Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge to focus on RK Mechanical site in Stapleton

RK Mechanical Inc.’s Denver headquarters site in Stapleton will be the subject of this year’s Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge.

RMREC logoUniversity of Colorado and University of Denver graduate students will evaluate development opportunities for the site – less than a half-mile from the Central Park commuter rail station – and present them at the Thursday, May 3, event.

This year marks the Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge’s 16th year. The competition is hosted by Land Title Guarantee Co. and NAIOP Colorado, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association.

The RK Mechanical site consists of four parcels encompassing 14.97 acres at 3800 Xanthia St. The site, zoned CMU-30, is bordered by Xanthia to the west, 35th Avenue to the south, Yosemite Street to the east and Sand Creek to the north. It offers a chance to design a prime transit-oriented development in the award-winning Stapleton neighborhood.

The challenge tasks more than 40 students from CU and DU with evaluating and making recommendations for redevelopment of the site. Students are required to present a feasible, creative, integrated development plan that promotes the best and most sustainable use of the property while embracing the overall master development plan for Stapleton and the surrounding community.

Students this month will begin a four-month process of working with industry professionals and RK to analyze every aspect of the site. Final teams from each school will compete against one another for scholarships and the NAIOP Cup, a traveling trophy.

The May 3 competition – the largest real estate event in Colorado – represents the culmination of the Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge. Students will present their recommendations to RK and an audience of more than 750 real estate professionals. Tickets for the event at the Hilton Denver City Center will go on sale in early February.

RK Mechanical is one of the region’s largest suppliers of construction, manufacturing and service solutions.

“RK is proud to help students in the University of Colorado and University of Denver’s graduate real estate programs to hone their creative and analytical skills through this challenge,” said Jon Kinning, RK Mechanical chief operating officer. “These student share a rare opportunity to impact real-world business decisions, and we’re thrilled that our property will be the focus of their development ideas. We’re proud to sponsor such an innovative learning initiative.”

“As Denver continues growing at unprecedented levels, the site for this year’s challenge represents a perfect location for students to work with a real-world scenario for putting all of the development pieces together on an infill project in one of the state’s most sought-after communities in the major metropolitan area,” said Luke Davidson, chairman of the NAIOP organizing committee. “To be successful in this year’s competition, students will need to pay attention to the detail and really think big about what possibilities are available for this premier location.”

The outcome of the NAIOP challenge will help RK understand various development options for the site and evaluate the cost/benefits of different ideas for the real estate asset. RK will be using this year’s challenge to help create a better understanding of the site development potential and said it is optimistic elements of the student presentations can be a part of what may ultimately be built on the site.

Edited by the Colorado Real Estate Journal staff.