Click here to view photos from the event.
Click here for brief video about The Challenge.
University of California, Berkeley’s Hass Business School team, Berkeley Consulting Group, took home bragging rights, the coveted James W. Brecht Memorial Golden Shovel, and a $2,000 check for Challenge for Charity, compliments of Mechanics Bank at NAIOP SFBA’s 29th annual Cal-Stanford Real Estate Challenge Luncheon. The event, which was held on Wednesday, April 25th at the Four Seasons in San Francisco, attracted a sold out crowd of over 300. Chapter leadership was extremely proud to welcome the Honorable Lily Mei, Mayor of Fremont and executives from BART representing this year’s site sponsors.
The Challenge, which plays upon the legendary Cal-Stanford rivalry, 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 the teams sunk their teeth into the formidable task of creating a plan for development of the Warm Springs/South Fremont BART station. The 34-acre site encompasses the BART station with an existing public art rotunda and a massive 2,000 car surface parking lot. The area is already experiencing a significant transition with active residential developments encircling it and a new Tesla plant to the south. Teams were charged with devising a plan to realize BART’s goals of increasing reverse ridership and generating non-rider revenues, as well as the The City of Fremont’s vision of transforming the property into a major job generating hub with thriving commercial and retail tenants.
Fremont is proud to have co-sponsored this year’s NAIOP Golden Shovel challenge in partnership with BART. The thoughtful analysis and creative strategies from both the Cal and Stanford teams bring to life what’s possible on the Warm Springs BART station site in the heart of Fremont’s Innovation District. A big congratulations to each team for completing this rigorous project, which serves as the finest example of academia tackling real-world projects and issues.
~ Mayor Lily Mei, City of Fremont
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 18th year as luncheon Master of Ceremonies. Williams was supported by returning Co-Chairs and Challenge alumni, Lauren Pressman, Director of Investments at Hillspire, Lauren Young, Managing Director, Chief Risk Officer and Chief Compliance Officer at PCCP, LLC. The committee added a third Co-Chair this year, Alexandra Stoelzle, Director of Development and Land Planning at Kilroy Realty Corporation. Stoelzle, who is also an alumnus of the competition, will take over for Young when she transitions to her new role as Chapter President next year.
This year’s esteemed jury was Chaired by Awais Mughal, Partner, Harvest Properties and included:
Melinda Ellis Evers, Co-Founder and Managing Principal, Ellis Partners LLC
Michael Mulligan, Vice President, Real Estate Industries Group, Mechanics Bank
Rosanna Russell, Real Estate Director, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
Tamsen Plume, Partner, Holland & Knight
Paul Stein, Managing Partner, SKS
Coaching the Cal team to victory in his inaugural year was Bill Falik, Managing Partner of Westpark Community Builders. The team included students Peter Fritz, Mark Trainer, Mathew Hines, Breck Baird and Robert Kelly who delivered a masterful presentation of their concept, IGNITE: Warm Springs, a mixed-use innovation campus featuring incubators and focusing on life sciences and autonomous vehicle start-ups and partnerships with educational institutions. The proposal, which provided a series of potential development phases designed to give the sponsors maximum flexibility, also included supporting retail and hospitality uses and prime transit connectivity. Impressively, they made their case for demand by securing letters of interest from both The California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3) and Ohlone College. The deal involved forming a joint powers authority between BART and the City of Fremont and a projected 99-year ground lease NPV of $76 million, increased daily BART ridership of over 3,900 and an annual ridership increase of $6.1 million.
Coached by Drew Hudacek, Chief Investment Officer, Development Properties at Sares Regis, the Stanford team, Treemont Partners, gave Cal a run for their money with a solid presentation of their concept: Silicon Shores, an office, R&D and boutique retail development. Team members included Ben Draa, Nathan Lamb, Andy Dohmann, Steven Haymore and Jim Yu. The group took a fascinating, albeit decidedly riskier, approach which centered around a large-scale automated parking facility to maximize leasable square footage.