Schulich MREI in Urban Land Institute Case Competition Finals

Lynn Zhou MREI Candidate 2021
Lynn Zhou

A team of students from the Master of Real Estate & Infrastructure (MREI) at Schulich, the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program at Ryerson University, and the Masters of Urban Design + Masters of Architecture at the University of Toronto have qualified for the four-team final of the 2021 Urban Land Institute (ULI) Hines Student Case Competition.

The competition offers students the opportunity to form multidisciplinary teams and engage in a challenging exercise in responsible land use. The first part of the competition involved 105 teams (525 students) from 61 universities in the U.S., Canada, and Singapore. This year’s competition seeks a catalytic vision for East Village neighbourhood in downtown Kansas City that will have a positive economic impact and increase the sustainability and resilience of the area.

“The other students brought a lot of different perspectives in the development process,” said Lynn Zhou, an MREI student.  “It was a bit more challenging to work together due to the pandemic as we had to use Zoom and the online platform Slack to share ideas and organizing the design board. Overall, we had a very smooth collaboration.”

Zhou was in charge of the financial part of the project – conducting market research, proposing phasing strategies and sorting out funding sources to make sure the project is financially feasible. From her classes in the MREI program, she gained solid market research and financial modelling skills, as well as exposure to emerging trends in the industry, which are critical in this competition.

“I particularly want to thank all the advisors for our team, especially MBA Schulich alumni Christina Giannone, for her support on the pro forma and phasing strategies,” said Zhou. “The feedback from advisors and jury is also very valuable for me to apply for future projects.”

The Toronto team will compete in the finals on April 8, 2021.