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Team “Capital City Investment Group,” consisting of four Columbia Business School students, placed second in the invitation-only UNC Real Estate Development Challenge held on February 14-15 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. In doing so, they improved upon the School’s third-place a year ago and continued the momentum following the School’s victory at the National Real Estate Challenge at Austin in the fall.
Jovaun Boyd ’14, Zulekha Inayat ’13, Palmer McArthur ’14, and Scott Meyer ’14 represented Columbia on the case “Houston, We Have an Opportunity,” in which they sought to develop the highest and best use for a 136-acre brownfield site in Houston’s East End district that they proposed to purchase from the project sponsor. Their development plan recommended a phased, mixed-use approach beginning with retail, affordable housing, and open-space components to drive demand to the up-and-coming area. Subsequent phases would include market-rate residential units, additional retail, and, later, office and hotel components.
The Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate supported the students’ travel to the competition after they were selected through auditions within the School’s Real Estate Association. Judges from 13 prominent companies, including the site’s current owner, determined the placements. Second place came with a $5,000 award.
Hosted by the Center for Real Estate Development at Kenan-Flagler Business School, the UNC Real Estate Development Challenge invites 16 teams from the United States and Europe’s top-20 MBA programs to compete. This annual event is the first business school case competition to focus solely on real estate development.