Real Estate Challenge

What is the  Challenge???


The Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge (RMREC) is an annual event designed to serve as a learning tool for students of the University of Colorado and University of Denver’s graduate real estate programs and local business community to interface, while assisting the Project Sponsor with development options for the specific property.  A property is selected in the region that will serve as the competition site that is under control of the Project Sponsor.  In 2018, we will celebrate the 16th Anniversary the Challenge that historically has placed the two graduate real estate programs against one another in creating a preferred development real estate proposal for the selected property. Each school forms multiple student teams who are enrolled in the real estate development classes in each real estate program.  Each team is charged with creating a vision for the property conducting  market research on uses for the property, working with a local architectural firm (secured to participate by NAIOP) to assist them in the project’s design, refinement of the vision the respect with respect to the zoning and entitlements carried by the property. The finalists from each school are judged by a group of seasoned real estate professionals the day of the event.   A traveling trophy is awarded to the winning team.  The event will be held on Thursday, May 3, 2018 at the Hilton Denver City Center in downtown Denver to an audience of approximately 700 registrants. 

Tickets go on sale in early February. Watch this website for more details!


DENVER, COLO. – Land Title Guarantee Company and NAIOP Colorado, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, will host the 16th Annual Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge on May 3, 2018. The Challenge is a premier real estate event featuring graduate-level students from the University of Colorado and the University of Denver, as well as industry leaders in the Colorado real estate community. Building on the Challenge’s 15-year history, the featured project will focus on the RK (RK Mechanical, Inc.) site located in the Stapleton neighborhood of northeast Denver. Student teams will evaluate development opportunities to create their own unique individual project. The project is comprised of four separate parcels located at 3800 Xanthia St, Denver, CO 80238, encompassing 14.97 acres. and is bordered by Xanthia Street to the west, 35th Avenue to the south, Yosemite Street to the east and Sand Creek to the north. The site will benefit from its close proximity to Central Park Station of RTD’s A-Line (located less than a half mile away).  The site presents an exceptional opportunity for Challenge participants to envision and design a successful transit-oriented development in the award-winning Stapleton neighborhood. 

Celebrating its 16th anniversary, the Challenge tasks more than 40 of the state’s best and brightest graduate students from the University of Colorado and the University of Denver to evaluate and make recommendations for this CMU-30 zoned development site. The student teams are tasked with presenting a feasible, creative, integrated development plan that promotes the best and most sustainable use of the 14.97-acre site, while embracing the overall master development plan of Stapleton and the surrounding community. The students will form teams that will compete against one another for scholarships and the NAIOP Cup (awarded to the winning school each year). In January 2018, student teams will begin a four-month period of working with industry professionals and RK to analyze every aspect of the site.

The Challenge culminates with the largest real estate event in Colorado on May 3, 2018, where student finalists will present their recommendations to RK and an audience of more than 750 real estate professionals. Tickets for the event, which will be held at the Hilton Denver City Center in downtown Denver, will go on sale in early February.

RK is one of the region’s largest suppliers of construction, manufacturing and service solutions.  RK’s aspiration is that the students will create a vision and development of the site to its highest and best use while maximizing the value of the real estate. Jon Kinning, RK’s Chief Operating Officer, stated the following, “RK is proud to help students in the University of Colorado and University of Denver’s graduate real estate programs to hone their creative and analytical skills through this challenge. These students have a rare opportunity to impact real-world business decisions, and we’re thrilled that our property will be the focus of their development ideas. We’re proud to sponsor such an innovative learning initiative.” 

“As Denver continues growing at unprecedented levels, the site for this year’s Challenge represents a perfect location for students to work with a real-world scenario for putting all of the development pieces together on an infill project in one of the state’s most sought-after communities in the major metropolitan area,” said Luke Davidson, Chairman of the NAIOP organizing committee. “To be successful in this year’s competition, students will need to pay attention to the detail and really think big about what possibilities are available for this premiere location.”

The outcome of the NAIOP Challenge will help RK understand the various development options for the site and evaluate the cost/benefits of different ideas for this important real estate asset. Student teams will be responding to an RFP-formatted case statement that will weigh the strategic vision, economic realities and the environmental considerations, if any, of the site. RK will be using this year’s challenge to help create a better understanding of the site development potential and they are optimistic that elements of the student presentations can be a part of what may ultimately be built on the site.