For six weeks Master’s in Real Estate students Simon Aftalion, Pete Armstrong, Brian Hill, Edith Petrovics and Bryan Sobonya have been balancing work, life and school work as well as putting in an extra 8-12 hours a week working on their team’s submission to the NAIOP Maryland/DC Intercollegiate Real Estate Case Competition. That hard work paid off on April 12 when the team was announced the winner of the competition.

The 2012 Capital Challenge focused on a high profile real estate project in the Washington, DC area. The site for this year’s Capital Challenge was the former Greyhound bus station, located on First Street, NE between K and L streets. Teams competed in the challenge from Georgetown, University of Maryland, American University and Johns Hopkins and were assigned the same case study. The teams were then tasked with developing an investment strategy that maximizes the value of the property while taking into account factors such as economic and local market conditions, development and land uses, cost evaluations and economic returns as well as regulatory constraints and local community interests. The plan was required to maximize the potential of the property from both a financial and feasibility standpoint.

“The Challenge is a great opportunity for students to really apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to a real-world project,” said John Kirkland, full-time real estate faculty and the students’ advisor for the project, “The students really had to think about all of the factors and challenges that could impact the development of the site and create a plan for its highest and best use.” In addition to guidance by the faculty advisor, the students received 8 hours of consultation assistance from companies such as Boston Properties, Tishman, Cooper Carry, LSA, EagleBank and Cassidy Turley.

Teams submitted a comprehensive written analysis and gave a 30 minute presentation to discuss their analysis and recommendations to a panel of judges from major industry firms. The Georgetown team’s proposal, titled NoMART: A More Creative Way to Live and Work, featured a mixed-use project that included Class-A office, rental apartments and retail.  The proposal sought to enhance the surrounding area by introducing the concept of the “24/7” live, work, and play environment.  It also incorporated LEED certified building space as well as cultural elements to enhance the sustainability and visual appeal of the buildings. The team’s proposal successfully delivered risk-adjusted returns in an attractive scheme that will be executable in the current economic environment.  As the winners of the challenge, the team received a cash prize of $10,000.

For more information on the NAIOP Maryland/DC Capital Challenge, click here.