Cardinal, took home the coveted James W. Brecht Memorial Golden Shovel and a $2,000 check for Challenge 4 Charity compliments of Mechanics Bank at NAIOP SFBA’s 28th annual Cal-Stanford Real Estate Challenge Luncheon on Tuesday, April 25th.  The fun and lively event, which plays upon the legendary Cal-Stanford rivalry, was held at the InterContinental Hotel in San Francisco and drew a record crowd with over 400 members and guests in attendance. This year’s site sponsor, The City of San Bruno, embraced the challenge whole heartedly and came out in force as well with The Honorable Jim Ruane, Mayor of San Bruno, leading a large delegation of city staff.

The Challenge, which was established in 1990, is a unique program designed to give graduate students hands-on experience in real estate development. The luncheon presentations are the last stop in an intensive ten-week journey in which teams tackle a complex development project and engage with a large number of real estate professionals for guidance and mentoring along the way.

This year’s development site was an entire block in downtown San Bruno bounded by San Mateo Avenue to the West, Angus Avenue to the North, Mastick Ave to the East and Sylvan Avenue to the South.  The study area included both parcels that are privately owned in addition to two city parking lots.  The site is within the area covered by the Transit Corridors Plan (TCP) adopted by the City of San Bruno in 2013 to promote mixed-use transit-oriented developments in downtown San Bruno.

Challenge Chairman Dennis Williams, Managing Director at Northmarq Capital, who has served in a leadership role since 1992, once again lead the entire process and was back by popular demand for his 17th year as luncheon Master of Ceremonies.  Williams was supported by Co-Chairs Lauren Pressman, Director of Investments at Hillspire and Lauren Young, Managing Director, Chief Risk Officer and Chief Compliance Officer at PCCP, LLC

This year’s esteemed jury included:
Chair, Melinda Ellis Evers, Co-Founder and Managing Principal, Ellis Partners LLC
Cathy Greenwold, Vice Chair, Investments, TMG Partners
Awais Mughal, Partner, Harvest Properties
Rosanna Russell, Real Estate Director, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
Scott Stafford, Co-Founder and Principal, Strada Investment Group
Marc Thompson, Senior Vice President and Manager, Real Estate Industries Group, Mechanics Bank

In announcing the results Evers remarked that it was a difficult decision because there were pearls of wisdom embedded in both proposals.  She commented that the hard work and ingenuity of the students resulted in the City adding several new tools to their toolkit for eventual development of the site.

Coached by Drew Hudacek, Chief Investment Officer, Development Properties at Sares Regis, the Build Cardinal’s winning proposal was praised by the jury for its creativity as well as its strong fundamentals.  Their concept focused on meeting the City’s goal of activating the downtown and with a creative mixed-use approach featuring a micro-unit residential rental community with a Ferry Building inspired food hall, a town square and a significant number of parking spaces. The deal involved forming a land contribution partnership with the City and projected a return on costs of 6.2%, a levered IRR of 15.2% and an NPV of $15.6 million.

Craig Davey, Managing Partner at Diablo Wealth Management, LLC, coached the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business team, Piedmont Partners who also presented a compelling proposal.  In addition to market rate residential rental units, and ample parking their concept also included ground floor retail, a food hall, a central plaza and a green roof.

Click here for a link to the Stanford Team Proposal.

Click here for a link to the Cal Team Proposal.

Click here for the San Francisco Business Time’s article about the event. See the photos