Dollinger MRED students win 20th NAIOP USC versus UCLA Real Estate Challenge

November 22, 2017

From left: Professor Christian Redfearn, Leah Mogabgab, Lindsey Mills, Walker Wood, Cutter MacLeod and Christopher Kovel (Photo by Tony Kawashima) More photos available on Flickr »

USC Price School of Public Policy Dollinger Master of Real Estate Development students Christopher Kovel, Cutter MacLeod, Lindsey Mills, Leah Mogabgab and Walker Wood took home the coveted Silver Shovel award in the 2017 NAIOP SoCal USC vs. UCLA Real Estate Challenge, held on Nov. 16.

The USC Dollinger MRED presents their proposal (Photo by Tony Kawashima)

USC Price Dollinger MRED student Lindsey Mills (Photo by Tony Kawashima)

The winning USC team with John “JJ” Jackson (Photo by Tony Kawashima)

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, Real Estate Challenge is a commercial real estate industry tradition bringing together graduate student teams from the Lusk Center for Real Estate at USC and the Ziman Center of Real Estate at UCLA. The event is a head-to-head case competition to determine the highest and best use for a unique land site. The competition was sponsored by NAIOP SoCal, a chapter of NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association.

This year’s challenge site encompassed eight acres of land at the corner of Maple and Douglas in El Segundo. The land is part of a 30-plus acre site, which contains four buildings totaling approximately 550,000 square feet, owned by a Hackman Capital affiliate. Acquired from Northrup Grumman, the property was part of the global security giant’s 84-acre office, manufacturing and warehouse complex. Hackman Capital Partners will be embarking on plans to convert the existing buildings, which are across from the Los Angeles Laker’s new practice facility and less than a mile from LAX International Airport, into a one-of-a-kind, creative-office campus.

The USC Sky Studios proposal described a project vision that would further transform and revitalize a key location for the city of El Segundo. The proposal further shared that the city is evolving from its roots as the aerospace capital of the world to one of the most sought after creative markets in Los Angeles. Drawing on the rich history and character of the site, the students proposed a state-of-the-art content and media campus to attract creatives to foster a dynamic environment. On its own, Sky Studios will provide one of the most unique spaces in all of Los Angeles in delivering multiple soundstages, an inspiring workplace and engaging amenities. In the context of Hackman Capital’s proposed office conversion and explosive growth in new forms of media, Sky Studios will act as the catalyst for the formation of the region’s newest creative epicenter.

The USC and UCLA five-person student teams presented their development ideas to an industry-leading panel of judges, who awarded points on the written and oral presentations to determine the winning team. The event, hosted by KNX anchor Frank Mottek, included a student presentation to the judges and live audience, as well as pre-game USC vs UCLA football commentary by former UCLA quarterback Cory Paus and former USC wide receiver John “JJ” Jackson.