The NAIOP Golden Shovel Competition


Golden Shovel Score Scratchout

SPIRE once again sponsored the Stanford student team competing against Cal in NAIOP San Francisco's 32nd Annual Real Estate Challenge, also known as the Golden Shovel. The Cardinal Partners team took home bragging rights, the coveted James W. Brecht Memorial Golden Shovel, and a $2,000 check for charity, compliments of Mechanics Bank. Congrats team!

The Challenge, which plays upon the legendary Cal-Stanford rivalry, is a unique program designed to give graduate students hands-on experience in real estate development. The live presentations are the last step in an intensive ten-week journey in which teams tackle a complex real-life development project and engage with city officials and real estate professionals for guidance and mentoring along the way. Naturally, the pandemic provided an added level of difficulty to an already exacting process.

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) served as this year’s site sponsor and provided students with the daunting task of creating a plan for redeveloping VTA’s headquarters site, a 17.7-acre parcel located at 3131 North First Street in San Jose. Teams were charged with devising a plan to meet VTA’s goal of creating a sustainable mixed-use, mixed income, transit-oriented development that will maximize ridership and farebox recovery, create synergy with the surrounding area, maximize the site’s unique location adjacent to the Guadalupe River, monetize real estate assets and generate stable revenue sources.

Cardinal Partners wowed the jury and event attendees with The SPUR, an innovative office driven mixed-use development utilizing mass timber construction designed to engage the community and substantially increase ridership. Highlights of the three-phase proposal include high quality office/R&D space targeting hardware focused users, including ground floor incubator space for frontier technologies; 443 mixed income residential units, including 33% affordable housing; a community library; a highly activated civic commons plaza; ground floor retail; an option for a 175 key boutique hotel; a parking structure with large solar array planned for phasing in autonomous vehicles; and 5.2 acres of green space accessible to the public. Click HERE to explore the competing proposals from both teams.

SPIRE Golden Shovel Congrats 2021

SPIRE community members have also been stalwart supporters - the Stanford coach was Todd Regonini (MS '84). Lauren Pressman ('95, MBA '01) and Lauren Young (MBA '03), both of whom are Challenge alumnae, returned as Co-Chairs.