UMD’s Colvin Institute of Real Estate Development Names Winners of the Second Annual Intercollegiate Case Study Challenge



The University of Maryland (UMD) Colvin Institute of Real Estate Development has awarded a group of graduate students in real estate development from SUNY Buffalo the top prize in the second annual Colvin Case Study Challenge. The team beat out an initial 21 entries and four semi-finalists from 10 university programs across the nation in a juried, live competition Saturday at UMD. A second-place prize was awarded to New York University, third place to University of Illinois/Urbana-Champaign and fourth to University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis.


The Colvin Case Study Challenge is a national, retrospective, written case study competition that challenges teams to document a recent innovative real estate project within their own metropolitan region. The competition jury, comprised of real estate professionals from across the country, assessed each project team by their depth of understanding of markets, financing, sustainability, and transformational impact of the project.


SUNY Buffalo’s two-person team wowed the judges with their analysis of the Delaware North Building, a 330,000 square-foot mixed use building in Buffalo, NY. The team received a $10,000 prize for their efforts; the second, third and fourth place winners each received $2,500.


“As Director of the Colvin Institute, it has been a distinct pleasure to watch the Intercollegiate Case Study Competition grow, even in its second year, to a competition by more than 20 teams of  graduate and undergraduate real estate students looking not only to enhance their knowledge of real estate development itself, but by adding to the case studies of transformational real estate projects being documented around the country,” said Dr. Margaret McFarland, director of the Colvin Institute for Real Estate Development. “We know this is just the kind of impact that the late John Colvin had hoped his gift would make on students and the industry.” 


Colvin Case Study Challenge 2017 Winners:


First Place: Kevin Turner and Christopher Tringali

School: SUNY Buffalo

Project: Delaware North Building, Buffalo, New York 

Faculty Adviser: Mark Foerster

Mentor: David Stebbins


Second Place: Jainam Shah and Vandana Vishnubhotla

School: New York University

Project: Via Verde, South Bronx, New York

Faculty Adviser: Barry Hersh

Mentor: Emily Youssouf


Third Place: Ines Andrade, Michal Najder, and Logan Walker

School: University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign

Project: 1K Fulton, Chicago, Illinois

Faculty Adviser: Roger Cannaday and Sofia Sianis

Mentor: Mike Mallon


Fourth Place: John Mullaney, Pierre Stassart, and Cameron Welbig

School: University of St. Thomas

Project: A-Mill Artist Lofts, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Faculty Adviser: Herb Tousley


One of the hallmarks of the competition is its focus; unlike other case competitions, the Colvin Case Study Challenge centers on the post-development report and documentation of a recently completed project; it is specifically designed to home professional skills and demonstrate the team’s understanding and knowledge of critical elements of development. It also provides an opportunity for the students to present in a professional forum and glean feedback and counsel from experts in the industry, both through mentorship and jury interaction. This year’s jury comprised leaders in real estate development and education from across the country. The Colvin Institute thanks Susanne Cannon, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, DePaul University, Chicago, IL; Mukang Cho, Founder & CEO, Morning Calm Management, West Palm Beach, FL; Michael Johnson, President, UrbanCore LLC, Oakland, CA; and Robert Wulff, Director Emeritus, George Mason University, Center for Real Estate Entrepreneurship, for serving on the 2017 jury.


“We are thrilled to continue the tradition of promoting knowledge and excellence in emerging real estate professionals through the Colvin Case Study Challenge,” said Sonia Hirt, Dean of the University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. “This was an incredibly talented and knowledgeable crop of students this year, who will be sure to make their mark as professionals in the industry.”  


The Case Study Challenge is named for Baltimore Developer John Colvin, who founded the Colvin Institute of Real Estate Development in 2008. The Colvin Institute of Real Estate Development supports the multi-disciplinary approach of the University of Maryland’s Master of Real Estate Development curriculum that comprehensively covers finance and capital markets, law and public policy, structure and site design, construction management, property, portfolio and asset management as well as marketing and commercial leasing. Learn more about the Colvin Institute of Real Estate Development here.


For information on how to compete in the Fall 2018 competition, email Carrie Chard at


Posted on December 19, 2017 by Maggie Haslam