Cal 14-Stanford 9. Why Yes, We Did Win the Golden Shovel Again



Fit to be tied...actually, this team won the Golden Shovel: Steve O'Connell, MBA 12; Dan D'Orazi and Chris Brown, both MBA 13; Micah Burger, CED 12; and Fred Bayles, MBA 13


The Competition: Not that we're keeping score or anything (all right, clearly we are), but we must point out that for the 5th consecutive year, Berkeley-Haas has won the Golden Shovel Competition, sponsored by National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP). The two-team match-up pits Berkeley against Stanford.

The Outcome: This year's win brings the lifetime total to Cal 14-Stanford 9.

The team: Frederick Bayles, Chris Brown, and Dan D'Orazi, all MBA 13; Steve O'Connell, MBA 12; and Micah Burger, Architecture, CED 12.

The Challenge: To act as a consultant to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) to create a development and disposition strategy for a 17.5 acre site called the Balboa Reservoir. The site is located adjacent to the City College of San Francisco and is currently used as a surface parking lot for CCSF students. "As one of the last remaining large-scale, transit oriented development opportunities in San Francisco, the Site represents an extremely attractive investment opportunity," says D'Orazi.

The Winning Approach: The “Reservoir Bears” came up with a vision for a mixed residential community with open space called “Westwood Terrace.” The proposal also took advantage of the site's unique topography to provide below-grade replacement parking at close to above-grade costs. "As the largest student parking area on campus, replacement parking was a focal point of both the CCSF and the local community," says D'Orazi.

Due Diligence: The team spent time identifying the SFPUC's key motivators, distilling those down to: Maximize the value of the site to create an economic benefit for ratepayers and align with the SFPUC's long-term commitment to environmental sustainability. Also, "We spoke with over 100 industry leaders and spent countless hours analyzing different concepts and strategies."

Judges Said: The team was told that the depth and quality of their research on all aspects of the development was extremely impressive. "Our analysis was supported by a 272 page document that detailed every aspect of the process from start to finish. We also utilized a creative deal structure that was supported by accurate underwriting in-line with current return requirements," D'Orazi says.

The H Factor: The team received guidance from Professors Nancy Wallace and Bob Helsley and were concurrently taking their Real Estate Investment and Analysis class. "Our team advisor, Craig Davey, was also extremely helpful in developing our core concepts. In addition, the Haas real estate network was an invaluable resource for our team and we were continually impressed by the willingness of the community to open their doors."

Influence without Authority: "This was one of the most equitable and hardworking teams we have ever been associated with and we all truly enjoyed the experience," says D'Orazi. "The collaborative nature of Haas was extremely evident."

About The Author

From 2011-2013, Valerie Gilbert focused on sharing stories of Berkeley MBA student achievements and connection to the Haas Defining Principles. At Haas since 2004 and now Associate Director of Content Marketing, she still enjoys revealing the different facets of life at Berkeley-Haas to a variety of audiences.