NAIOP Indiana recently held their third annual University Challenge, pitting Indiana State University, Ball State University and Indiana University against each other in a real estate challenge. Indiana State University came out ahead, winning the Wally F. Holladay Entrepreneurial Excellence Award and a $5000 scholarship provided by the Opus Foundation. Doug Swain, vice president and general manager, and I had the honor of presenting the check to the winning team.
The students presented their marketing/investment strategy plan for a fictitious downtown Indianapolis office building with occupancy of only 50%. The building wasn’t real, but the students still focused on a number of realistic, market-specific real estate questions, including:
- What is the competitive market position for the building within Indianapolis?
- What challenges, issues and opportunities are posed by a downtown location?
- What steps could be taken to enhance the building’s appeal?
- Should other uses besides office be considered for the building?
- Are there prospective anchor tenants in the Indianapolis market?
- What are the prospects for re-leasing large blocks of space?
- What is the current state of Indianapolis’ economy and office market?
- Why are large tenants leaving Indianapolis or migrating to the suburbs?
The teams were judged based on their market analysis, asset management strategy, financial analysis, support for assumptions and conclusions, adequacy of their written report and effectiveness of their presentation. The University Challenge is a great showcase of the up-and-coming talent in the Indiana market.
The Opus Foundation and our Indianapolis office have been involved in the University Challenge from the beginning.