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2021 Virtual Real Estate Challenge

Saturday, April 10 @ 9:30 am - 4:00 pm


The Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation’s Annual Real Estate Challenge matches teams from selected universities in a competition focusing on a high-profile development/redevelopment project in the Chicago Metropolitan area. Each team is assigned the same case site and provided the same essential information and/or assumptions about the property. The students’ development plan must constitute a comprehensive analysis and conclusion of how to maximize the potential of the property from both a quantitative (financial) and qualitative (feasibility) standpoint.


Undergraduate Division Winner: Cornell University

Team: Jenny Bai, Jonah Deich, Abhimanyu Goyal, Samantha Khatchadourian, Alicia O’Neil, Johanna Tadie

Faculty Advisor: Daniel Lebret

Industry Mentors: Steve Rachman, Marcus & Millichap, Terry McCollom, McCollom Realty, and Mahze McQueen, T. Dallas Smith & Company

Graduate Division Winner: Fordham University

Team: Orion Hinkley, Adelaide Farrow, Gabriel Seidel

Faculty Advisor: Peter Buckey

Industry Mentors: David Gaines, JLL, Amanda Friant, JLL, Jolene Saul, Brinshore Development, and Mark Stern, JLL

Check out the photos, preliminary presentations, and final presentations from the 2021 Challenge! View the winning team’s proposals.


The Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation presents the 11th Annual Real Estate Challenge featuring site partners, the Chicago Department of Planning and Development, and DL3 Realty.

Looking to leverage external capital, build local wealth, and provide economic development opportunities in their community, the owners of five separate parcels (the “Stakeholders”), led by the Chicago Department of Planning and Development, and DL3 Realty, united to request master plan development proposals for the assemblage of their sites (the “Challenge Site” or “Site”). The Stakeholders are seeking proposals for a mixed-use, mixed-density district to link the Woodlawn Community to Jackson Park and the future Obama Presidential Center, aspiring to continue the rich Chicago culture of dynamic development along the urban edges of the City’s great parks.

The Challenge Site is situated on two transit arteries, 63rd Street and Stony Island Avenue. Proposals should inspire a new vision for Stony Island Avenue as a Great Street of Chicago and emphasize the re-establishment of 63rd Street as a neighborhood destination with a unique sense of place that builds upon the community’s history and character.

The virtual Challenge will focus on renewed real estate programming to bolster the vitality of the neighborhood and make an anchor investment in a historically under-invested corridor. The winning team will receive a scholarship of up to $5,000!


Preliminary-Round Judges:

Tuesday, April 6: Collete English Dixon, Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate at Roosevelt University, Hugh Williams, MK Asset Management, Michael Wilkinson, LEVEL Incorporated

Wednesday, April 7: Naomi Davis, Blacks in Green, Gabriel Escaba, Shapack, Ryan Green, DL3 Realty

Thursday, April 8: Tania Kadakia, DL3 Realty, Luke Mich, Chicago Department of Planning and Development, Drakia Wilkins, Lendlease

Final-Round Judges:

Saturday, April 10: Clarence Carson, Chicago Public Schools, Maurice Cox, Chicago Department of Planning and Development, Claudia Herasme, Chicago Department of Planning and Development, LB Johnson, Walmart, Al Klairmont, Imperial Realty, Cherryl Thomas, Wintrust Board of Directors, Leon Walker, DL3 Realty


Undergraduate Teams: Cornell University, Ferris State University, Indiana University, Marquette University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Michigan, University of Notre Dame, University of Texas at Austin

Graduate Teams: DePaul University, Fordham University,  University of Michigan



Sponsorship Opportunities to support teams of students in this real estate education program are available! For more information, contact Kelly Candotti, Director of Development.

Donate to fund the educational endeavors of the Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation, like our Real Estate Challenge, and help open doors and close the opportunity gap for the next generation of industry leaders.

Thank you to our 2021 Supporters!

Scholarship Sponsor

Education Supporter

Site Partner

The Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation
540 W. Frontage Rd., Suite 2210   Northfield, IL 60093
847-433-3050   info@eisenbergfoundation.org