What the Universities Are Working On
At Bisnow’s recent Baltimore Higher Education & Student Housing Summit, we snapped Johns Hopkins facilities and real estate head David McDonough and EdR’s Jeff Resetco. David says Hopkins values RFIs, RFQs, and RFPs for its educational, medical, and research system, which employees 55,000. At Charles Village’s 3200 St. Paul, for example, Hopkins has sought experts that know better than Hopkins how to determine number of beds for market-rate student housing, number of parking spaces, and retail programming. An RFP for streetscape work (Bethesda Row and Arlington’s Village at Shirlington are the models) was expected to come out this week.
The only reason Hopkins would ever skip the competitive procurement process, he says, is if a development partner came along with a big tenant. An international education group interested in co-locating with Hopkins in a 400k SF building on a 99-year ground lease (by the end of which we'll all be living in the sky anyway) in Montgomery County’s Science City, for example, would be welcome to bring in a preferred developer.
Morgan State University’s Kevin Banks (with Millane Partners’ Joanie Millane and our moderator, Ballard Spahr’s Teri Guarnaccia) says his university’s strategic plan calls for growing its student population to 10,000 over the next decade. American Campus Communities runs the Morgan View student housing and soon will expand that development, and Morgan State also houses students off-campus at Marble Hall Gardens. But Kevin would love to concentrate upperclassmen in one off-campus complex and house other students on campus in live-learn communities. Toward that end, the university renovating the 205-bed O’Connell Hall in 2000.
Maryland historically has been a big market for privatization, especially student housing, considering that use is both predictable and creditworthy, says RBC Capital Markets' Michael Baird (left). But Joanie says RFPs often leave plenty to the imagination of the developer. Bozzuto’s Fitzgerald apartments, for example, sprang from the University of Baltimore’s need for surface parking. Now the university has 1,200 spots tucked behind the apartments and along I-83, and Bozzuto has its hugely successful luxury apartment building.
For more coverage of our event, read “How to Win RFPs" in our latest national student housing issue.