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Team from USU wins grand prize in real estate challenge

Team from USU wins grand prize in real estate challenge

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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Keith McCord reporting Four Utah State University students are $20,000 richer today. That was the award they received as part of a contest sponsored by the business school at the University of Utah.

It was called the "2007 Real Estate Challenge." College students from all over the state interested in getting into the profession of real estate development had to come up with an entire business plan for a project, and they had to lay out everything from the design to the budget. Today, the winning team was announced.

Brad Ethington, Katie Rhodes, Jamie Lucky and Morgan Cox of Utah State were all smiles as they held a check for $20,000.

Team from USU wins grand prize in real estate challenge

They won the inaugural "2007 Real Estate Challenge" put on by the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah.

They were one of 45 teams that entered the competition -- 200 students in all-- where they had to come up with a developable project idea. They had to do it all, from securing building permits to taking care of zoning and finding investors. Then they had to sell the idea to dozens of judges. "Then we had 35 practitioners from every facet of real estate including architecture, legal, finance and brokerage score these presentations," said Fred Fairclough, director of the Real Estate Center.

Ethington is a business administration major. He said, "We found a lot up in Logan that we felt that was sort of an eyesore, I guess you could say."

To get rid of that eyesore the winners, who call themselves "Aggie Developers," designed a $6-million shopping center.

Jamie Lucky, an accounting major, said, "A shopping complex right in the middle of downtown Logan; we really wanted to make something that everyone in the community could enjoy ... a place where they could go and get everything in one stop."

The winners haven't decided how they'll spend the money yet. Organizers of the competition said more students signed up to participate than they had expected. They'll do it again next year. Who knows, maybe that next big development that you see going up somewhere in Utah was the idea of a group of students like these.


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