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Back-to-back wins for Schulich MBA students at Argus Real Estate Challenge

For the second year in a row, a team of MBA students enrolled in the Real Estate and Infrastructure Program at the Schulich School of Business has won the Argus Software University Challenge.

Christina Giannone (MBA Candidate ’13), Simon La (MBA Candidate ’14), Hosup Lee (MBA Candidate ’13), David Lyons (MBA Candidate ’14) and Philip Ristevski (MBA Candidate ’14) outshone teams from 21 universities across six countries, including Columbia, Cornell, Chicago and Cambridge, to win the $8,000 first prize.

The Argus Challenge is an online case competition that requires students to prepare a case analysis using Argus DCF Valuation Software, the industry-standard real estate valuation tool.

Schulich team members, all of whom are specializing in real estate and infrastructure, from left to right: David Lyons, Simon La,Philip Ristevski, Hosup Lee and Christina Giannone

This year’s challenge, “Urban Regeneration: The Springfield Monorail Redevelopment”,  required students to evaluate the feasibility of a redevelopment plan for a mixed-use redevelopment site with retail, office and transportation components.

“We concluded that the project as it stands would not be feasible. Our financial analysis was strong, and we went beyond the numbers by assessing the overall development risk, including environmental, economic and social sustainability of the project,” said Hosup Lee. “The classes provided in Schulich’s Program in Real Estate and Infrastructure certainly prepared us well to tackle the development case from multiple angles, and it was a great opportunity to use what we learned outside the class setting.”

A diversity in skill sets also allowed the Schulich team to leverage off individual members’ knowledge in development, sales and leasing, construction funding and investment management, Hosup said.

On March 1st , Hosup and Simon La were part of the team that won the 2013 Developers’ Den case competition. Philip Ristevski was a member of the Schulich team that finished in second place. Earlier this year, Christina Giannone was a member on a multi-school team that received an honourable mention in Urban Land Institute’s prestigious Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition.

Simon and Christina are currently on the executive of the Schulich Real Property Students’ Association and Philip will serve on the executive during the 2013-14 academic year.

“I am very proud of the Schulich students for stepping up to win the Argus Challenge for the second year in a row,” said Andre Kuzmicki, Executive Director of the Program in Real Estate and Infrastructure at Schulich School of Business. “Our students have been doing exceptionally well in national and international case competitions against students from other leading business schools and that underscores the advantages of our real world approach to teaching real  estate and the high quality of our faculty.”

In 2012, Schulich MBA students enrolled in the Real Estate and Infrastructure Program placed first in the MIT Commercial Real Estate Case Competition, the Argus Software University Challenge and the Developers’ Den case competition.