In 2012 UC Merced was faced with making a decision on how to deliver the 2nd phase of their campus so they could continue to fulfill their mission as the newest Research University in the UC system providing unmatched education opportunities to an underserved demographic and deliver it by 2020.
I was brought on as an early stage advisor to the Vice Chancellor of Planning and Budget and the UC Merced principal responsible for the determining the appropriate structure to use to procure and deliver what has become known as the 2020 Project. I advised on the recruitment, procurement, engagement and development of the team of consultants required to address all the elements involved in the development of the 2020 Project and worked with the consultants to communicate, collaborate, debate and ultimately propose the way through all the issues encountered on this complex, first its kind project. The result was a procurement process that resulted in the selection of the Plenary Merced Properties team as UCM’s partner to develop, operate and maintain the 2020 Project. (July 2016 UC Merced selects Plenary Merced Properties) Financial close took place in July of 2016.
The Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Maintain Availability Payment transaction was the first of it’s kind in the higher education sector. The program for the 2020 project is approximately 800K square feet of new structures delivered in 3 phase from 2018 to 2020, with an operating and maintenance agreement for 35 years. The total value of the contract is approximately $1.3B.
Virginia Smith Trust
In 2016 The Virginia Smith Trust approached me asking if I could assist them secure entitlements from the City of Merced, the County of Merced and the Local Agency Formation Commission so they could develop their 655 acre parcel directly south of UC Merced.
The Virginia Smith Trust provides scholarships to the students of Merced to attend the college of their choosing. Through developing the property they will significantly increase their endowment from which to to provide scholarships. Securing entitlements to develop the property would add significant value to the property as well as bring interest from the development community to partner with them to develop the property thereby fulfilling their vision for tech property.
We are currently in discussions with the City of Merced, the County of Merced and LAFCO regarding entitlements to develop the property with student housing, graduate student housing, faculty and staff housing, retail, hospitality, office, medical and athletic uses. Our hope is that we will be commencing discussions with potential development partners in Q4 of 2018 to bring the vision for this property to reality. Stay tuned!