In 2010 the University of the District of Columbia selected B&D, as part of a team led by Cannon Design, to conduct benchmarking, market, and financial analyses for a proposed student center on the University’s Van Ness campus. The project goal was to develop an iconic symbol of the university’s position as a premier land-grant institution, highlighting its commitment to building the highest caliber facilities. Our scope of work included focus group sessions with UDC students, followed by an analysis of peer institutions to construct a profile of student union facilities at each university. The benchmarking study helped the university understand its current position among institutions in similar urban locations and with proposed / constructed union facilities. It also revealed how these facilities could enhance the quality of student life. In addition, we conducted a ballroom and conference space analysis to determine the proper size to be included in the new student center and understand the university’s market position among local universities with respect to meeting room and ballroom spaces. To understand the financial implications of this development, we assembled an integrated financial model to analyze the project’s feasibility and determine its total project cost estimate and required student fees. We then developed a project concept based on the university’s needs and financial parameters. As a result, we completed a ten-year operating pro forma that would generate $411,000 in net operating income in year one, and reflected the year-to-year operations of the proposed student center. We also provided design review and business planning services. Construction of the new 96,000 SF, $63 million Student Center was completed in 2016.