LOS ANGELES—The Ziman Center at UCLA’s Anderson School of Business has won the Silver Shovel Award at the annual NAIOP SoCal Real Estate Challenge. Five-member graduate student teams from UCLA and the Lusk Center at USC’s Marshall School of Business competed to win the award by submitting proposals for a 21-acre development site in Costa Mesa, CA. The event was hosted by CT Realty CEO and president James “Watty” Watson, and welcomed 300 guests to watch the presentations.

“Each year, the challenge brings out the best in these students. It’s exciting to see what they propose, and this year we had a great site for them to study,” Angela Azizian, senior director at GE Capital and the committee chair for the Real Estate Challenge, tells GlobeSt.com. “The Real Estate Challenge is an important event for NAIOP SoCal as it represents our commitment to encouraging the next generation of real estate leaders and celebrates what makes this industry so dynamic.” 

The UCLA team proposed a mixed-use development called “the Platforms” for the site, which was one of three printing facilities operated by the Los Angeles Times through 2010. The UCLA team included Jack Agresta, Reisa Bloch, Patrick Devitt, Ian O’Neill, Mark Simpson and faculty advisor Paul Habibi. The event was held at UCLA’s Covel Commons.

To amp up the school spirit, the evening also included appearances from former UCLA quarterback Cade McNown and former USC quarterback Paul McDonald, who came to promote the UCLA vs. USC game. UCLA came out the winner then, too. Last year, USC brought home the Silver Shovel Award after creating a proposal for an 11-acre development project on Pacific Coast Highway.