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Nova Southeastern University
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Airglades International Airport Closer to Taking Flight with the help of Nova Southeastern University (NSU) Graduate Students and The Society of Industrial and Office REALTORS® (SIOR)

SIOR and NSU Set to Announce Winners of 2017 Challenge Grant Associated with the First FAA Sanctioned Privatized Commercial Cargo Airport Planned to Open in the U.S.


FORT LAUDERDALE/DAVIE, FLA — The winners of the 2017 Challenge Grant featuring graduate students associated with the development of Airglades International Airport in Hendry County will be announced August 31 at Nova Southeastern University (NSU).

The event is sponsored by The Society of Industrial and Office REALTORS® (SIOR) Florida Chapter and the SIOR Foundation. The students are pursuing Masters of Science in Real Estate Development (MSRED) degrees in the H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship at NSU.

The presentation will take place at 5:30 pm at Nova Southeastern University’s Carl DeSantis Building, located at 3301 College Avenue in Davie, FL. A private reception for event attendees, the students and their families will immediately follow the presentation and awards ceremony.

Airglades International Airport

Airglades International Airport Site Plan

Airglades International Airport Site Plan

Subject to final approvals, construction to build Airglades International Airport in Hendry County, Florida (about 80 miles north of Miami) is tentatively planned to commence during the fourth quarter of 2018. Currently, the approximately 3,000-acre airport area has a World War II-dated airport used by a parachute jumping school and private pilots, plus fields of sugar cane, grazing areas for cattle and open space.

Ultimately, the new cargo-specific airport will feature state-of-the-art warehouse and distribution facilities designed specifically for perishable goods. The airport could open as early as 2020.

The addition of a nearby cargo-centric airport (Airglades) will greatly relieve Miami International Airport (MIA) of commercial traffic and importantly, it will allow MIA to increase passenger traffic at its airport and thereby boost the South Florida economy with greater levels of tourism and business spending in area hotels, restaurants, retail and other commercial activities. Airglades should also substantially reduce truck traffic in the greater Miami area and specifically, between MIA and downtown Miami.

Florida Governor Rick Scott’s office has recently awarded Hendry County $1 million in state funds for further planning and development of the Airglades International Airport. Those funds are available to the county October 1 of this year.

The Challenge Grant Competition

NSU’s Master of Science in Real Estate Development (MSRED) program ( created three teams with four students each under the supervision of Dr. Thomas Wuerzer, associate professor of real estate development, to develop design concepts associated with ancillary land-uses, creating amenities and related development on property immediately adjacent to Airglades International Airport. Students from the winning and second-place teams will receive scholarships. $20,000 has been funded by the SIOR Foundation and SIOR Florida Chapter for this project and the August 31 event.

The structured relationship between SIOR and Nova Southeastern University to create a challenge grant program and make it an integral part of the MSRED education was initiated a few years ago by Ted Konigsberg, SIOR, SIOR Foundation Trustee and the President of Infinity Commercial Real Estate based in Miami Lakes, FL, with Dr. Fred Forgey, Director of the Master of Science in Real Estate Development (MSRED) Program at the H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship. Konigsberg is an active executive committee leader in the SIOR Florida Chapter.

During the Challenge Grant event August 31, Konigsberg will present an overview of the design concepts from the three competing teams. Dr. Forgey, along with Dr. Thomas Wuerzer from NSU, will conduct a question and answer session about the parameters of the competition. Also expected to speak at the event is David Hagan, SIOR and the 2017 SIOR Foundation President. He is also a Senior Vice President with CBRE-Triad in Greensboro, NC. There will be other speakers and VIP attendees to be announced just prior to the event.

“The SIOR Foundation’s mission is to educate, enhance and expand the commercial real estate community which it fulfills through scholarships, grants and programs on a regional, national and international basis. The SIOR Challenge Grant with Nova Southeastern University is just one example of how the SIOR Foundation partners with universities to allow exceptional students to experience commercial real estate and help develop cutting-edge solutions to complex challenges which can then serve as a national model,” said David Hagan.

“This project allows our students to take what they learned in the classroom and apply it to a real-time initiative,” said Fred Forgey, Ph.D., professor and director of the MSRED program at NSU’s Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship. “Not too many graduate students get this kind of experience while still in college.  It’s a great resume builder.”




About Nova Southeastern University (NSU): Located in beautiful Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Nova Southeastern University (NSU) is a dynamic research institution dedicated to providing high-quality educational programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and first-professional degree levels. A private, not-for-profit institution, NSU has campuses in Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami, Miramar, Orlando, Palm Beach, and Tampa, Florida, as well as San Juan, Puerto Rico, while maintaining a presence online globally. For more than 50 years, NSU has been awarding degrees in a wide range of fields, while fostering groundbreaking research and an impactful commitment to community. Classified as a research university with “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, NSU is 1 of only 50 universities nationwide to also be awarded Carnegie’s Community Engagement Classification, and is also the largest private, not-for-profit institution in the United States that meets the U.S. Department of Education’s criteria as a Hispanic-serving Institution. Please visit for more information about NSU and for more information on the largest fundraising campaign in NSU history.

About NSU’s H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship: Serving more than 3,500 students, NSU’s H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in areas such as accounting, finance, human resource management, public administration, supply chain management and more. The college is housed in the five-story state-of-the-art Carl DeSantis Building on NSU’s main campus in Fort Lauderdale-Davie, Florida. Programs are also available at multiple locations and online. For more information, please visit:

About Airglades International Airport: The two largest landowners in Hendry County, US Sugar and Hilliard Brothers, have invested in Airglades International Airport LLC and together will be the operator and owner of the new commercial airport once all final approvals are granted during the FAA airport privatization approval process.

Upon final approval, Hendry County will convey the airport to this new corporation. It is a classic example of public-private sponsorship, which is the spirit behind the 1997 Congressional law that established the FAA’s Airport Privatization Pilot Program. When built, Airglades International Airport would be the first FAA sanctioned and privatized commercial cargo airport to operate in the United States.

Converting 3,000 acres of land to commercial aviation use will be an economic boon to Hendry County and Florida in general, as the airport will spur hundreds of millions of dollars in private commercial real estate development nearby to accommodate the airport’s existence and future growth. Airglades will specifically be a commerce and cargo airport only, shipping and receiving mostly perishable goods from Latin and South America (flowers, Chilean Sea Bass, much more). Ultimately, the new cargo-specific airport will feature state-of-the-art warehouse and distribution facilities designed specifically for perishable goods. The modern logistics and supply chain features will significantly lower the cost of delivery from the original sources of those goods to various points-of-purchase locations throughout the U.S. and Canada.

About SIOR Foundation: SIOR Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) not‐for‐profit organization that solicits and accepts charitable contributions that are tax deductible for income estate and gift‐tax purposes. Established in 1962 as the Society of Industrial REALTORS® Educational Fund (SIREF), the organization’s original purpose was to publish the industry’s first graduate-level textbook on industrial real estate. When the Society was expanded to Society of Industrial and Office REALTORS® in 1985, the Fund became the SIOREF. In 2006, the SIOREF broadened its scope to provide future support to SIOR members and communities. At that time, it also adopted a new mission and changed its name to the SIOR Foundation. As the Foundation recently celebrate​d its 55th anniversary in 20​17 it continues to develop and promote educational initiatives, as well as working to enhance and expand the commercial real estate community in a variety of ways.

Future plans envision an endowment sufficient enough to attract the brightest minds to the community by offering full scholarships at every college with an accredited real estate program, to create endowed real estate chairs at accredited universities, build an SIOR Foundation research department, create the industry standard for ethics and accountability, and increase funds for research and community programs.

The SIOR Foundation is located at 1201 New York Ave. NW, Ste 350 in Washington, DC 20005-6126 Phone: 202.449.8208


August 23, 2017

Media Contacts:

Gary Marsh
Principal, Pipkin Marsh Advisors
SIOR Associate Member and SIOR Foundation Trustee, 415.999.3793

Julie Spechler, M.A.
Director, Public Relations and Marketing Communications
Nova Southeastern University, 954-262-5348 phone or 954-591-3361 cell

Allison Stull,
SIOR Communications Manager
The Society of Industrial and Office REALTORS®, 202.449.8238