November 21, 2007

UCLA Anderson team with the NAIOP Silver ShovelLOS ANGELES - Beating out cross-town rival USC, a team of students representing UCLA Anderson School of Management walked away with the Silver Shovel award Thursday night at the 2007 USC vs. UCLA Real Estate Challenge held at USC’s Galen Center.  Presented by the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP), this annual event showcases the talents and creativity of the next generation of real estate leaders by posing a specific real estate case challenge to each school team.

“We are pleased to partner with NAIOP and extraordinarily proud of our winning team,” said Tim Kawahara, executive director of the Richard S. Ziman Center for Real Estate at UCLA Anderson.  “Beyond bringing the Silver Shovel back to UCLA, the competition provided the students with an opportunity to work comprehensively on a real-life real estate project - an intensive experience that will serve them well for years to come.”

This year, the two teams were asked to examine The Campus at Playa Vista, a 64-acre office project located at the site of the historic Howard Hughes aircraft facility, and determine the highest and best use of the project’s 575,000 square feet of existing historical buildings.  The structures, which date back to the 1940s and 1950s, include the famous Spruce Goose Hanger.  The UCLA Anderson team, consisting of four second-year MBA students, Adam Horowitz, Scott Kend, Tyler Morris and Britta Tracy, and one UCLA architecture student, Ian Ream, focused its efforts on satisfying the needs of the key stakeholders in the project: users, investors and the community.

The dual focus on low-cost design and community benefit is what set the UCLA Anderson team’s proposal apart from their competition.  The team worked hard to develop a design that would be financially viable for both operators and investors, while also being attentive to the community.  Not only did the team incorporate a host of sustainable design features, but their overall development integrates well into the rich, mixed-use environment of Playa Vista, providing a strong tenant base for surrounding retail entities and additional job growth opportunities.

“The team was very mindful of the sensitive entitlement climate in Playa Vista, the competitive market for soundstages, and the current credit crunch,” said Paul Habibi, UCLA Anderson lecturer and team coach.  “I am extremely proud off what these students have accomplished and hope they will inspire future UCLA students who participate in the NAIOP Challenge.”

Utilizing the natural layout of the historic buildings, the UCLA Anderson team divided their development proposal into three distinct neighborhoods or “lots” (North, South and East) and penned their project Hercules Studios.  The North lot, flanked by the massive Spruce Goose Hanger, comprises four soundstages, while the South lot combines additional soundstages with production office space.  The East lot provides creative office space for entertainment and production-related tenants.  All of the lot designs integrate three shared objectives: a) to achieve superior returns by adopting a low-cost strategy b) to provide flexibility by diversifying tenant base, and c) to maintain the historical integrity of existing buildings.        
The UCLA Anderson team was very pragmatic in their approach to the development challenge, using every resource available and tracking down all relevant data.  Sharing a strong work ethic and a sense of humor, the team devoted countless hours in preparation for the competition.  They even attempted to build a mock-up of their design using Gaffer Tape.  Presenting to an esteemed panel of judges and professionals from the local real estate community, the team knew their proposal would have to make an impression.              

“We could not have done this without the tremendous support of the Anderson community,” said UCLA team member Scott Kend.  “Dozens of busy and talented people opened their schedules to us at a moment’s notice and provided us with the resources we needed to do our job well.  They are one of the major reasons behind our success, and it was an honor to bring the Silver Shovel home for them.”  

In its tenth year, the NAIOP USC vs. UCLA Real Estate Challenge celebrates the rivalry between the two schools, but more importantly, the competition draws attention to the robust real estate programs at both USC and UCLA, and the next generation of real estate talent.  The winning team is awarded the Silver Shovel, a silver shovel inscribed with all past winners, and a $5000 cash prize.  The UCLA Anderson team donated their cash prize to Challenge for Charity, the Anderson School’s largest charitable organization.  UCLA last won the award in 2004. 

About UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate
The Richard S. Ziman Center for Real Estate, a joint center of the UCLA Anderson School of Management and the UCLA School of Law, was formed with a mandate to create and administer UCLA’s activities surrounding the topic of real estate.  The mission of the Center is to advance thought leadership in the field of real estate by generating influential research, educating the next generation of leaders, and providing meaningful forums for industry professionals and policymakers.  Through its various programs and activities, the Center employs an interdisciplinary and global approach to addressing the most critical real estate challenges facing our society today and in the future.

About UCLA Anderson School of Management
UCLA Anderson School of Management, established in 1935, is regarded among the very best business schools in the world.  UCLA Anderson faculty are ranked #1 in "Intellectual Capital" by BusinessWeek and are renowned for their teaching excellence and research in advancing management thinking.  Each year, UCLA Anderson provides management education to more than 1,600 students enrolled in MBA, Executive MBA, Fully-Employed MBA and doctoral programs, and to more than 2,000 professional managers through executive education programs.  Combining highly selective admissions, varied and innovative learning programs, and a world-wide network of 35,000 alumni, UCLA Anderson develops and prepares global leaders.

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