‘Innovative’ ESSEC team wins ULI Hines Student competition

A team of four students from ESSEC Business School, France, have won the third annual ULI Hines Student Competition – Europe for urban development.

This year’s challenge was to devise plans for the redevelopment of a former dairy factory located in a changing district of northern Madrid, Spain. The teams were challenged to create a vision for the regeneration of the factory and the wider site that would lead to a positive impact in the area.

Antoine Sgar, Marie Lucille, Marion Decloux-Carré and Théo Roché from ESSEC beat teams from London Business School (UK), INSEAD (France), IE University (Spain), LSE/UCL/Oxford Brookes (UK) and London Business School/University of Glasgow (UK).

The competition winners will each receive a fast-track to the Hines internship application programme, a guided tour of an existing development project, participation in project meetings in Hines’ European offices, and complementary access to ULI programmes. All of the six teams of finalists receive ULI membership for a year.

The final took place in a hybrid format on 24 May. Plans had to include a site plan and overall mix of uses and amenities; an innovative brief for the reuse of the factory that would benefit the wider community; and measures to ensure a strong focus on ESG principles balancing positive societal outcomes with reasonable financial returns.

Aims were to include minimising environmental impact while generating a positive community impact, creating connections to surrounding districts, and enhancing social cohesion. Proposals had to demonstrate a vision for the redevelopment that understood the challenges of placemaking. They needed to enhance the existing urban fabric and act as a catalyst to spurn redevelopment in the wider urban area. Addressing finance, investment, design, planning and sustainable development, and ESG were all essential.

The finalists presented their plans to a jury comprising Lars Huber, CEO, Hines Europe; Brian Moran, Head of Ireland, Hines; Irina Stefanova, Global Head Real Estate and Facility Services, Novartis; Jorge Pérez de Leza, CEO, Metrovacesa; Virginia González Montes de Oca, Senior Architect, Community of Madrid; Iñigo Ortiz, Co-founder, Ortiz Leon Architects; and Lisette van Doorn, CEO – Europe, ULI.

“The ULI Hines Student Competition in Europe is designed to inspire the next generation of real estate leaders to rise to a real-life challenge and address the multi-layered issues and complexities of urban development and placemaking,” said Lars Huber, CEO of Hines Europe. “Our judging panel was hugely impressed by the innovation and ingenuity, grounded in pragmatism, of all the finalists this year, particularly their awareness and sensitivity in addressing the ESG challenges and community impact dimensions of the case study project.”