ATHENS, Ga. – A team of MBA students from the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business earned state bragging rights and $5,000 in scholarship money by winning a real estate case competition sponsored by the Georgia chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP).
The team of five students from the Terry College presented the best property re-development plan to judges at the 11th annual NAIOP School Challenge, held April 24 in Atlanta.
In addition to UGA, teams from Emory University, Georgia State University, Georgia Tech and Kennesaw State University were given the same scenario: Propose a re-development plan for a 20-acre parcel of land located in Atlanta’s northern perimeter that is currently being underutilized as Class C office space.
The UGA team recommended a three-phase mixed-use development that included office space and multi-family residential units in the initial phase, with the residential portion being sold to another party specializing in residential properties. The equity from the sale would then be used to finance the third phase of office and retail space.
“The multi-phased concept was so appealing and the research so thoroughly complete that the judges and the audience really bought into the idea,” said real estate professor David Downs, the team’s faculty advisor. “By the time the team asked for go-ahead approval in the presentation phase of the competition, they had a room full of supporters.”
“What makes this competition so valuable to the students is the access we had to real estate professionals in Atlanta,” said Terry MBA team member Craig Stipes. “They always made time for us. And they were great about giving us reactions to our proposal that we could incorporate into our strategy.”
UGA last won the NAIOP School Challenge in 2001, and this year’s team was determined to recapture the coveted trophy – a chrome-plated shovel engraved with each year’s winner. Georgia State University was this year’s runner-up.
The professional advisors for the Terry College team were Maranda Walker and Greg Haynes, both UGA alumni now working for CB Richard Ellis in Atlanta. David Downs has served as the NAIOP team’s faculty advisor for the past eight years and coached several winning teams. He is leaving the Terry College after this school year to accept the Alfred L. Blake Chair of Real Estate at Virginia Commonwealth University.
The team members are Brody Glenn of Greenville, S.C.; Luis Imery, an international student from Venezuela; Craig Stipes of Blacksburg, Va.; Meredith Taylor of Atlanta; and Eric Vannier of Forsyth, Ill.