In 2012 Houston Baptist University selected B&D to serve as development advisor in the first stage of a long-term initiative to increase the University’s enrollment and to modernize and expand its campus facilities. The university planned to redevelop a commercial property along Southwest Freeway to create an innovative University Center mixed-use development that generates additional income, creates a new external campus image, and serves as a catalyst for other neighborhood redevelopment. To lead an efficient process and align stakeholder targeted aspirations, we conducted a strategic visioning session through the use of a proprietary tool and process. As a result, the university gained consensus and identified four objectives that provided the framework for all future campus edge development decisions. The university determined that the project must generate short-term income for the university; position the university for long-term investment appreciation; integrate with the existing campus environment to promote one campus; stimulate development in the community. Working in conjunction with an ongoing master planning process, we defined and evaluated the detailed parameters of each project component, considering various factors including programmatic, locational, market, political, capital, and operating requirements. The scope of work included a community and campus market analysis, programming, a financial analysis, concept development, a financing structure evaluation, and an implementation strategy. As a result of its planning efforts, we concluded that the market would support commercial development properties such as retail, a hotel and conference center, market-rate housing, student housing, an arena, and parking to support its strategic objectives. In the financial analysis, various delivery methods and financing structures were tested against levels of risk tolerance. Serving as program manager, we led the selection process for development partners to implement each of the project types associated with this campus edge initiative. These projects will be delivered utilizing various financing and delivery structures.
Currently, we are advising the university throughout the implementation process. The first completed project centered around the $3 million Belin Tower, which was dedicated in August 2015. This project included a new campus entrance, a roadway, and infrastructure/utilities improvements.