ASU real estate development students put creativity to the test

Above: Last year’s MRED-REIAC/Rockefeller Group Challenge winning team, Spire Development, included (left to right) Kyle Trent, Anna Sepic, and Jay Van Tassell. (Photo by Carl Schultz) Business News | 23 Apr |

The 2017 winner was a mixed-use development at Dorsey Lane and Apache Boulevard in Tempe. It featured six separate parcels including a new school for the arts; a retail center at the NWC of Dorsey and Apache; retail/office space at the NEC corner of Dorsey and Apache; and three parcels of vacant City of Tempe land.

This year, the focus is on the Thunderbird School of Global Management campus in Glendale, Arizona. Now that Arizona State University is moving the school to downtown Phoenix, what will become of the 100-plus acre campus after it moves? 

How will this year’s winning team dazzle the judges with their solutions?

Three teams of graduating students from ASU’s W.P. Carey School of Business, Masters of Real Estate Development (MRED) program will compete for cash prizes of $1,000 per team member at the 5th annual REIAC/Rockefeller Group Challenge May 8 at Arizona Country Club, 5668 E. Orange Blossom Lane, in Phoenix.

The event is open to the public. Cost is $35 for non-REIAC members and $25 for students. Registration and networking begin at 4 p.m., followed by the program at 4:30 p.m. A networking mixer begins at 5:30 p.m. It includes hosted beverages and appetizers.

Each team is allotted 10 minutes to present a development solution for a storied piece of Arizona commercial real estate, followed by questions from the audience. Audience members will vote to choose the winning team after the presentations, awarding each winning team member a $1,000 check at the Challenge, up to $6,000.

“It is hard to believe this is already our fifth year supporting the annual MRED/REIAC/Rockefeller Group Challenge,” said Mark Singerman, President of the REIAC Southwest Chapter and Vice President/Regional Director-Arizona for The Rockefeller Group, the event’s title sponsor. “I think that the cash prize is welcomed, but it’s the bragging rights from winning this competition that has changed the dynamics for the entire MRED class.

“From the start of the academic year to their final synthesis project, one of the goals for each team is to be in the top three chosen to present to the REIAC Southwest membership and the public. This is a great way for all the participating teams to field questions and comments from experienced developers and investors. Everyone is a winner in this competition,” Singerman said.

Registration for the REIAC/Rockefeller Group Challenge is required. Register at  www.reiacsouthwest.org/event-2807536.

About REIAC

The Real Estate Investment Advisory Council (REIAC) was established as a nonprofit trade association to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, concerns and experiences among senior executives who conduct commercial real estate transactions. The invitation-only group limits its membership to senior-level executives at companies, who act as principals, and whose function is to develop, acquire, manage and/or finance commercial real estate. Institutional quality programs and peer-to-peer relationship-building opportunities have established REAIC’s reputation throughout the national real estate investment community as one of its premier associations. www.reiac.org

About MRED

In nine months, the W. P. Carey Master of Real Estate Development (MRED) prepares students to lead real development projects that are environmentally respectful, socially responsible, and artfully designed. The MRED program is transdisciplinary, aligning principled instruction with dynamic real-world application. MRED is a unique partnership between four highly regarded schools within Arizona State University:

• The W. P. Carey School of Business

• The Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law

• The Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

• The Del E. Webb School of Construction

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