New Brunswick, NJ – The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) announced that a team of Rutgers real estate students took second place in its sponsored case competition. Undergraduate students Max Chen, Amanda Collado, Raj Mitaliya, Aditya Parikh, and John Profaci, Rutgers Center for Real Estate students, collaborated to present their chosen strategy for the challenge presented by ICSC. The Center for Real Estate funded the participation of this and other teams of students that entered case competitions this year.
This team of five students, seniors at the Rutgers Business School, selected the strategy they would pursue, and with the short timeframe provided, created the presentation that ultimately awarded them second place. Teams from Temple University, Indiana University, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Alabama, Michigan State, Georgia State, Ole Mississippi, California State, and the University of Guelph from Canada were competing.
Professors David Frame and George Jacobs, who are responsible for oversight of the Rutgers team, provided guidance to the team.
Professor Jacobs, who was also the faculty leader for the team that won took first place in the 2022 University of Miami case competition, remarked, “It’s a pleasure dealing with a team of students whose effort on this case competition showed their commitment to excellence.”
The challenge prompt given to the teams:
Ansley Commons is a 2018 construction of a 97,633 square foot Publix anchored shopping center in Fort Myers, FL located on Tamiami Trail (US 41) – the region’s major arterial roadway with traffic counts exceeding 60,000 vpd. The center sits on approximately 10 acres of land. Despite this strategic location, the center had struggled with leasing as the developer and current owner is inexperienced, dis-incentivized, and financially not capable of completing the stabilization of the property. The center is currently 50% vacant and includes a vacant developable 1 acre out parcel directly on Tamiami Trail adjacent to a new CVS.
Due to the issues facing the property with the need to either lease-up or repurpose the vacant real estate, the mayor of the city is desperate for any type of responsible real estate development here and is willing to support a significant portion of this property to be re-zoned to allow for maximum density residential apartments of 30 units per acre. Historically, whatever the mayor supports from a re-zoning standpoint, the zoning board will approve. There is a demand for quality Class-A rental housing units in Fort Myers and market surveys show the demand for additional rental units.
The mock development project involved financing, zoning, housing, and political issues in the town, forcing the teams to think comprehensively about their plan.
About The Center for Real Estate at Rutgers Business School
The Center for Real Estate at Rutgers Business School was established in 2014 as an academic program positioned to transform and inspire the next generation of real estate leaders. The Center’s Executive Committee, Advisory Board and Leaders Council are comprised of the most knowledgeable and successful real estate professionals, in both academic study and in real-world practice, all whom are dedicated to creating and cultivating a collaborative community of industry thought leaders.