April 19, 2004
Real Estate Challenge VII
Team UCLA Anderson Defeats USC Marshall School in the Battle To Reimagine Grand Avenue
Los Angeles — On April 7, 2004, the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) sponsored the 7th Annual Real Estate Challenge at the Cathedral Center in Downtown Los Angeles. UCLA Anderson School of Management students won the Challenge over MBA students at cross-town rival USC Marshall School of Business and took home the highly coveted Silver Shovel. With this win, UCLA Anderson is closing the gap with three wins compared to USC Marshall School’s four.
Each year the task asked of both teams is different. This year, their job was to present development plans for improving four parcels on or adjacent to Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles with a mixed-use, high-density development, urban renewal project. Their main goal is to create a landmark that will establish Grand Avenue as the heart and soul of a vibrant and exciting downtown.
UCLA Anderson presented a winning project that they called “The Metronome.” This theme originated as their main focus for Grand Avenue is centered around music and how it could bring the cultural richness back into the community. The idea is to give many diverse backgrounds a common ground in which they can enjoy rich entertainment and music industry heritage. The proposed development will become a 24/7 attraction for local constituents and residents and visitors in Southern California at large. By day it would be a thriving commercial center with shops and businesses; by night a bustling entertainment node that complements Downtown’s exciting and eclectic nighttime scene. The total project has an estimated cost of $630M and would generate revenues of $780M, which will deliver superior equity to investors and will compensate the City and County of Los Angeles for their land parcels.
The two business teams were given the project topic in January and each team was asked to put together a comprehensive package that would be presented to the panel of judges a week before the Challenge, with the second round of questions asked at the actual Challenge Event. Students are then scored in three different areas: written presentation, in-depth oral presentation to the judges and audience presentation.
The Real Estate Challenge first started in northern California between two other rival business schools, Stanford and University of California, Berkeley. It was only in 1997 that the idea was presented to UCLA Anderson and USC Marshall School, which is when the Annual UCLA-USC Real Estate Challenge was born. Since then the competition has only grown fiercer. The Challenge has covered topics like the impact of LAX expansion on Hawthorne Municipal Airport, the opportunity for development along the Figueroa Corridor due to the new Staples Center, and last year’s task to select a piece of Downtown LA to revitalize.
UCLA Anderson School of Management and USC’s Marshall School of Business both formed teams of five students each. UCLA Anderson was lead by team captain Rick Bashore of Ticor Title Company and USC Marshall School was guided by Paul Mc Donald of First American Title Insurance Company. The winning team from UCLA Anderson was made up of five very creative minds: Amir Tehrani, Mattan Lurie, Robert Shujman, Dan Mahoney and Laurie Smith. Their NAIOP supervisor was Stephen Dietrich, a lecturer in Entrepreneurial Real Estate Development at UCLA Anderson.