CUREC - Internal Graduate Case Competition

On December 8, 2016 three teams of CUREC graduate students (both MBA and MS) competed in the Bascom Graduate Real Estate Case Competition. The competition was funded with a grant from The Bascom Group. The case study, a multifamily acquisition/rehab in Las Vegas, Nevada, was also provided by Bascom. Student teams were asked to evaluate the investment opportunity, suggest an offering price, recommend debt financing, provide a financial analysis of the acquisition and rehab, compute expected unleveraged and leveraged IRRs on the property, forecast partnership cash flow and estimate expected returns for Bascom as well as the passive investors. The teams were given 20 minutes to sell their proposal to a panel of industry judges.

The team consisting of Malcom Craig, Ashley Dancer, Taylor Egner and Juan Rodriguez took first place and a cash price of $5,000. The second place team was awarded $3,000 and the third place team was awarded $2,000. I would like to thank David Kim and The Bascom Group for funding this important exercise. I would also like to thank the judges for taking the time to evaluate the students’ performances. The judges were Brad Blash (Crossbeam Capital), Kim Koehn (K2 Ventures, LLC), Kevin Knapp (Element Properties), Kiely Wilson.

2017 Seattle Real Estate Trek

With the first day of classes for the spring semester on the horizon, a group of 15 real estate-focused MBA and MS students recently spent three days in Seattle, Washington, visiting with industry players and learning about the local market. As is typical for a CUREC "Trek", the schedule was packed with developers, investment managers, operators, and market experts.

Led and organized by CUREC Associate Director Katie Latier and Executive Director Mike Kercheval, the group visited a total of twelve companies, spanning all product types. They also made time to explore the city a bit and enjoy some of the Seattle's delicious seafood.

Highlights of the trip included:

  • A tour of the Hotel 1000 led by General Manager Pritpal Singh. The students also were presented a market overview by representatives from Visit Seattle.
  • A visit to Amazon's active construction site in South Lake Union, and conversations with Chris Broadgate from Amazon and Josh Devenyns from Seneca Group.
  • A tour, presentation, and CU alumni happy hour at the historic Smith Tower, hosted by Ned Carner from Unico.
  • A presentation and conversation with Steve Reents from Bentall Kennedy.
  • A presentation and hard hat tour of Schnitzer West's Madison Centre project in downtown Seattle, hosted by Steve Cook and Dan Ivanoff.
  • A presentation and site walk of Urban Villages' adaptive reuse and alley activation project in historic Pioneer Square, with Jesse Bank and representatives from Sellen Construction and Shed Architects.
  • A conversation with a group from Vulcan Real Estate, a development firm founded by Microsoft's Paul Allen.
  • A site tour of Lake Union Partner's State Hotel project (a historic renovation) near Pike Place Market, with Joe Ferguson and Newton Breiter.
  • A conversation with Kilroy Realty, hosted by Rob Swartz and Monique Diego.
  • A tour of Luma Condominiums and Infinity Apartments with Suzi Morris from Lowe Enterprises.
  • A tour of Boeing's 737 manufacturing facility with Jeff Adelton.
  • The group brought a deep curiosity to each visit, and made excellent use of the opportunities to gain firsthand knowledge from professionals in the field. They returned to Colorado with fresh perspectives, ready to apply many new ideas to their studies and their ongoing careers.

    January 2017 - Undergraduate Update

    With 13 seniors graduating this past December, there are now 140 students in the undergraduate Real Estate Certificate program. Our spring senior class consists of 64 students who are required to have an internship during their senior year. Some of the internship placements include Verdad Real Estate, Monarch Investments, Colliers International, Keller Williams, 8Z, Richfield Homes, Jones Lang LaSalle, Tryba Architects, Coldwell Banker and HFF among others. The seniors attend a 3-credit Real Estate Internship class on Monday nights. The class includes a mock interview and résumé review with Leeds Career Development staff as well as participating in a group presentation on a real estate career of their choice. During each class, the seniors have an opportunity to talk about their internship experiences and share their “highs & lows” with the rest of their peers. For further information on hiring our undergraduates for either internships or permanent positions, please contact Lisa Chambers.

    Real Estate Club

    The Club’s line-up of meetings in the fall had a multitude of outstanding speakers. CUREC Executive Director Mike Kercheval spoke at the first Club meeting discussing his career path, his years at ICSC and his commitment to bringing a global view of real estate to CU’s real estate students. Joe Neguse, the Executive Director of Colorado DORA (Department of Regulatory Agencies) spoke to the Club members about how the Division of Real Estate fits into DORA and his need to balance consumer protection with the business needs of the licensed real estate professional. Another speaker, Gabe Bodner, discussed how technology is changing the access to real estate information. The Club sponsored two construction site tours and a day of volunteer service building a house for Habitat for Humanity in Longmont. The Club had a evening industry event interacting with many of the professional organizations (NAIOP, ULI, CREW, ICSC, BOMA, etc) and students signed up for student memberships in these organizations. The fall semester ended with a panel of young real estate alumni speaking to Club members about their careers and giving tips for landing the “right” job. Club attendance continues to be strong with 30-40 students attending each meeting.

    Spring semester Club speakers will include the director of the Colorado Division of Real Estate and a panel on the business of cannabis in Colorado and how it affects real estate plus two more construction tours.

    Student Treks

    In early November, sophomores interested in real estate and upper classmen in the Real Estate Certificate program went on a local Trek to visit Cherry Creek North developments in Denver. The day started by watching the CU team compete at DU at the Sherm Miller Real Estate Case Competition involving teams of undergraduate real estate students at CU, DU and CSU. From there the “trekkers” went to lunch the new Halycon Hotel in Cherry Creek North courtesy of Alpine Bank and then walked around blocks of new developmentc in this formerly mom-and-pop retail area. The excellent tour was conducted by staff with BMC Investments.

    Upcoming Co-Curricular Opportunites

    Upcoming opportunities for undergraduates include a 6-week ARGUS course, a LEED Green Associate Exam Prep workshop, symposium speakers and special lunch events with CREW and other engaged real estate professionals.


    A team of Leeds undergraduate real estate students competed last Friday in the third annual Sherman Miller Real Estate Competition hosted by the University of Denver. The event pits teams of undergraduate teams from CU, CSU and DU in a battle for in-state undergrad real estate program bragging rights and a first place cash prize of $1,500. With its win Friday, CU has won the competition two of the three years of the event. DU placed a very close second, with CSU placing third.

    The competition gives the students just five days to analyze a neighborhood shopping center investment opportunity. The teams then present their analysis including making and defending their findings and recommendations to a live panel of nine experienced industry professionals. The analysis and recommendations include market and site research, analysis, pricing, capital sources and uses, tenant leasing strategies, holding period and disposition of the investment. CU's winning team included five Leeds seniors: Anthony Levy, Lucas Michieli, William Haass, Chris Tryba and Nick Pepper (l to r).

    In preparation for the competition, the students work not only with CU Real Estate Center staff and Leeds real estate faculty, and also past team members, CU Real Estate Council members and industry partners who help coach the students in their analytics as well as their speaking and presentation skills. Alumni and industry partners who worked with the team this fall include Mary Sullivan, Dalton Skach, Megan Turner, Leslie DeHaas, Brian Monahan, Josh Siegel, Bill Mark, Jeff Robinson, Paul Kluck, Leon McBroom, Ben Woolf, Danny Goldman, Peter Aweida, and Greg Fair.

    "The support and involvement we have from former students and industry partners is very special and has been key to our consistent performance and success in these events." said Curtis Sears, a Leeds faculty member who volunteers his time to work with the students. "Nothing better prepares our students for their real estate careers than the opportunity to pull everything they're learning in the classroom together in a real-life context with industry professionals sharing their passion, knowledge and advice with the students in the process."

    A second team of CU undergrad real estate students is headed to New York City next week for another competition: The Cornell International Real Estate Case Competition. The Cornell competition is the largest of undergraduate competitions with over twenty teams competing from not only the U.S. but Europe and Asia as well. This is the first time CU has sent a team to the Cornell competition and it will be a big challenge for our undergrads. Stay tuned!

    Congratulations to our team for bringing the Sherman Miller Real Estate Competition trophy back to CU, and best of luck to team headed to NYC for the Cornell competition next week!

    Fall 2016 Executive Director Update

    The proverbial beginning of a new school year always bring wonder and amazement, but it has been especially the case for me this year, in my new role and with the reinvigorated energy of the CU Real Estate Center (CUREC) from its many supporters. I offer a huge debt of gratitude, on behalf of the center and the industry, to Kim Koehn, our interim executive director, who did more than just keep the flame alive this last year – he lit a torch under the program.

    The new class of MBA students at Leeds is nothing shy of awesome and the vigor with which the returning “second years” hit the books is amazing. Couple this with an ever-expanding cadre of undergrads pursuing a passion in real estate and the future looks pretty darn bright.

    The CUREC is building upon its strong foundational base to capitalize on three key areas: academic excellence, global thought leadership and lifetime knowledge acquisition. Under Dr. Tom Thibodeau’s stewardship we are augmenting our top-tier faculty with the addition of Dr. Steve Billings and our many industry professional adjunct professors. To stay not just abreast of, but ahead of, industry trends and business needs we are tapping into our CUREC industry boards for insights and direction, fine tuning and adding to our curriculum. Tom and Steve are both highly-regarded industry experts and continue to lead with new research for the real estate community.

    As a major national real estate center, the CUREC has long hosted an important annual real estate forum in Colorado. Looking ahead, that forum, which will next be held on March 7, 2017, is taking on a new patina by adding a local flavor plus a global focus. This 20th Anniversary addition of the Forum promises to be special and cutting edge in its ability to inspire and lead the discussion in our industry. This year we are also launching an additional thought-leadership platform with a new Symposium Series, a unique event to be held four times a year, built around a global real estate leader who will offer the sort of ideas, insights and intuition not typically gained in a typical real estate program. Our inaugural event will be October 20th, anchored by a young woman real estate developer from Honduras who is leading the way in tying corporate social responsibility to real estate in one of the hemisphere’s most challenged markets. Future “real estate leaders in residence” will offer a similarly diverse and unique thought-leadership perspective to our students and industry cadres.

    Finally, CUREC has been behind some of the highest job-placement numbers amongst graduates from the Leeds School of Business. We will be expanding this capability by broadening the opportunity base for real estate graduates’ jobs geographically, and by sector, to new areas such as banking, finance, planning and even governmental agencies. Once employed, our graduates are already working as alumni with the CUREC to build a powerful base of business mentors and supporters. Our goal is for the CUREC to be the go-to-center for jobs, career expansion, business networking and continued learning, both formally through CU programs and informally through CUREC events and activities. Our vision is to lift the CUREC to the mantle where it rightly belongs, as one of the world’s top real estate programs. As Executive Director, I will look forward to working with our friends and business partners as we pioneer new frontiers of academic learning within the real estate sector and help push against the very boundaries of opportunity and reward within the global real estate industry. Thank you for your continued support and enthusiasm.