Bronx students learn about real estate in mock development competition

Cyril Josh Barker | 3/7/2019, 11:44 a.m.
Approximately 60 students from the Bronx recently completed a competition where they showed off what they learned in a real ...
The winners of the Project Destined Bronx Championship: (l-r) Kathryn, 17, Tyon, 28, Francis, 17, Ashley, 17, Eduardo, 17, Jailyn, 17, Jose, 21, Carolona, 22, Anisha, 21 Cyril Josh Barker photos

Approximately 60 students from the Bronx recently completed a competition where they showed off what they learned in a real estate based education program and got the opportunity to present their ideas to a panel of judges that included Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and baseball legend Alex Rodriguez.

The competition was presented by Project Destined, a non-profit that administers real estate education to promote financial literacy, leadership development and access to mentorship opportunities. Now in its second year in the city, the program aims to create pathways to jobs for young people from high school through age 25.

Students started their mock projects in the fall and learned about the real estate industry within their communities. Over the past six months, the students worked with industry experts who have deep knowledge and experience in the real estate and design industries. They delivered their presentations to a team of experts at a Shark Tank-style panel last Saturday at NBA Headquarters in Midtown.

Project Destined was founded by The Carlyle Group executive and Harvard Business School graduate Cedric Bobo and FLGA Real Estate Group partner Fred Greene.

“We want to train urban youth to be stakeholders of change in their neighborhoods as opposed to bystanders of change,” Green explained. “We are in seven total markets with New York being our largest market. This is our second class in New York. Since September these scholars have been exposed to all aspects of real estate development investment.”

The students worked with real estate executives from Brookfield Properties. Each team created mock $50 million proposed real estate properties in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx that included hotels, affordable housing, retail, entertainment and sports venues. Each of the groups presented their plan to a panel of judges for a chance to win scholarship money totaling $25,000.

The team Destined Development won this year’s competition and consisted of nine students from the Bronx. Their winning project consisted of multi-family residential building with a ground floor beauty and retail space.

“We put in over 100 hours worth of work in our presentation,” team member and Fordham University student Anisha Pedenukar said. “We had a really great team with some dynamic speakers and we were able to hone in on that. We never stopped working.”