Berkeley Wins the Golden Shovel

Bianca Doerschlag, Matt Tortorello, David Eisenman, Brynn McKiernan and Matt Anderson.

Editor's Note: Thank you to NAIOP for providing the excellent write-up below!

Cal Team Wins the 30th Annual NAIOP SFBA Cal-Stanford Real Estate Challenge for Second Consecutive Year

University of California, Berkeley’s team, Golden Bear Real Estate, took home bragging rights, the coveted James W. Brecht Memorial Golden Shovel and a $2,000 check for charity compliments of Mechanics Bank at NAIOP SFBA’s 30th annual Cal-Stanford Real Estate Challenge Luncheon. The event, which was held on Thursday, April 25th at the Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco attracted a sold-out crowd of over 400. 

The Challenge, which plays upon the legendary Cal-Stanford rivalry, is a unique program designed to give graduate students hands-on experience in real estate development. The luncheon presentations are the last stop in an intensive ten-week journey in which teams tackle a complex real-life development project and engage with a large number of city officials and real estate professionals for guidance and mentoring along the way. 

To celebrate the event’s milestone anniversary, the Chapter recognized Steve Chamberlin, Founder of Chamberlin Associates and Challenge Founder for the significant impact the extraordinary program has had on the Bay Area real estate community. They also presented an impressive video acknowledging the hundreds of students who have participated over the years, a large percentage of whom where launched into successful real estate careers and many were in attendance.

The City of San Jose served as this year’s site sponsor and provided the daunting task of creating a plan for an undeveloped 159-acre site located adjacent to Highway 237 and Zanker Road in North San Jose. Teams were charged with devising a plan to meet the City’s goals of maximizing revenue, creating mixed-income economic opportunities for its diverse population, while promoting the City’s environmental goals and vibrant culture.

Challenge Chairman Dennis Williams, Managing Director at Northmarq Capital, who has served in a leadership role since 1992, once again lead the entire process and was back by popular demand for his 19th year as luncheon Master of Ceremonies.  Williams was supported by returning Co-Chairs and Challenge alumni, Lauren Pressman, Director of Investments at Hillspire and Alexandra Stoelzle, Director of Development and Land Planning at Kilroy Realty Corporation.

This year’s esteemed jury was Chaired by Thomas Siewert, Partner, Terence J. Rose, Inc. and included:

  • Awais Mughal, Senior Vice President, Meridian Properties

  • Joe McCarthy, Vice President, SKS Partners

  • Michael Mulligan, Vice President, Real Estate Industries Group, Mechanics Bank

  • Rosanna Russell, Real Estate Director, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

  • Tamsen Plume, Partner, Holland & Knight

Coaching the Cal team to victory for the second year was Bill Falik, Managing Partner of Westpark Community Builders.  The team included students Matt Anderson, Bianca Doerschlag, David Eisenman, Brynn McKiernan and Matt Tortorello. They nailed the luncheon presentation (which accounts for 15% of the judging criteria) with Zanker Yards, a vertical i

ndustrial district estimated to deliver 14,474 jobs and comprise of 3 million square feet of industrial space, 2.7 million square feet of office, a 600 key hotel and 40 acres of open space.

The proposal, which outlined a three-phase development approach featured a cluster-based leasing strategy targeting tenants in the food distribution/agriculture, manufacturing, watertech/plant synergies, technology and medical office markets. They substantiated demand by securing LOI’s from an impressive list of 10 tenants including Sutter Health, Simplewater and Farm Ecology. The deal structure involved the City entering into a 99 year ground lease with a master developer to complete the initial phases with an option to complete all phases.  It  projected total tax and ground lease revenue to the City of $277 million and projected master developer returns including a levered IRR of 16.5%, return on costs of 6.6% and an all-in equity multiple of 2.82x. 

Coached by Drew Hudacek, Chief Investment Officer, Development Properties at Sares Regis, the Stanford team, Palm Drive Investment Partners, provided the Cal team with formidable competition.  They presented Urban Roots @ 237, a “farm to table for everyone” concept comprised of 2.9 million square feet of logistics, manufacturing, R&D and innovation economy space focused on AgTech and last mile ecommerce tenants. Team members included Saam Alikhani, Morgan Baer, Disha Bhaiya, Caleb Cragle and Paul Hayes.  Their financial strategy was sale to a master developer, and they wowed the crowd with LOI’s from Prologis and Overton Moore Properties leaving the audience in great suspense as the jury went off to deliberate. However, in the end Cal prevailed.

Go Bears!

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