2023 REIAC/Rockefeller Group Challenge winners of Desert Science Development are (left to right) McKenna Palmer, Casey Mahoney, Shane Doherty, and Isa Ragland.

Three teams compete in finals of 10th Annual Arizona State University MRED event.

      PHOENIX, ARIZ. (May 8, 2023) – Med tech labs. A fitness component. A retail park. Connected pathways. The creation of 10,000 jobs.

When the dust settled at the 10th annual REIAC/Rockefeller Group Challenge at Arizona Country Club, it was the Discovery Oasis – Desert Science Development team that took home the cash prize of $1,000 per team member among the three teams of graduating Masters of Real Estate Development (MRED) students from Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business.

This year the competing teams of graduating ASU MRED students presented their development proposal for the vacant 218 acres owned by Mayo Clinic at 56th to 64th streets and Mayo Boulevard in Phoenix. Student teams presented their response to a request for development proposals created with Mayo and the MRED program.

A 10th-anniversary presentation recognizing MRED program alumni was held before the presentations.

The winning team of Casey Mahoney, Shane Doherty, McKenna Palmer, and Isa Ragland said its goal was to “create a sense of place by developing five innovative hubs to work together as an ecosystem.”

The Discovery Oasis – Desert Science Development comprises six phases to be built over 23 years, totaling 3 MSF of medical tech office space. Phase 1 features med tech lab facilities, a retail park, open spaces, and a museum. Phase 1 also included a convention center. Other phases included a community hub, research and development hub, and education and incubator hub. Phase 1 is where the synergy between Mayo and ASU exists, the team said.

“For the past 10 years we have produced graduates that the industry wants. These are graduates going into the industry and becoming industry leaders,” said Mark Stapp, director of the MRED program. “Although there is one winner in the Challenge, all student teams do excellent work. Each year we have great people involved, and even greater development projects to judge.

“It’s the faculty that delivers the content that’s so important to people in the industry. That was especially true for this particular assignment. The mentors and students alike were phenomenal. This is as rich and as real as we can make it,” Stapp said.

The other finalists and their projects:

>> Discovery Oasis – CORTEX: Jill Yen, Matt Howze, Ryan DuMars, and Jimmy Hawkins presented a development with lab and office space in which to generate research opportunities. It included hospitality and multifamily components and featured 7.8 MSF of buildable space. Other components were a Fitwell Center, retail space, and family care and education facilities.

>> Discovery Oasis – Echelon Development: Ann Johnson, Kolby Smith, Cody Deppen, and Zach Jaffe presented a project whose focus was entrepreneurship, education, and community. The proposal includes 46 buildings covering more than 5 MSF. It features three cores across the site: multifamily and office; med tech labs; and research and development space.

Each team was allotted 10 minutes to present a development solution followed by questions from the audience. Audience members chose the winning team immediately after the presentations.

“Two things get better every year,” Stapp said. “One is the support that comes from the REIAC membership and Rockefeller Group because that’s how this becomes real in terms of the student experience and not just in theory. The student experience continues to improve as we develop an alumni base who give back. As the program develops a reputation, we get better students every year.”

In addition to sponsoring the annual Challenge, REIAC Southwest awards two $2,500 scholarships to MRED students that have a financial need and want to pursue real estate careers in Arizona after they graduate.

“I am beyond belief that we are in our 10th year. Still, I continue to be impressed by the scope and execution of the presentations,” said Mark Singerman, Rockefeller Group Vice President/Regional Director and past REIAC Southwest President. “Rockefeller Group is extremely proud to have its name associated with this great program.” ​

 About REIAC

 The Real Estate Investment Advisory Council (REIAC) was established as a nonprofit trade association to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, concerns and experiences among senior executives who conduct real estate transactions. The invitation-only group limits its membership to senior-level executives at companies, who act as principals, and whose function is to develop, acquire, manage and/or finance real estate. Institutional quality programs and peer-to-peer relationship-building opportunities have established REAIC’s reputation throughout the national real estate investment community as one of its premier associations. www.reiac.org  The Power of REIAC

 About MRED

In nine months, the W. P. Carey Master of Real Estate Development (MRED) prepares students to lead real development projects that are environmentally respectful, socially responsible, and artfully designed. The MRED program is transdisciplinary, aligning principled instruction with dynamic real-world application. MRED is a unique partnership between four highly regarded schools within Arizona State University:

  • The W. P. Carey School of Business
  • The Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
  • The Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts
  • The Del E. Webb School of Construction https://programs.wpcarey.asu.edu/masters-programs/real-estate-development