University of Illinois proposes $1.2B expansion, renovation plan
- The University of Illinois has proposed a $1.2 billion program of renovations and new construction that it said will allow for the institution to expand for at least the next 10 years, according to The News-Gazette.
- The master plan, which divides the price tag into renovations ($573 million) and new construction ($628 million) includes work on 50 existing buildings, an Olympic sports center, a new arboretum events center, a new visitor welcome center, new residence halls, renovations of a university library, two new autonomous shuttle routes and increased development along UI's sciences corridor.
- University officials said the upgrades would rely heavily on donations to fund the initiative, an effort they called "doable" given the number of UI alumni.
In October, REBusiness Online reported that UI was part of a public-private partnership with Related Midwest in its redevelopment of a 62-acre downtown site on the Chicago River. Part of the deal includes a $1.2 billion research center, dubbed the Discovery Partners Institute.
The university is also partnering with the University of Chicago to expand the Polsky Center business incubator. Both projects are part of the Illinois Science & Technology's Coalition's Illinois Innovation Network, which is attempting to link up the state's research, technology and business sectors.
Like UI, other universities have also taken on private partners to redevelop their schools and the areas around them.
Brandywine Realty Trust has teamed up with Drexel University to develop the $3.5 billion, 14-acre Schuylkill Yards mixed-use project. The first project in the development is the 1.3-acre Drexel Square community park and five acres of residential, office, research and retail space. The entire project will take about 20 years to finish and include roughly 7 million square feet of new construction.
The University of Arizona has also taken on a private-sector partner — American Campus Communities — to complete a $300 million capital-project initiative. The program addresses a maintenance backlog and includes a new $157 million dormitory, parking garage, recreation center and office building, along with renovations to an existing biomedical science center and a "student success district" with a wellness center and other support services.
Last year, the University of California, Merced, announced it would partner up with a Plenary-led consortium to carry out a 1.2-million-square-foot, $1.34 billion expansion. Plenary Properties Merced agreed to provide $386 million toward construction, UCM contributed $157 million and the UC Board of Regents authorized $600 million in revenue bonds for the program.
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