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USC Lusk Center Students Win 2015 NAIOP Real Estate Challenge


Pictured is the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate team, which won this year’s annual NAIOP Real Estate Challenge, accepting the Silver Shovel, while NAIOP SoCal president Tom Wulf, far left, and Real Estate Challenge site owner look on.

The competition, held Nov. 19 at USC’s Town and Gown, pits students at USC’s Marshall School of Business and Price School of Public Policy’s Lusk Center against students at the UCLA Anderson School of Business’ Ziman Center for Real Estate. The five-member teams spent an entire day creating innovative development proposals for the highest and best use of the 950k SF former Hawthorne indoor shopping mall.


The UCLA team’s (pictured) concept, Hawthorne Crossing, a mixed-use development with 390 multifamily apartments, 250k SF of ground-floor retail with major anchor tenants that included 100k SF of Class-A medical office and more than 55k SF of community-oriented uses. The UCLA team called Hawthorne Crossing “a catalytic development that will start the downtown Hawthorne renaissance.”

USC’s proposal, Avenir Park, called for a new urban park that provides a venue for celebration and events, while adding much-needed housing, retail and hospitality programming to Hawthorne. The team noted that “Avenir means ‘future’ and looks to bring a bright future to Hawthorne.”


The proposals were judged by 12 industry leaders and then presented to the audience. Event emcee was James “Watty” Watson, president/CEO of CT Realty and game commentary was by Chris Roberts, former voice of the Bruins, and Pete Aborgast, voice of the Trojans.