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Graduate Students from NSU’s H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship Win SIOR Florida Challenge Grant for Project Associated with Airglades International Airport

First Place Team TW

L-R: Dr. Fred Forgey, Jose Menezes, Dr. Thomas Wuerzer, Jesus Suarez, Charles Chapman (Hendry County Administrator), Michael Withrow (missing: Antoine Sayegh)

Four students in the Master’s of Science in Real Estate Development (MSRED) program at NSU’s H. Wayne Huizenga College of Business and Entrepreneurship won the 2017 SIOR Florida Challenge Grant and received certificates and scholarship funds at a ceremony held August 31 in the Knight Auditorium in the Carl DeSantis Building.

The Challenge Grant recognized excellence in a case study analysis and development competition for Hendry County (Florida) and Airglades International Airport. The event and scholarship grants were sponsored by The Society of Industrial and Office REALTORS® (SIOR) Florida Chapter and the SIOR Foundation. The event was moderated by Ted Konigsberg, SIOR and SIOR Florida Education Chair and a Principal with Infinity Commercial Real Estate in Miami Lakes, FL.

When built, Airglades International Airport will become the first ever FAA sanctioned, private commercial cargo airport in the continental United States.

Each student from the winning team received $1,500. Each student from the second place team received $1,000. Three teams of four students each competed for the Challenge Grant as part of Dr. Thomas Wuerzer’s class within Master of Science in Real Estate Development Program.

Jesus Suarez, Jose Menezes, Michael Withrow and Antoine Sayegh were on the winning team. The second place team was comprised of Alexandra Hall, Dustin Ozga, Harold Riley and Kenneth Suhandorn.

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 runway 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. NSU student teams’ submitted site planning proposals for the airport and land use development ideas for real estate development associated with Airglades International Airport for the 2017 SIOR Florida Challenge Grant competition.

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. In 2016, 43 million passengers arrived or departed from MIA and passenger traffic is expected to double in the next 15 years.

Hendry County Administrator Charles Chapman told the audience of approximately 100 attendees from across the U.S. that the county was absolutely committed to training residents for the type of jobs the new airport would create, establish the necessary infrastructure to support the $500 million project and eventually build housing to accommodate new residents to Hendry County.

SIOR Foundation President David Hagan said “we firmly believe our support and funding of educational events like this one become a model of public-private cooperation which effectively leverages the tremendous intellectual capacity and research expertise of leading universities like Nova Southeastern University. NSU provides their exceptional students a unique opportunity to help guild the future of commercial real estate and importantly, have real-world real estate experience before graduating. The SIOR Foundation exists to nourish efforts like the Florida Challenge Grant program and we are very pleased to lend our support to the great work being done by the Florida Chapter of SIOR.”

To see the video about the student proposals for ancillary real estate development associated with Airglades International Airport cut and paste this link into a browser.