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DENVER-A panel of top developers, brokers and lenders chose the University of Denver’s plan for the second tower at Tabor Center over a rival plan by the University of Colorado at Boulder. It was the second year for the Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge sponsored by the Colorado chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Parks.

Last year, the CU team won.

The purpose of the competition is to give graduate real estate students real world experience. About 400 brokers, developers, lenders, architects and others attended the event at Invesco Field at Mile High.

Equity Office Properties owns the office and retail at Tabor Center at 17th and Larimer Streets, but does not own the Westin Hotel there. The infrastructure for the second tower has been in place for the past 20 years.

Students enrolled in the Franklin L. Burns School of Real Estate & Construction Management at the Daniels College of Business At DU, proposed a luxury W hotel as part of its Tabor II tower. CU’s plan, by contrast, didn’t call for a hotel.

The DU team, called Pioneer Development Partners, called its proposed building the Metropolitan Tower. The 240-room W hotel would need to achieve room rates around $250, the students projected.

It also would include 300,000 sf of office space with 20,000-sf floorplates.

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