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Making P3 Work on Campus: Developers weigh in

University Business, September 2016
Although Granville Towers, located across the street from UNC Chapel Hill’s campus, was built in 1964, it has been refurbished and updated multiple times by EdR, which manages the 1,327-bed residence hall. Student amenities include weekly housekeeping services for in-suite bathrooms, on-site dining hall and fitness center, a community kitchen, study lounges and a gift-wrapping station.
Although Granville Towers, located across the street from UNC Chapel Hill’s campus, was built in 1964, it has been refurbished and updated multiple times by EdR, which manages the 1,327-bed residence hall. Student amenities include weekly housekeeping services for in-suite bathrooms, on-site dining hall and fitness center, a community kitchen, study lounges and a gift-wrapping station.

“What advice do you have for administrators about making long-term relationships with firms like yours beneficial for both parties?”

“Colleges and universities must clearly define their primary objectives and maintain a degree of flexibility with respect to their approach in ultimately determining the business relationship with their private sector partner. By their very nature, P3s are not ‘business as usual’ and therefore require clarity of purpose and flexibility in approach.”

—James (Jamie) E. Wilhelm III, executive vice president of public private partnerships, American Campus Communities

“Establish mutually beneficial goals at the onset to ensure the partnership provides authentic short- and long-term problem solving and lays out how work can translate into additional benefits for surrounding communities. A partnership is more than simply renovating or building new facilities. It should be transformative in its impact on society at large.”

—Kurt Ehlers, managing director, Corvias Campus Living

“Frequent communication throughout the project reinforces alignment of interest and creates transparency and trust, which are paramount to a fruitful long-term partnership. Throughout the multiyear process of development, construction and management, something as simple as getting the principals at all levels together on a regularly scheduled basis to share information and update progress is key to making a partnership ultimately successful.”

—TomTrubiana, president, EdR

“Have conversations and meetings with potential developers/design-builders well before the RFQ/RFP process. Ask questions and keep all options open as you gather your information.This will provide flexibility, transparency and a better understanding toward making that informed business decision for the future of your campus community.”

—Brett M. Stevens, vice president, BBL Campus Facilities

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