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Eisenberg winners

Roosevelt students win Eisenberg Foundation Midwest Real Estate Challenge

Posted: 04/09/2013

Students from Roosevelt University’s Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate won the 2013 Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation (HEEF) Midwest Real Estate Challenge, which took place on April 6 at The Standard Club, 320 S. Plymouth Ct., Chicago.

Seven other schools competed in this third Eisenberg Challenge including Indiana University, University of Pennsylvania, University of Illinois at Chicago, DePaul University, Marquette University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Notre Dame to receive a trophy and a $5,000 scholarship for the University.

The Roosevelt team was comprised of real estate students Moruf Animashaun, Karlen Beitman, Jessica Caffrey, Holly Kavis, David Lambiaso, Nida Mehtab, Chase Morris, Sarah Rothman, Andrew Savoy, and Drakia Wilkins.

Terri Friel, dean of the Heller College of Business, had nothing but praise for the winning Roosevelt students. "I was extremely proud of our students as they presented the first proposal," she said. "They were polished professionals with a comprehensive plan who brought letters of interest from potential residents of the new site, something no other team offered.  Their vision, their understanding of the site and the people who would use it were empathic as well as sound business.  They not only presented a great plan but they presented a plan that was consistent with the mission of the college and university providing sustainable practices and social justice."

"This achievement versus some very good universities is further proof that we are an outstanding college and university where education and heart combine," Friel said.

The team is grateful to the academic assistance of Professors Sofia Dermisi and Jon DeVries and class adjuncts Dennis Harder and Jonathan Dennis as well as the HEEF advisors Steve Rachman and Terry McCollom.

In addition to the trophy and scholarship, the victorious students will be recognized in October at HEEF’s Annual Dinner, which draws hundreds of leading real estate executives and leaders from around the country.

The Roosevelt group’s winning plan, known as The Marquette Park Promenade, envisioned retail and grocery stores, educational and health facilities and community sports areas to be developed over a ten year period on former industrial and abandoned retail sites. The sustainable and community-driven development would boost the culture, economy and sense of community in the surrounding neighborhood, the Roosevelt team said.   One of its innovative design features was the utilization of railroad shipping containers (the site is adjacent to the massive CSX 59th Street intermodal yard) for shop and office spaces.

James Wilson of the City of Chicago’s Department of Housing and Economic Development called the Roosevelt team’s concept realistic and said, “it shows that you truly thought about the good of the community.”

Held each spring, the HEEF competition provides students with a hands-on opportunity to apply what they have learned in university courses to the real world of real estate. The competition challenges students to create a complete development plan for a selected site in the Chicago area. This year’s site was proposed by the Sears Holdings Corporation around the existing Sears store at 62nd street which would anchor redevelopment on a total of nearly 38 acres in total.  Sears is proposing similar innovative redevelopment in other urban locations in the U.S. with one of the first being in St. Paul.

The competition judges were Curt Bailey, president of Related Midwest; Cortez Carter, managing deputy commissioner at the City of Chicago’s Department of Aviation; Micah Maidenberg, a Crain’s Chicago Business Reporter; and Alfred M. Klairmont, President, Imperial Realty Company and Chairman of the Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation Education Committee.
The Harold E. Eisenberg Foundation, founded in 1999, is dedicated to gastronintestinal cancer research and real estate education.  It’s real estate education program is committed to bolstering the careers of aspiring real estate students and young professionals through its education programs, including mentorships, academic scholarships, Career Day, the Speaker Series, accredited courses and the Midwest Real Estate Challenge.  This is the third year of the Midwest Real Estate Challenge.