Who’s building up the South Bronx waterfront? Sure, $160-billion real estate developer Brookfield Properties is at the helm. But there are also a group of 50 high school and undergraduate students from the Bronx making some calls.
The students are partnered up with executives from Brookfield, teaching them about site design, deal analysis, construction financing and how to market projects, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“The bonding happens because they are competing together,” said private equity banker Cedric Bobo, who co-founded the nonprofit program Project Destined.
The group of 50 students are divided into five teams with real estate executives from Brookfield to plan a development, meeting once a week.
Their work is overseen by a panel of judges, which includes Bronx borough president Ruben Diaz Jr. and former Yankees star Alex Rodriguez, who invests in real estate.
The winning team won for their design on a site at the Three Bridges, where Brookfield is actually planning a development. Their prize? $10,000.
Project Destined also gives students a closer look at the people developing in the city.
“It breaks down the illusion people have in their head of the big, bad developer,” Brookfield’s Charlie Howe told the Journal. “They get to see that this business is fun, and we enjoy what we do, and we’re normal people.” [WSJ] — David Jeans