Congratulations to the Kenan-Flagler real estate team that competed in and won the recent UNC Real Estate Development Challenge case competition. We are extremely proud of the team, which consisted of Tom Burkert, Ed Johnson, Caitlin Leary and Jordan Rathlev. Their presentation regarding the site plan and financial analysis of development on a large site at the Walt Disney World Resort was deemed to be the best among twelve teams that competed. In the seven years that Kenan-Flagler has held the competition here at UNC, our team has now won twice.
The UNC Real Estate Development Challenge is a case competition hosted by the Center for Real Estate Development at Kenan-Flagler Business School. An invitation-only event, the Challenge convenes 16 teams from the US and Europe’s top-20 MBA programs to compete. This annual event is the first business school case competition to focus solely on real estate development. In the past, the case has challenged teams to propose uses for an actual site, devise a development program and site plan, and work through project financials.
The 2012 Challenge case was inspired by an alumnus who works for Disney Resort Real Estate Development and involved two parcels still to be developed in Celebration. Like most of the Challenge cases, this one was not without its many moving parts and constraints.
The winning teams for the 2012 Challenge were first place, University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business School; second place, UCLA Anderson School of Management; and a tie for third place, Duke University, the Fuqua School of Business and Columbia Business School.
Companies represented on our 2012 panel of judges included AvalonBay Communities, BioMed Realty Trust, BPG Properties, Disney, Gibraltar Homes, Greystar Real Estate Partners, Harvey Real Estate, IndCor Properties, McCraney Property Company, Mill Creek Residential Trust LLC, Neal Capital, Prudential Real Estate Investors and the University of North Carolina.
An unprecedented feat
This victory also means that UNC swept two well known real estate competitions this year, a feat that is unprecedented. In November 2011, the Kenan-Flagler team took first place in the McCombs School of Business Real Estate Challenge at the University of Texas at Austin, which was the first time we have ever won that case challenge. Students on that team were Churchill Bunn, Tom Burkert, Rory Byrnes, Spencer Merritt, Laura Oslick and Lewis Stoneburner.
“In total, nine different students represented the Kenan-Flagler real estate group at these competitions, and all have worked hard to enhance the reputation of our program,” said Dave Hartzell, the Steven D. Bell and Leonard W. Wood Distinguished Professor in Real Estate. “With both wins, this has been a remarkable year and one which future classes will find difficult to beat.”