SIOR Florida Opens Challenge Grant Competition

The SIOR Florida Chapter and the nonprofit SIOR Foundation have awarded multiple scholarships over the years to students in accredited Real Estate programs. This year, the Florida Chapter decided to shake things up and created a “challenge grant” program: The SIOR Florida Challenge Grant allows teams of five-to-seven students at a school with an accredited Master’s Program in Real Estate to:

Review an actual real world commercial development project; analyze target markets, building and site characteristics.

Identify opportunities to maximize the development potential and economic return of the project.

Make recommendations to the developer to enhance the market visibility of the project.

This year, DCT Industrial’s submission was selected as the problem statement. DCT is a publicly traded organization with a portfolio of properties across North America, and is developing DCT Commerce Center Phase II in Miami, a three building, 425,000 square-foot, multi-tenant planned industrial park with excellent access to Miami’s port, airport and labor markets.

The students enrolled in the Master of Science in Real Estate Development Program at Nova Southeastern University’s Wayne Huizenga School of Business were selected to work on DCT’s site submission. Three teams were selected, with the winning team being awarded $7,500 and the second-place team awarded $2,500. Students, acting as professional real estate consultants analyzed the DCT development through research in site and construction characteristics, local and regional demographics, federal and international tax laws and trade agreements, port and airport cargo analysis, analysis of trade routes, material handling requirements of various industries, unmet tenant requirements, the expansion of the Panama Canal, employment and expansion by industry, and other criteria.

The teams submitted their proposals orally and in a professional report form to Todd Watson of DCT, the Dean of the Real Estate Master’s Program Dr. Fred Forgey, and Ted Konigsberg, the Florida SIOR Education Chair. They were judged on creativity, thoroughness, the quality of the presentation materials, sophistication of analytical methods, and the economic viability of their proposals.

The Challenge Grant Competition was held on February 26th at Nova Southeastern University in

Davie, Florida. The grant money and awards were presented and the winning team’s presentation was shown to a “who’s who” in Commercial Real Estate. The ceremony was followed by an industry networking event, cosponsored by the Realtors Commercial Alliance and SIOR Florida. Attendants included numerous commercial real estate developers and officers of SIOR, CCIM, and RCA from as far afield as Jacksonville and Atlanta.

The winning student team members were:

Alex Gulick

Dylan Siegel

Dustin Anderson

Ilyssa Shacter

Daryle Ballew

Johnny Studstill

Ted Konigsberg the SIOR Florida education chair stated, “We are all very excited to have participated in this competition. It was an absolute win-win scenario for the developer and the students. DCT will implement some of the ideas generated by a fresh set of eyes and had the opportunity to engage with the best of the next generation in our industry. The students had a real-world project to work on, and the chance to network with professionals at a level usually not available to them until years spent in the industry. The SIOR Foundation and the Florida Chapter are thrilled to have organized and sponsored this program and are looking forward to continuing and improving it in the future.”

“The SIOR Florida Challenge Grant is a way for us to support the future generation of commercial real estate while introducing them to the SIOR organization,” said Edward J. Redlich, President of the SIOR Florida Chapter. “Our organization is made up of the best of the best in commercial real estate, so an early introduction to individuals at the college level will give them something to strive to obtain in the first 15 to 20 years of their careers.”

Todd Watson, Regional Vice President of DCT Industrial said, “We were impressed with the creativity of some of the recommendations by the students. There were certainly some “out of the box” options that we may not have otherwise considered.”

“This was an outstanding opportunity for our students to put down their text books and actually apply what they’ve learned in a real world setting,” stated Dr. Fred Forgey, Director of the Masters in Real Estate Program. “It also gives them exposure to contacts in the industry which will be of great use when they’re looking for a job in the commercial real estate field upon graduation, and experience in the analysis of a real world development project,” he continued. “We truly appreciate SIOR selecting us as their partner in this competition for the 2014-2015 school year, and we thank DCT Industrial for presenting us with such a significant project, one that will impact the regional economy for decades to come.”

Paul Cauchi, the Senior Vice President of the Realtor’s Commercial Alliance of Miami stated, “It was a real pleasure to see the level of professional ability being brought to our industry by these students. We thank SIOR for the opportunity to cosponsor this event, and are proud to be associated with the best of the best in commercial real estate.”

About SIOR

SIOR is a global, professional association that represents the commercial real estate industry’s top producers. The prestigious SIOR designation is professional recognition of the highest level of achievement, knowledge, accountability, and ethical standards in today’s real estate industry. Real Estate transaction professionals who hold SIOR certification are widely recognized by real estate executives, other commercial real estate brokers, agents and lenders as the most experienced and capable brokerage practitioners in the commercial brokerage community. Those holding the SIOR designation represent industrial and office brokers, sales management, advisory services, and executive management specialists. Learn more at

About SIOR Foundation

The SIOR Foundation’s mission is to promote and support initiatives that expand, educate, and enhance the commercial real estate community. They envision that Foundation-sponsored initiatives are recognized inside and outside the commercial real estate industry as pre-eminent in advancing professional practice. Learn more at

About DCT Industrial

DCT Industrial (NYSE:DCT) is a proven leader in industrial real estate, offering best-in-class ownership, acquisition, leasing, development and management. Everything DCT does is driven by a genuine desire to exceed expectations. They constantly strive to be more creative, more engaged, and more responsive than any of their competitors-delivering value and doing the right thing, every step of the way. Learn more at

About Nova Southeastern University’s Master in Real Estate Development at the Wayne Huizenga School of Business

NSU’s MS in Real Estate Development (MSRED) program prepares graduates to undertake mid and senior level responsibility in development, management, investment and sales and marketing firms. Graduates enter the industry as emerging leaders knowing how to locate and analyze the diverse aspects of real estate from legal, economic and financial considerations to political and regulatory requirements. The full immersion curriculum is taught by highly experienced leaders with in-depth knowledge gained from years of actual experience. Program graduates provide significant added value to their companies.

About the REALTORS Commercial Alliance of MIAMI

The REALTORS Commercial Alliance of MIAMI, with members in Miami-Dade and now Broward County is one of the largest commercial REALTOR organizations in the country with almost 1,500 active members. RCA MIAMI was created over 10 years ago because they recognized that commercial practitioners need specific tools, products, education and resources. RCA MIAMI members specialize in office, industrial, retail, multi-family, investment and other commercial disciplines. We provides services to increase the profitability of our members, including superior educational opportunities, legislative affairs and advocacy, the latest technology tools for commercial real estate practitioners, and upholding the professional standards of the commercial real estate industry.