NAIOP SoCal UCLA vs USC Real Estate Challenge Site Revealed; Event to be Held on UCLA Campus on Nov 15

Costa Mesa, CA (October 15, 2018) – The site for the NAIOP SoCal UCLA vs. USC Real Estate Challenge has been announced. On November 15 graduate student teams from the Ziman Center of Real Estate at UCLA’s Anderson School of Business and the Lusk Center at USC’s Marshall School of Business and Price School of Public Policy will compete head-to-head in a real estate competition to determine the highest and best use for a unique undeveloped parcel in the city of Tustin. The winning school receives bragging rights and the coveted Silver Shovel.

The 2018 NAIOP Challenge Project involves an undeveloped parcel on 11 acres of land located at the southwest corner of Del Amo Avenue and Newport Avenue in Tustin. The city acquired the property in 2007 and it has been vacant since that time. The challenge site is a highly visible gateway infill location adjacent to the 55 Freeway and near Tustin Legacy, the 1600-acre former Tustin Marine Corps Air Station, which is currently being redeveloped. The site sits in a planning area of the Pacific Center East Specific Plan which is a major employment center in Tustin that will continue to grow. The student teams are tasked with identifying the highest and best uses that are feasible for this site that is located near a major airport, freeways and beach-proximate neighborhoods. 

A panel of high-profile industry leaders will award points on the student teams’ written and oral presentations to determine the winning idea. The event will take place on the UCLA campus at Carnesale Commons, where the students will also make presentations to a live audience.

“Our City is evolving. The development of Tustin Legacy has benefitted so much of the surrounding area, which makes this site so interesting for the students,” said John Buchanan, Director of Economic Development, City of Tustin. “We look forward to hearing their ideas and are honored to be part of such an iconic Southern California industry event.”

NAIOP SoCal Real Estate Challenge Chair and Senior Vice President with PMRG Mark Mattis added, “This competition brings a great deal of industry exposure to the students. It’s a real world challenge for both teams who must present and defend their ideas in front of high-profile executives from all disciplines of commercial real estate.”

In addition to the student presentations, the Real Estate Challenge will feature commentary on the upcoming USC vs. UCLA football game. For more information on event sponsorships and tickets, visit

About the City of Tustin: The City of Tustin is located at the heart of Orange County with a population of more than 80,000 residents. The City is recognized for its strategic crossroads location, hillside areas which offer sweeping panoramic views of the Pacific Coast and Saddleback Mountains, prime commercial, industrial, and residential development, and one of the oldest historical “old towns” in Orange County. The City is currently pursuing development of its master plan for Tustin Legacy, a 1,600-acre master-planned community that is being developed on land formerly known as Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Tustin. For more information, visit For more information regarding the City of Tustin visit

About NAIOP SoCal — NAIOP SoCal is a chapter of NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, and comprises more than 1,000 members serving the counties of Los Angeles and Orange.  NAIOP is the leading organization for developers, owners and related professionals in office, industrial and mixed use real estate, with more than 18,700 members in North America.  NAIOP advances responsible commercial real estate development and advocates for effective public policy.  For more information, visit

Click here to learn more about the Real Estate Challenge!