MRED students win Northwest NAIOP competition

 PSU MRED students

(From left) PSU MRED students Jon Legarza, Jerome Portis, Edyta Bajena, Anthony Carnivale, Deniz Arac, Michael Oluwole, Jenny Volbeda, Eric Ziegler and Professor Jerry Johnson.

Each winter and summer, Master of Real Estate Development (MRED) students compete in the Northwest NAIOP Competition. This entails creating a development plan for a property site in the Portland or Seattle area and competing against other universities. Judging consisted of two rounds, as explained by Gerard Mildner, academic director for the Center for Real Estate at PSU:

“The students submitted their development proposals in advance, so a team of real estate experts reviewed the assumptions within those reports, and gave advice to the panel of judges, who were also real estate professionals. On the day of the event, each team made a PowerPoint presentation and then answered detailed questions from the panel. There were formulas for how each element should affect the judging, but ultimately the panel had to choose one team to win.”

This year, PSU MRED students competed against University of British Columbia and University of Washington. And they won!

Development plan: Bell V

Their development plan focused on a proposal for Merlino Properties’ 5th and Bell site, also known as Bell V, a mixed-use hotel and multifamily building located in Belltown, a downtown Seattle neighborhood.

 Digital model of Bell V building
Digital model of Bell V building

Multifamily building: A building to target lifestyle renters, “tenants who choose to rent, despite having enough wealth to own.” And young professionals and students.
Hotel: Temporary lodging for business travelers and tourists.

Building features

Some of the features at this site include golf simulators in the “fun room,” a rooftop terrace with a hot tub, a work lounge, a dog playground, a sauna… Need I say more? And when can I move in?

Building features (from left) outdoor patio, outdoor swimming area and work space

The team also included an extensive list of sustainability features like a motion-sensor lighting system and a “heating and cooling system programmed to turn off automatically when no one is present.” And of course, Bell V will be constructed with environmentally friendly and low VOC materials to “achieve a level of sustainability equivalent to that of LEED Platinum.”

The full proposal includes the development concept, market analysis, conceptual design, economic analysis, capital and operations budget and management plan.

What’s next for the winning team?

The team attributes their success to the rigorous MRED coursework, along with the support of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) and the Building and Owners Management Association BOMA). Jon Legarza, an MRED student on the winning team explained that the Merlino family (owners of the property) have “some fantastic candidates from our PSU team if they choose to move forward with the project.” Although the project is not confirmed, the future is promising.

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