The longtime rivalry between USC and UCLA moves off the field April 13 when teams from the USC Marshall School of Business and the Anderson School at UCLA participate in an urban planning competition sponsored by the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the National Assn. of Industrial and Office Properties.
The challenge for the two teams is to answer the question, "Will the new Staples Center create opportunities for development of pedestrian-oriented retail and commercial space along the Figueroa Corridor?"
The five-student teams will present findings to be judged by a panel of Los Angeles real estate executives and experts.
UCLA is defending champion in the annual event, having won last year with a recommendation for the city of Hawthorne on redevelopment near Los Angeles International Airport.
David Thurman of Concorde Real Estate Group, president of NAIOP, said the contest produces ideas for solving land-use problems and raises money for charity at the same time.
The winning team will earn a contribution to the Special Olympics in its name, along with "bragging rights" for the next year, Thurman said.
Real estate experts often describe the million-square-foot, $375-million Staples Center as a catalyst that will help generate other types of development in downtown Los Angeles. The center, for which Staples Inc. will pay $100 million over 20 years for naming rights, is scheduled to open in the fall.
A dinner and an awards presentation at the Los Angeles Times printing plant downtown follow the competition. Tickets are $250 each. For information, call NAIOP at (310) 445-9818.