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DENVER-A team of MBA students from the University of Colorado at Boulder Leeds School of Business trumped a team from the University of Denver at the first annual Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge.

Leeds School of Business master’s candidates Drew Haydel, Brad Pickels, Justin Wells and Kiely Wilson won first place at the event sponsored by the National Association of Individual and Office Properties.

Byron Koste, director of the Leeds School Real Estate Center, was the team’s coach.

The competition gave students the opportunity to present real estate proposals to association judges and to the real estate community and public.

The CU students recommended a plan to convert the 50-acre portion of the former Gates Corp. facility into a mixed-use, transit-oriented urban village.

The land was sold to Cherokee Investment Partners, a private equity investment fund, in November 2001.

“There are three things a team is judged on,” Koste says. “The written proposal submitted to judges a week before the competition that gives the judges a chance to really study the numbers; the presentation; and the overall feasibility of the plan. We had to look at the plan and ask, ‘Will this really work?’”

The CU-Boulder team competed against a group of students from the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver. The DU team consisted of Travis Stribling, Rob Fry, D.C. McEachern, John Vance, John Roberts, Darryl Law and Brad Page.

More than 250 real estate professionals attended the challenge at Invesco Field at Mile High. Heavyweight players in the local commercial real estate market judged the students, including Jack Box, Jonathan Busch, Chris Carvell, Steve Clarke, Peter Dominick, Jamie Fitzpatrick, Walt Koelbel Sr., Jim Miller, Tracy Wilkes and George Thorn.

Prior to the event, three CU teams and three DU teams competed internally to determine who would represent their schools at a presentation.

Students worked with local architects and planning firms to develop preliminary proposals and then presented their best ideas to judges selected by their respective real estate departments.

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