Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge teams find common ground; DU defends title

The University of Denver defended its title at the 17thannual Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge Thursday night with its proposed redevelopment plan for The Denver Shops, a 40.5-acre industrial property in Globeville.

Finalist teams from both DU and the University of Colorado were on the same wavelength in this year’s NAIOP Colorado competition, looking to capitalize on Colorado’s healthy and growing outdoor recreation industry as the impetus for their redevelopment plans. A judging panel of industry experts declared DU the winner of the 17thannual event, finding its project was more risk-averse, preserved in-place cash flow and was sensitive to the surrounding community.

The Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge, presented by Land Title Guarantee Co., is Denver’s largest commercial real estate event, drawing nearly 700 attendees. Graduate students from each school spend three months examining an actual development/redevelopment site to create a proposed, comprehensive vision that includes, among other factors, detailed market and financial analyses.

Owner Conscience Bay Co. offered The Denver Shops at 5151 Bannock St. for this year’s competition. The central Denver industrial site was developed in 1922 as a steam engine locomotive repair facility for the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Rail Road. Today it offers cold storage for food companies and additional industrial uses.

CU’s proposed North Yard Landing envisioned the site as outdoor recreation industry hub, bringing together private enterprise, nonprofits, trade associations and community amenities. DU’s “Crux” development proposal also was planned as a magnet for the outdoor industry while also preserving existing cold storage facilities. Both plans focused on preserving historic buildings.

Although either DU or CU is presented with the “NAIOP Cup” award each year, the philosophy of the Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge is for all participants to emerge as winners.

The finalist teams from each university were:

DU Daniels College of Business Franklin L. Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management – Jenny Aragon, Owin Orr, Nicholas Allen, Derek Porterfield, Cody Bell and Karina Rush.

•  CU Leeds School of Business, CU Real Estate Center – Ethan Argov, David Armesy, Lauren Costantini, Ryan Patterson, Benjamin Rotstein and Edwin Schermerhorn.

Jill Jamieson-Nichols has been an Editor with the Colorado Real Estate Journal for more than 15 years, providing coverage of office, industrial, hospitality and mixed-use development news in the Denver metro area, plus all property types in Northern Colorado, Boulder County and along the Highway 36 corridor. Prior to joining CREJ, Jill was Editor of…