Georgetown Real Estate Students Win Prestigious MIT Competition


A team of graduate students from the Real Estate master's program at the Georgetown School of Continuing Studies recently won the top prize in MIT's 2014 CASE Competition. This annual competition, hosted and organized by the Alumni Association of the MIT Center for Real Estate (AACRE), challenges teams to analyze a complex real-world development site.

The preliminary round, with 48 teams from around the world, took place on February 11, 2014 in Boston, MA. Semifinalists were invited to make their presentations at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in London on March 27, 2014. Georgetown and two other finalists - Harvard University and Columbia University - showcased their ideas before judges and a live audience at London City Hall on March 28, 2014 as part of the MIT Real Estate Forum.

About the Team

2014 Georgetown Case Team in London

The winning Georgetown team (from left to right) Nicole Snarski, Damon Orobona, Mark Schrieber and Jamie Minkler

The winning Georgetown team was comprised of Jamie Minkler, Damon Orobona, Mark Schrieber and Nicole Snarski, master's degree candidates at the Georgetown School of Continuing Studies.

"This was a great experience to test the skills we have learned in the Georgetown Real Estate program against other top real estate and business programs," said team member Damon Orobona. "Having been a finalist in the 2013 competition and now the winner of the 2014 competition, it is clear that Georgetown's Real Estate program prepares its students to successfully complete real estate projects in cities all across the globe."

Georgetown's proposal for the redevelopment of the London Television Centre site in Waterloo (the headquarters of ITV, one of UK's largest television networks) was favored over proposals by Harvard, Columbia, NYU, MIT, Cornell, Villanova, York University, Cambridge and Hong Kong Institute of Technology.

About the Competition

Unlike other competitions, CASE focuses on real estate acquisition, development programming and financial underwriting at the asset level. The competition, now in its fifth year, mimics the professional circumstances and assignments that students interested in real estate finance, acquisitions and development are likely to encounter after graduation.

Here's how it works:

  • Registered teams, comprised of no more than four graduate students, are sent information about a specific development site in the United Kingdom.
  • Teams have five days to submit a brief concept narrative (Letter Of Intent), including a bid price and development program for the site, the capital structure for the development venture, a fully-functional Excel-based financial model and a summary PowerPoint presentation.
  • Based on that information, a panel of judges selects 12 semifinalist teams to travel to London to compete in front of a host of judges and industry professionals.
  • Three teams are selected from the semi-finalists to advance to the final round and be judged by industry veterans in front of a live audience.

2014 Case team with award

Last year, the Georgetown real estate program took third place in the competition, which focused on the aging FBI headquarters in Washington, DC. To read the Washington Post article on that competition, click here.

About the Trophy

Visitors to the Georgetown School of Continuing Studies in downtown Washington, DC will soon be able to admire the unique and impressive Kent Roberts Trophy.

Contest rules stipulate that the trophy must be displayed in a place of honor and kept safe at all times.

The rules also state that the trophy itself should join in the celebration: "In keeping with Kent Robert's style and joie de vivre, when this trophy is presented and awarded to the winner of The CASE, the winners shall raise a glass of port and toast Kent's memory. Furthermore, the formal awarding of the trophy should be followed by a formal dinner, during which the trophy must:

  • Be placed in a position of honor at the head table.
  • Have placed in front of it a martini before dinner and a port after dinner.

You can read more about Kent Roberts and the trophy here.

"We are very proud of this group of students for winning the world's most respected real estate competition," said William Hudnut, executive director of the Georgetown real estate program. "Their achievement demonstrates a deep understanding of the global marketplace and we look forward to seeing the Kent Roberts trophy each day."

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