Marquette University and Roosevelt University in Chicago won the 12th Annual Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation Chicago Real Estate Challenge in the undergraduate and graduate divisions, respectively. The winning teams will receive a scholarship of up to $5,000.
The 2022 event was held in late April and hosted by Wintrust at their Grand Banking Hall in downtown Chicago. This marked the first time since 2019 that the competition took place in person. Additionally, for the first time in the history of the competition, the judging panel for the Challenge consisted entirely of women in real estate.
The focus of this year’s challenge is a high-profile development/redevelopment project in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. This year’s Challenge Case Site is Johnny’s IceHouse East, the former home of the Chicago Blackhawks’ practice rink. The property is comprised on a 51,500-square-foot ice arena situated on 0.5 acres of land. The site has the potential for adaptive reuse of the existing structure or a new ground-up development.
The Marquette University undergraduate entry, submitted under the name Marquette Development Company LLC, proposed a 176,000 SF, 141 unit multifamily tower with a golf simulator lounge, named the “Howitzer Tower”. Among the key features of the proposed developments included a 20% allocation of on-site affordable units, a variety of environmentally sustainable elements, and extensive community benefits that included artwork and events.
The Marquette University team consisted of Jane Eaton, George Haikal, Jenny Sims and Daniel Talar. Its faculty advisor was Michael Adetoro. Anthony Mulé, Michael Riopel and Patrik Modig served as industry mentors.
Under the name Windy City Development, the Roosevelt University graduate team proposed the “Capsule”, a redevelopment of the existing building into an esports area that functions as an event space for tournaments and casual gaming combined with a crypto mining and learning center. Windy City Development secured a letter of interest from a future restaurant tenant, Tasso’s Greek Restaurant, and sponsorship from EA Sports. The development group focused on community benefits, the growing esports and crypto industries and speed to market.
The Roosevelt University graduate team consisted of Brett Berlin, Trace McGuire, Tatiana Nagornova, Michael Penicnak, Pamela Sanchez and Jennifer Warfield. Its faculty advisors were Jon Dennis and Andrew Savoy. Moses Hall and Trish Gordon were industry mentors.
Student teams were tasked with proposing a development plan for Johnny’s IceHouse East that is economically viable and complements the unique uses surrounding the site. For the competition, each team was assigned the same case site and provided the same essential information and assumptions about the property.
The six judges for the 2022 Real Estate Challenge included Regina Stilp, Principal, Farpoint Development; Suzanne Kahle, Senior Director of Development, Farpoint Development; Erin Lavin Cabonargi, Managing Director, URBAN ReSOLVE; Navi Sandhu, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions, Finance & Development, Fifield Companies; Ciere Boatright, Vice President of Real Estate & Community Development, CRG; and Katie Jahnke Dale, Partner & Co-Location Head, Chicago Real Estate Practice, DLA Piper.
The colleges and universities that participated in the 2022 Challenge included four teams from Midwest schools: Ball State University, Marquette University, University of Notre Dame and Roosevelt University. The other national participants were Cornell University, University of Arkansas at Little Rock and Fordham University.
All but one of the teams participating in 2022 have previously taken part in the Challenge. The newcomer for 2022 is the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The 2022 Real Estate Challenge is supported by Education Sponsor, CRE AD Agency, and made possible thanks to Wintrust, Bradford Allen, and Johnny’s IceHouse East.