Stanford University Team Continues Its Reign as Golden Shovel Champions

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Stanford team wins NAIOP-SFBA's Annual Real Estate Challenge with their new vision for San Francisco's Brooks Hall and Civic Center Plaza.

Established in 1990, this annual Real Estate Challenge allows graduate students from Stanford University and UC Berkeley the opportunity to get hands-on real estate experience.

Celebrating 25 years of competition, the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of NAIOP hosted its Annual Real Estate Challenge on May 7, 2014 at the Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco. Winning for the second year in a row, was Stanford University.

This year's Golden Shovel teams, Stanford's "Five Trees" and UC Berkeley’s "Golden Gate Bear Advisors," were given the academic challenge of proposing a new vision for San Francisco’s Brooks Hall and Civic Center Plaza. Represented by Virginia Calkins (MBA ’15), Carrie Denning (MBA ’15), Anthony Gonzalez (MBA ’14), Rodrigo Juarez (MBA ’15), Grace Stephens (MS Civil Eng ’14), and their advisor, Stephen Koch of Resource Real Estate Group, Five Trees team's key drivers in developing their proposal were the site’s long standing history as a center for civic importance, protest, and celebration; the changes of the surrounding neighborhoods and those who live and work in the area; as well as the diversity of the citizens and aspirations of the City as a whole. Their analysis of the current and future needs of the site, resulted in a proposal for the Civic Center Bazaar, which Five Trees believes to be “…a fundamentally inclusive space, with a hybrid program that gathers people through food and the arts.”

Five Trees’ winning proposal included a grocery store for residents and daytime employees, an open-air ethnic food bazaar that draws upon the culinary talents of the San Francisco Bay Area, and an outdoor performance venue that offers a stage for professional artists and musicians, as well as serving as an educational resource for student groups. In addition to supporting local food and arts, Five Trees’ proposal also included reducing car traffic and increasing safety for cyclists and walkers with plant-filled medians and grass pavers that extend onto Fulton Street, between the Library and Asian Art Museum. The Civic Center Bazaar is planned to be active during all hours of the day and into the night, and will “operate at a human scale, breaking down formality in favor of improvisation and inclusion.”

Established in 1990, the Challenge allows graduate students from Stanford University Graduate School of Business and UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business the opportunity to get hands-on real estate experience. Every year, the teams are assigned a project site and are given just 60 days to research and come up with a development proposal for best use, design, financing and marketing. A select panel of jurors decides upon the winning team. The 2014 jury panel included, Cameron Falconer, Hines; Cathy Allor, Northwestern Mutual; Cathy Greenwold, TMG; Drew Hudacek, Sares Regis Group (SRGNC); Harry O’Brien, Coblentz Patch; and David Messing, Mechanics Bank. The winning team is awarded the James W. Brecht Memorial Golden Shovel, which they get to defend at the next Challenge, as well as a check for $2,000 from Mechanics Bank toward the school’s Challenge for Charity team.

About NAIOP:

NAIOP was founded in 1967 and is comprised 52 chapters, representing more than 15,000 members, working together to advance responsible commercial real estate development and advocate for effective public policy. The San Francisco Bay Area Chapter was founded in 1977 and serves eight of the nine Bay Area Counties: San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Sonoma, Napa, San Mateo, and Solano. Membership is comprised of the Bay Area’s leading owner/developers and a wide variety of service providers. The chapter offers a full calendar of educational, social and networking events for its almost 400 members.

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