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UCLA vs. USC Fall Virtual Real Estate Challenge

UCLA vs. USC Fall Virtual Real Estate Challenge

UCLA Bruins Claim the Silver Shovel atNAIOP SoCal’s USC vs UCLA Real Estate Challenge

Southern California (November 22, 2021) -- The UCLA graduate student team took home the coveted Silver Shovel for its winning proposal at the 24th NAIOP SoCal USC vs UCLA Real Estate Challenge held November 18.

At each competition, five-member graduate student teams from the Ziman Center of Real Estate at UCLA’s Anderson School of Business and the Lusk Center at USC’s Marshall School of Business and Price School of Public Policy compete head-to-head to determine the highest and best use for a unique parcel of land.

The Fall 2021 NAIOP SoCal Challenge project was a 1.46-acre urban infill site with extensive frontage along Beach Blvd. in the center of Huntington Beach, one of Orange County’s largest and densest cities.

The winning proposal, titled “The Boulevard at Huntington Beach”, was a 175-unit age-restricted (55+) apartment community as presented by UCLA students Lucas Jones, Charlie Lee, John Richards, Max Richley and Cheng Zhang. The team further cited that the LEED gold property would deliver a class A living experience paired with more than 24,000 square feet of engaging indoor and outdoor amenities. Named in honor of the historic Beach Boulevard on which the property sits, The Boulevard proposed much-needed rental housing in a highly-desirable area, while aligning with the explosive growth of the population of older adults who are increasingly looking to downsize and rent.

“I want to congratulate both of our student teams for their creativity and intelligent approach to our infill site. Each proposal reflected the countless hours spent and numerous industry interviews conducted by the graduate students over the course of six weeks in order to develop their solutions to the challenge. They do a fantastic job in the origination of the development plan, the underwriting of it, and the eventual written and oral presentations of their findings. Their efforts and commitment are why this challenge leads directly to employment opportunities for many of these individuals,” said Eric Paulsen, NAIOP SoCal Real Estate Challenge chair.

USC and UCLA are now tied at 12 wins each heading into NAIOP SoCal’s 2022 Real Estate Challenge which will be the chapter’s 25th anniversary of its iconic competition event. To claim the Silver Shovel each team develops a written proposal for review by an industry-leading panel of judges. Each student team also delivers an oral presentation to the judges while responding to questions on their proposal during the live event.

“Both proposals presented in this competition were top-notch and demonstrated high levels of expertise by the students. The teams were polished and professional. That is why Prologis, the owner of the last competition site, is incorporating the most recent winning proposal into its redevelopment of an 8.3-acre Greyhound Bus Terminal site in downtown Los Angeles,” said Tim Jemal, NAIOP SoCal CEO.

About NAIOP SoCal -- NAIOP SoCal comprises more than 1,000 members serving the counties of Los Angeles and Orange. NAIOP SoCal is the leading organization in Southern California for developers, owners and related professionals in office, industrial and mixed-use real estate. NAIOP SoCal advances responsible commercial real estate development and advocates for effective public policy. For more information, visit

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Media Contact : Jessica Spaulding

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