Teams from Carnegie Mellon, Université Laval, University of Maryland, and University of Texas at Austin Advance in ULI Hines Student Competition


Students Compete for Winning Design of Chicago Site; Top Team to Receive $50,000 in Prize Funds

WASHINGTON (February 23, 2017) – (RealEstateRama) — Teams from Carnegie Mellon University, Université Laval in Quebec, the University of Maryland, and the University of Texas at Austin have been selected as the four finalists for the 15th annual Urban Land Institute (ULI) Hines Student Competition, an ideas competition that provides students the opportunity to devise a comprehensive design and development scheme for an actual, large-scale site in an urban area. The four teams are advancing to the final round of the competition in April, where they will compete for a $50,000 first place prize.

Teams from Carnegie Mellon
Jury Chairwoman Theresa O. Frankiewicz; Betsy del Monte; and Rameez Munawar during the jury selection process for the ULI Hines Student Competition at ULI headquarters in Washington, D.C., Feb. 16, 2017.

The 2017 competition is based on a hypothetical situation related to last year’s actual announcement by Mayor Rahm Emanuel that the Chicago Department of Fleet and Facility Management will be relocating its headquarters from the site near Goose Island. The competition’s challenge for students involves taking on the role of a master developer to create a successful bid for building a mixed-use sustainable area that benefits from adjacent synergies in the vacant property near Goose Island. The teams were tasked with evaluating the benefits and financial possibilities of buying the Fleet Management and Facility site, and potentially combining it with certain parcels to redevelop or sell as one comprehensive development site.

This year, applications were submitted by 118 teams representing nearly 60 universities in the United States and Canada. Hines Jury Chair Teri Frankiewicz, vice president of Community Development at Crown Community Development in Naperville, Illinois, cited four factors that made the finalists’ entries stand out. “First, the finalists took entire neighborhoods and created connectivity between them. Each team thought about how the challenge fit within the context of the neighborhoods. Second, they followed through on highlighting the river as the major amenity. Third, they all created an interesting mixed-use environment in which different types of office, retail, recreation and open space are utilized. Fourth, they were all very thoughtful about the financial ramifications of their designs,” she said. The finalists’ entries incorporated elements to make their schemes “authentically different,” she added.

The competition is designed to simulate an actual urban planning and development scenario. It allows each team of five students 15 days to design and submit a master-plan proposal that includes presentation boards with site plans, renderings, analytical tables, and market-feasible financial data. Embodying the complex nature of an actual urban planning and development scenario, student teams must be multidisciplinary and reflect at least three different built environment disciplines.

The finalist teams and development schemes are:

  • Carnegie Mellon:The IN-district preserves and celebrates the historic context of the Chicago North Branch area through a revitalization into a new center for culture, innovation, and industry. By connecting heavy and light industries, maker and innovation startups, education, and public amenities, “The IN-district” reinforces employment opportunities, as well as growth of a new vibrant community.
  • Université Laval:The Assembly Lineis as much a meeting place between neighborhoods as it is a high-efficiency manufacturing district with a 21st century twist. This project breaks away from Chicago’s squared landscape to welcome a new multi-disciplinary neighborhood.
  • University of Maryland: NorthWorksuses an inclusive development strategy that connects people and cultures through transportation initiatives, provides the necessary tools for the industrial labor force to adapt to a changing economy, and engages the natural beauty of the previously neglected portion of the Chicago River. Combined, these efforts spur the creation of Chicago’s newest neighborhood.
  • University of Texas at Austin: Rooted was built upon the inherent power of food culture to bring together people of diverse backgrounds in a comfortable and lively space. By developing a center of gravity for food and manufacturing, “Rooted” creates a unique urban experience, tying together past, present, and future.

Five entries received Honorable Mention recognition:

  • “Grow Chicago” — Columbia University, for a cogent reuse plan that highlights low-rise development incorporating a feasible economic model of urban farming.
  • ChicagoFit” — Georgia Institute of Technology, for an overall community-driven approach that highlights a cogent affordable proposal.
  • North West Bond” — Georgia Institute of Technology, for an extensive approach to the river development context and the connectivity to the rest of the urban fabric.
  • Tech Yards” — Kansas State University, for a comprehensive approach with a strong transportation vision.
  • “Catharsis” — University of Florida, for a daring approach that goes beyond the site, and a programming framework that incorporates sustainability with dexterity through cogent phasing.

Although the competition is a simulation of an actual urban planning and development scenario, the 2017 Hines Student Competition reflects many real-life urban growth challenges in Chicago. The city has taken a proactive approach, including encouraging corporations to locate downtown and catalyze economic development in some of the city’s struggling inner-city neighborhoods. However, some obstacles remain in connecting downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods, including improving transit efficiencies, adapting to the city’s changing employment base, and improving how new development and redevelopment enhance and fit with adjacent properties.

The competition jury consists of renowned experts from diverse backgrounds in real estate development. Jurors represent a strategic mix of land use professionals, including developers, architects, urban designers, urban planners, investment bankers and financial analysts.  Four of the 12 jurors, including Jury Chairman Frankiewicz, are Chicago-based professionals who help provide insight into whether proposals take into consideration local cultural, economic and political issues.

In addition to Frankiewicz, other members of the jury are: Jo Ann Chitty, senior vice president, Selig Enterprises, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia; Aruna Doddapaneni, director of development, BRIDGE Housing, San Diego, California; Raymond Hartshorne, partner, Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture, Chicago, Illinois; Nila R. Leiserowitz, regional managing principal, Gensler, Chicago, Illinois; Betsy del Monte, principal, Transform Global, Dallas, Texas; Rameez Munawar, financial analyst, Eastern Region of Columbia Property Trust, Washington, D.C.; Jon Pickard, principal, Pickard Chilton, New Haven, Connecticut; Michael Pitchford, president and CEO, CPDC, Silver Spring, Maryland; Kathryn L. Reynolds, founder and CEO, Vivelan Group, New Orleans, Louisiana; Thomas Samuels, principal, Thomas Samuels Enterprises, Chicago, Illinois and Megan Torza, partner, DTAH, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The Hines Student Competition was created with a generous endowment from longtime ULI leader Gerald Hines, founder of the Hines real estate organization. The program is part of an ongoing ULI effort to raise interest among young people in creating better communities and improving urban development patterns, as well as increase awareness among students of the need for interdisciplinary solutions to development and design challenges. The competition is strategically structured to encourage cooperation and teamwork—necessary talents in the planning, design, and development of sustainable communities—among future land use professionals and allied professions, such as architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, historic preservation, engineering, real estate development, finance, psychology, and law. It is open to graduate students who are pursuing real estate–related studies at universities in the United States and Canada, including programs in real estate development, urban planning, urban design, architecture, and landscape architecture.

During the last phase of the competition in April, the student finalist teams will have the opportunity to expand their original schemes and provide more detail for their plans. One member of each finalist team will receive an all-expenses-paid site tour of the Chicago site (though other team members may also join the tour). Information obtained during this site visit can then be used by the finalist teams in revising their presentations. During the April finale event, finalist team members will present their schemes in-person to the competition jury during a public forum in Chicago. A $50,000 prize will be awarded to the winning team, with $5,000 of the total going to the school. Each of the remaining three finalist teams will receive $10,000.

NOTE TO REPORTERS AND EDITORS: For more information or interviews related to the ULI Hines Student Competition, contact Trisha Riggs at ">. Additional information on the participating schools and student participation demographics can be found at

About the Urban Land Institute
The Urban Land Institute is a nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the institute has more than 40,000 members worldwide representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines. For more information, please visit or follow us on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn, and Instagram.

contact Trisha Riggs at 202-624-7086
by Robert Krueger

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