UMD Wins 2024 NAIOP Capital Challenge

By Brianna Rhodes / Apr 26, 2024

Students take home $10,000 for their market-responsive development project

People posing with a large check and award
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Students took home $10,000 for their winning project at the NAIOP Capital Challenge.
People posing with a large check and award
Image Caption
Winners of the 2024 NAIOP Capital Challenge took home $10,000 for their market-responsive development project.

A team of five graduate students from the University of Maryland’s Colvin Institute of Real Estate Development program won first place in the National Association for Industrial and Office Parks (NAIOP) DC l MD 2024 Capital Challenge this month. The win marks the third time Maryland has taken the top prize in the intercollegiate real estate competition for the Washington, D.C. area. 

Under the leadership of Lecturer Ron McDonald, master’s students Khaleef Bradford, Angie Malca Llanos, Jaye Nelson, Brianna Rifle and Kyle Seaton competed against Georgetown University, George Mason University and Howard University to take first place and the $10,000 prize.

“I am thrilled to congratulate the talented UMD real estate development students for their well-deserved first place finish in the NAIOP Capital Challenge,” said Maria Day-Marshall, director for the Colvin Institute for Real Estate Development. “It is a testament to their mastery of the fundamentals of real estate development, their creativity and their dedication to shaping the future of the development industry.”

The Capital Challenge is a case study competition hosted annually by NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, where teams from collegiate real estate programs go head-to-head to develop and present proposals for a real property in the Washington metropolitan area. Teams must formulate a proposed investment strategy and develop a comprehensive analysis with recommendations that will maximize the potential of the property, while showing that it is both feasible and financially advantageous.  

UMD’s winning project, The Hill at Greenbelt, answered the challenge to transform Capital Office Park to a market-responsive development by using advantageous partnerships and achieving the highest and best use, while also considering the new FBI headquarters relocation.

The Hill at Greenbelt with a walkway bridge

“The competition was a huge challenge and we were given a lot of runway to be creative,” Bradford said. “The site we were given was very large and intimidating at times; simply completing the project and finishing up the final presentation and interview process was an accomplishment in and of itself but to be able to win was the cherry on top.” 

MAPP alums and consultants from HKS Architects, Rodgers Consulting, Coakley & Williams Construction, EYA and PNC Real Estate provided expertise and mentorship for Maryland’s team.

"This year's win was special because we were the beneficiaries of a great deal of support from our alums, faculty and our NAIOP assigned professional consultant.” McDonald said. “Alums who previously participated in the competition as students during my stewardship have always come back to provide guidance to the new teams. This year was no exception."

NAIOP is the leading organization for developers, owners and related professionals in office, industrial, retail and mixed-use real estate. Learn more about the Capital Challenge

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