Colleges and universities face constraints, challenges and opportunities that are unique to their status and differentiate them from their for-profit counterparts with respect to real estate assets. Our lawyers have significant experience helping public and private universities and secondary schools balance their educational, research, health care and community service missions with for-profit strategies that maximize – and realize – the value of their real property assets.

We provide legal guidance on projects that further our clients’ educational missions, such as the conversion, expansion and redevelopment of their facilities, including acquisitions and sales, master planning, development agreements, zoning and construction activities. We advise on projects that maximize the value of their real estate assets with activities such as the creation of sponsored research parks and incubator facilities. Our lawyers have counseled clients on the creation of historic districts in portions of their campuses and have been involved in complex federal court litigation stemming from opposition to one of these districts.

College and University Real Estate

Our experience includes:

  • Represented Princeton University in all real estate development matters, including the comprehensive re-zoning and site plan to build a $300 million arts and transit project, which was approved in December 2012 by the Regional Planning Board of Princeton after several years of process.
  • Acted as project counsel for Illinois State University in a public-private partnership for the development of up to 1,500 new beds in on-campus apartment-style housing, at a cost of approximately $160 million.
  • Represented Northwestern University in the acquisition of facilities, which included termination of a long-term ground lease, and a lease-back of a portion of the facilities.
  • Represented Loyola University of Chicago in a complex transaction involving a 99-year air rights lease with a multiple-user, multiple-use structure. The transaction is structured in a manner that permitted the university to realize $60 million in additional value over an outright sale of the land, enabled the university to maintain uninterrupted, street-level presence on its downtown campus, and preserved long-term ownership of the property for the university.
  • Represented the University of Pennsylvania Health System in connection with the built-to-suit lease of a radiation oncology treatment center on campus and an affiliation agreement with a hospital.
  • Represented the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in a precedent-setting transaction involving a 50-year ground lease, on which the developer constructed a condominium medical office building adjacent to the university medical school.