University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA

Campus Plaza Retail Feasibility Study, Concept Development Work Session, Program Confirmation, Financial Analysis, and Business Planning

B&D was retained by the University of California, Berkeley in 2008, and then again in 2009, to study the retail demand for Lower Sproul Plaza (“the plaza”) on Berkeley’s main campus.  The plaza is a key component to the southern gateway to campus.  Once considered the hub of student life, the plaza had seen its importance decline in recent years due to aging buildings and inadequate facilities.  The university was considering renovating it and tasked us with assessing the total retail demand for a revitalized plaza. Redevelopment plans included renovation of the Chavez Student Center and the King Memorial Union, the demolition of Eshleman Hall, and improvements to the physical connection of the plaza to Upper Sproul Plaza and the commercial corridors. Our scope of work included campus tours and interviews with university officers, students, faculty, and staff; a retail demand analysis; an on- and off-campus retail demand analysis; and a preliminary financial analysis.  We assessed the total retail potential for the campus and the immediate area surrounding the plaza. With a significant internal campus and sizable off-campus demand for additional retail, a mix of student-oriented dining and non-food retail was recommended as part of any renovation.  In addition, we projected the financial implications the additional retail would bring to the campus. In 2010, the Lower Sproul Student Community Center project won an AIACC Honor Award for Urban Design.  The following year, we were brought back to develop a business plan for the estimated $223.2 million Lower Sproul Plaza redevelopment project.  Following renovations, replacements, and new construction, a net 49,508 SF would be added to the plaza.  The Lower Sproul Plaza redevelopment project was completed in 2015.

In the News 

Campus Retains Consultant Firm for Lower Sproul Renovation Operating CostsAs part of another step in the multimillion dollar Lower Sproul renovation project, UC Berkeley has recently retained a Washington D.C.-based consultant firm to assist in gauging the potential maintenance and operating costs associated with the project.


Operating Cost Projections for Lower Sproul Renovation Show DeficitProjections for the operating costs of the redesigned Lower Sproul Plaza show a negative cash flow associated with the operation costs of the future facilities, according to a presentation from a consultant to the plaza’s renovation project.


ASUC Hires Consultant to Analyze Lower Sproul Renovation EffortsThe ASUC and UC Berkeley administration selected a private consultant Monday that will help efforts to raise student fees to fund the renovation of Lower Sproul Plaza and the surrounding student union complex.