2016 Cornell International Real Estate Case Competition

A student team representing the Chinese University of Hong Kong took the top prize of $10,000 in the Eighth Annual Cornell International Real Estate Case Competition, held in November in New York City. The University of Wisconsin at Madison and University of Sydney tied for second place (good for $4,500 each), while the University of Queensland was fourth, with a prize of $1,500, and Brandeis University, fifth, with a prize of $1,000. The team from the University of Sydney and the University of Queensland had already succeeded in a national competition to be Australia’s two representatives in the Cornell’s global competition.

Conceived and organized by Professor Daniel Quan, this year’s event drew its largest field yet, welcoming twenty teams from around the world. Quan is the Robert C. Baker Professor in Real Estate and Arthur Adler ’78 and Karen Newman Adler ’78 Academic Director of the Center for Real Estate and Finance at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration.

“From the beginning, this event has had remarkable support from our student competitors, our expert judges, and our industry sponsors,” said Quan. “We are all focusing on its key purpose, which is to advance the students’ real estate education. Just by competing, the students have already created a record of noteworthy accomplishment.”
The student teams were required to develop a 15-minute presentation based on a case handed to them during the competition. Based on a disguised but actual real estate deal, the case involved recommending a purchase price in a deal complicated by potentially unrealistic seller demands and unknown tenant prospects. Based on the facts of the case, the teams had to determine the property’s value and also an offer price, as well as identify likely funding sources, including mortgages and financial partners. Teams were judged based on the quality and distinctiveness of their recommendations.

Here is the full field of teams: Brandeis University, Brown University, Cornell University, Georgetown University, Indiana University, New York University, Pennsylvania State University, Renmin University of China, Stanford University, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, University of Colorado, University of Connecticut, University of Guelph, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School, University of Queensland, University of Sydney, University of Texas at Austin, University of Wisconsin at Madison, and Villanova University.
Cornell was represented by Grant Behnke ’17, Giovanna Cavagnaro ’17, Teddy DeVico ’17, DJ Fan ’17, Jack Henry Kapp ’17, and Jessica Zhang ’17.

This year’s judges were: Amy Applebaum, CALS ’86, Executive Director, JP Morgan; Marty Burger, P ’17, Chief Executive Officer, Silverstein Properties, Inc.; Merrie Frankel, Managing Partner, Andover Associates; Max Friedman, Director, Goulston & Storrs; Jonathan Geanakos, President, Americas, JLL Capital Markets; Jeff Horwitz, CHE ’86, Partner, Head of Lodging and Gaming Group and Private Equity Real Estate, Proskauer; Bruce Kimmelman ’91, Executive Vice President of Capital Markets and Acquisitions, Macklowe Properties; Michael Lehrman, P ’18, Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer, Cantor Fitzgerald; Fabiana Lotito, Director, Global Real Estate Strategy and Research, TIAA; Jay Mantz, President, Rialto Capital; Allyson Martin, Strategic Real Estate Advisor, HUB International Northeast Limited; Joanna Mulford, Managing Director & PRISA Portfolio Manager/Chief Financial Officer, PGIM Real Estate; Mike Nash, Senior Managing Director, Blackstone; Anthony Orso, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Cantor Fitzgerald; Peter Peterson ’93, Vice President, Related Urban; Alex Popov ’98, Managing Director, HPS Investment Partners; Ralph Rose, MBA ’84, Managing Director, Global Chief Operating Officer of Real Estate, Citigroup; Chuck Rosenzweig, ’85, JD ’88, Managing Partner, Criterion Real Estate Capital; and Neil Rubler, A&S ’92, Founder & President, Candlebrook Properties.
The competition’s sponsors were: Robert D. Kline, Chartres Lodging Group (Platinum sponsor), YOTEL (hotel sponsor), Blackstone, Cantor Fitzgerald, Citi, Criterion Real Estate Capital, Goulston & Storrs, HPS Investment Partners, JLL, Macklowe Properties, PGIM, Proskauer, Related Companies, Rialto Capital Management, RXR, Silverstein Properties, TIAA, and WX—New York Women Executives in Real Estate.