Education is a key driver behind a highly skilled and diversified workforce, and Chicago is not only concentrated in terms of educational institutions, but it also offers leading programs to prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s global opportunities.
The Chicago metropolitan statistical area is home to more than 60 public & private post-secondary educational institutions with a combined full-time enrollment of more than 325,000 students (including 65,000+ in the Chicago Loop alone). Every year, colleges and universities in the city of Chicago award more than 21,000 bachelor's, 17,200 master's, and 3,700 doctoral degrees.
Among the institutions granting graduate & professional degrees in the Chicago area are two of the top MBA programs in the world: The Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Both rank among the top in the Financial Times’ and Economist’s global rankings.
In addition to providing human capital and countless other benefits to the city, students attending these schools also benefit from the city's assets, like access cultural and fine arts offerings, public transportation and a wide range of companies and public organizations.
Real estate students from Booth and Kellogg recently took advantage of these Chicago amenities as they competed in the eleventh annual Real Estate Challenge. The competition, which took place at the Waldorf Astoria, was judged by Sam Zell, Dan McCaffery and Larry Levy.
The academic challenge positioned the teams as the master developer for the 600-acre, lakefront site formerly home to U.S. Steel’s South Works (USX) Mill, which was shut down in 1992. The colossal scale of the site and proximity to downtown (roughly 10 miles) along with its lakeside location make it a desirable piece of undeveloped real estate in Chicago. In April 2012, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel visited the site when construction crews began the relocation and extension of Lake Shore Drive through the site. The roadway project is part of “Building a New Chicago,” the $7 billion, three-year infrastructure program.
Over the course of eight weeks, the student teams outlined development proposals, highlighting the potential jobs growth and property tax revenue for the City. Both teams emphasized mixed land uses, including commercial, retail and residential, as well as public private-partnerships. The Booth team suggested the pursuit of the Obama Presidential Library, an R&D/office park and the use of joint ventures to fund the development in waves. The Kellogg team highlighted the pursuit of a foreign university, an R&D/office park, and funding through land sales to developers. The plans were presented to a 150-person audience of real estate professionals, politicians (including Deputy Chicago Mayor Mark Angelson), students and alumni from each school. For the second year in a row, the Booth team was selected as the Challenge winner due to a more conservative financial outlook.
Kevin Schumm, Strategic Initiatives Intern at WBC and a member of the Booth team, said, “This is a terrific example of the mutually beneficial relationship between leading business schools and Chicago’s public and private sectors. Students gained invaluable real world experience working with area real estate developers and investors. And, in return, students contributed new and financially viable ideas to McCaffrey Interests and U.S. Steel.” The site development is being professionally managed by McCaffrey Interests, in partnership with U.S. Steel, as Chicago Lakeside. ChicagoLakesideCevelopment.com
Pictured above, left to right: Booth Professor Joseph Pagliari, Larry Levy (judge), Cherry Chen, Greg Conner, Karah Haghi, Scott Tolbert, Sam Zell (judge), Kevin Schumm, Bryant Gewalt, Brandon Breting, Yu Cao, and Michael Pepper (Booth advisor)