The Illinois team competed and won against students from DePaul University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Indiana University and Marquette University in the first annual Midwest Real Estate Challenges. The teams were given a case that was based around redeveloping the Cabrini Green public housing site in the north side of Chicago.
After weeks of extensive research and analysis, the teams submitted their economic and financial findings, the redevelopment plan and a design proposal based on the various interviews they had with Chicago-area real estate professionals. The Illinois team put a lot of focus on "including and integrating all levels of income in the property, transforming the site into a thriving development" and making sure there was sustainability for the project "socially, economically and environmentally", according to the team.
As the judges from Crain's Chicago Business said, they "chose Illinois for their realistic mixed-use proposal that included Target as an anchor and for going beyond the specific requirements outline in the case".
Team leader Matt Lesh said that he "enjoyed the challenges of the competition and working with everyone who contributed. You cannot place a value on the real world experience and exposure to industry experts."
As part of their winnings, the team was awarded a $4000 scholarship and tickets to the Harold E. Eisenberg Annual Dinner in the fall semester.
We extend another huge "CONGRATS!" to the team!