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May 18, 2024
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University of California, Irvine Graduate Student Team Wins NAIOP SoCal Orange County Real Estate Challenge


The graduate student team from the University of California (UCI), Irvine Paul Merage School of Business Center for Real Estate was named the winner at the third annual NAIOP SoCal Orange County Real Estate Challenge.

The annual competition features graduate student teams from the Chapman University Argyros College of Business & Economics and UCI in a real estate battle for the Orange Cup. The event, held April 17 at the Chapman University campus, brought together the students in a head-to-head competition to determine the highest and best use for a unique parcel of land in Southern California.

To claim victory, the winning team accumulated the most points during written and oral presentations to a judging panel of local commercial real estate industry leaders and a live audience. For 2024, the competition site was the U.S. General Services Administrationís Chet Holifield Federal Building in Laguna Niguel.

The 92-acre property is comprised of two land components improved with over 1 msf of space in the iconic pyramid-shaped Ziggurat building as well as a services support building, fleet, and service yard areas, two guard houses, and 4,777 parking spaces. UCIís winning presentation, Pereira Place, honored Ziggurat architect William Pereira. Their presentation encompassed for-sale residential, multifamily and artist lofts, self-storage, retail, restaurants, commercial space, and entertainment uses, all designed to create housing for a younger demographic as well as provide more destination entertainment in the city.

UCIís graduate student team included Ash Agarwal, Kevin Bommarito, Cameron Eaton, Ian Rosenberg, and Benjamin Zdeba. The Chapman team was comprised of Noah Alvarado, Grace Cavanaugh, Dylan Holt, Boris Malykin, and Kai Osaka.

The evening event also featured remarks by honorary industry captains for each university. UCIís honorary captain was alumnus Christopher Tipre, Principal, TrammelL Crow Company along with Chapman University honorary captain and alumnus Michael Chukwueke, Principal, BentallGreenOak. Both honorary captains shared how valuable their years were at their respective academic institutions and cited the work of NAIOP SoCal in helping to elevate their careers.

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