Real Estate Challenge

The HEEF Midwest Real Estate Challenge was designed to provide students with a hands-on opportunity to apply what they are learning in their university courses to the real working world of real estate. Each team is paired with volunteer advisors, all of whom are leading Chicago real estate professionals. The student teams are challenged to create a development plan for a particular site. The teams, along with their advisors, determine what should be built on the property and provide a full analysis explaining their building plan as well as the effects their plan would have on the community.

The winning plan is the most economically viable and most complementary to the unique uses of the surrounding site. The teams’ presentations are judged by a panel of professionals.

The Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation will present a scholarship (of up to $5,000) to the winning team’s school.

Learn about this year’s Real Estate Challenge.

Past Challenges:

| 2016 | The 2016 Challenge focused on the approximately 7.4 acres of City-owned land that was formerly the home of Englewood Mall, bordered by 63rd Street to the south, Halsted Street to the east and Halsted Parkway to the north and west. Teams were asked to respond to a Request for Proposal from the City of Chicago to form a joint venture and redevelop a dynamic project on the former Englewood Mall Site. The City looked for teams to submit proposals that were both realistic but also metamorphic for the area in the years to come. The winning team from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) was comprised of team leader, Ben Skinner, and members, Ines Andrade, Nick Bartholomew, Eliseo Elizarrarez, Ryan Hamerick, and Austin Pye.  UICU faculty and industry advisors included Roger Cannaday, Peter Caruso, Jim Kurtzweil, Steve Leonard.

UIUC’s winning presentation, Station at 63rd, incorporated diverse retail offerings, an
abundance of community space, and numerous mixed-income residential units. Please note that the proposed project was independently produced as part of the HEEF case competition and does not represent the views of the City of Chicago.

| 2015 | The 2015 Challenge focused on the “Cap the Kennedy” Project over the Kennedy Expressway (I-90/94) between Lake Street and Jackson Boulevard in Chicago, Illinois, a project proposed by Fifield Companies in an effort to establish a more functional connection from Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood to the downtown Loop/Central Business District. The winning team from Roosevelt University was comprised of five graduate students, Mary Fran Gill, Hubie Greenwald, Daniel Gutman, Karli Mayher, and Ainsworth Thompson. Roosevelt faculty and student advisers were Dennis Harder, Jon DeVries, Johnathan Dennis, Aaron Pavitt, Scott Goldman, and Ken Marino. The panel of judges included Steve Fifield, Randy Fifield, Mike Laube, and Alan Schachtman. This marked Roosevelt University’s third year in a row winning the case competition.

Roosevelt University’s winning presentation, The Landing, was a a mixed use, entertainment, commercial and tech incubator concept. Please note that the proposed project was independently produced as part of the HEEF case competition and does not represent the views of  Fifield Companies.

| 2014 | The 2014 Real Estate Challenge focused on the former Marshall Fields/Macy’s Warehouse at 4000 W. Diversey just northwest of downtown Chicago. The competition and was won by the team from Roosevelt University, comprised of students Andre Collins, Maggie Eison, Victor Fragoso, Liliana Gonzalez, Dion Hickles, Emmanuel Kinard, Andrew Savoy, Eric Williams.  University of Notre Dame and Marquette University tied as runners-up.  The 2014 competition was judged by Ben Greazel, Senior Managing Director of the Real Estate Finance Group at NGKF; Andy Koglin, President of OKW Architects; and Bill Shiner, Founder and CEO of The Shiner Group.  To view Roosevelt University’s winning presentation, click here.  Please note that the proposed project was independently produced as part of the HEEF case competition and does not represent the views of  4K Diversey Partners or Merit Partners.

| 2013 | The 2013 Real Estate Challenge focused on Sears Holding’s 33-acre site at 62nd and Western Avenue in the Marquette Gardens/Chicago Lawn neighborhood on Chicago’s south side.  The competition and was won by the team from Roosevelt University, comprised of students comprised of students Moruf Animashaun, Karlen Beitman, Jessica Caffrey, Holly Kavis, David Lambiaso, Nida Mehtab, Chase Morris, Sarah Rothman, Andrew Savoy, and Drakia Wilkins.  The 2013 competition was judged by Curt Bailey, President of Related Midwest; Cortez Carter, Managing Deputy Commissioner at the City of Chicago’s Department of Aviation; Al Klairmont, Imperial Realty President; and Micah Maidenberg, Crain’s Chicago Business Reporter.  To view Roosevelt University’s winning presentation, click here.  Please note that the proposed project was independently produced as part of the HEEF case competition and does not represent the views of Sears Holdings or any of its affiliates, etc.

| 2012 | The 2012 Real Estate Challenge focused on the former US Steel Southworks site in Chicago and was won by the team from Marquette University, comprised of students Maggie Brueggen, Nick Koglin, Kyle McElwee and Joe McWeeney.  The 2013 competition was judged by David Doig, President of Chicago Neighborhood Initiatives, and former head of the Chicago Park District, First Deputy Commissioner at Chicago Department of Planning, and Deputy Commissioner Department of Housing; Alby Gallun, Reporter for Crain’s Chicago Business; and Lee Reid, Architect and President of Revere Properties.

| 2011 | The 2011 Real Estate Challenge focused on the former Cabrini-Green public housing projects in Chicago and was won by the team from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, comprised of students Matt Lesh, Kyle Pietila, Briana Dunne, Connor Matthews, Cheng Wang, Jenna Goebig and Taylor Douell.  The 2011 competition was judged by Thomas A. Corfman, Assistant Managing Editor at Crain’s Chicago Business, Linda Brace, Vice President of Real Estate Development at Mercy Housing Lakefront, and Laurel Lipkin, Principal of LL Consulting.