For the third time this year, students from York’s Schulich School of Business have scored a first place win at a real estate competition. The hat trick was sealed when a team of MBA students won the 2012 MIT Commercial Real Estate Case Competition in Boston last week.
Schulich MBA candidates Phil Baron, Luke Chisholm and Max Vo, and Wes Myles, a candidate for a post-MBA diploma in advanced management, were the first winners of the Kent Roberts Trophy, an 80-pound bronze beaver trophy commissioned and donated by the MIT Center for Real Estate Class of ’87 in memory of their classmate, Kent Roberts, as well as a $5,000 cash prize.
Schulich student Wes Myles (right) accepts the Kent Roberts Trophy at the MIT Commercial Real Estate Case Competition. Photo by Sue K. Photography, 2012, USA
A team from Columbia University took second place and a team from Dartmouth took third place in this year’s CASE competition, Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) annual graduate real estate case competition hosted and sponsored by the school’s alumni association.
The Schulich students competed against teams from 29 top-ranked schools around the world, including MIT, Stern, Kellogg, Cornell, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology and Yale.
“This competition has special meaning for me,” said James McKellar, the academic director of Schulich’s Real Property Program, who was the founding director of the MIT Center for Real Estate, which offered the world’s first master’s of science in real estate development. “The Kent Roberts Trophy is named in honour of one of my students when I was at MIT. Sadly, Kent Roberts died from cancer late last year.”
In the MIT CASE competition, teams analyzed and underwrote a mixed-use development proposal for a portion of a prominent 16-acre parcel known as Seawall Lot 337, along with Pier 48, an approximately five-acre pier located in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood. The site is controlled by the San Francisco Giants on a land lease and is currently in the permitting process with the San Francisco Port Authority and the City of San Francisco.
During the first round of the competition, 16 senior real estate professionals analyzed and scored the written proposals. Twelve teams emerged as semi-finalists and were invited to pitch their proposals in Boston the morning of April 20 to a live panel of distinguished real estate developers and investors. Schulich, Columbia and Dartmouth emerged as finalists.
To make things even more interesting, the finalist teams from Schulich, Columbia and Dartmouth faced a new set of judges: Heather Hohenthal of TA Associates Realty, Don Briggs of Federal Realty, Hans Nordby of CoStar PPR Group and Mats Johansson of Skanska, along with Phil Williamson of the San Francisco Port Authority and Jack Bair of the San Francisco Giants, representatives from the landowner and developer of the site.
“We received some very creative and highly technical proposals that thoroughly impressed our panel of judges,” said Mike Tilford, co-chair of this year’s CASE. “After winning their respective semi-heats, the finalist teams had to regroup in less than three hours to present before a live audience of 300 attendees.”
The beaver is the official mascot for MIT and the Bronze Beaver statue is the highest honour the MIT Alumni Association can bestow. The trophy resides each year with the winning school and is kept until next year’s CASE competition commences.
The MIT CASE competition marks Schulich’s second international real estate competition win this month. On April 13, a Schulich graduate team made up of Amber Lam, Maxwell Vo, Anastasia Malina and Sarah Hsu competed against 29 other teams from leading North American business schools to win the ARGUS Software University Challenge in Houston, Texas.
In March, Schulich students presented the winning proposal to a team of leading real estate practitioners at the Developers’ Den competition.