Ohio University

Athens,

Campus Edge / Mixed-Use Facilities Financial Analysis

B&D was engaged as part of the Schooley Caldwell Associates-MKSK Studios team to update Ohio University’s Ridges Master Plan in 2014. The Ridges is a large building complex and open space area on the university’s campus edge that formerly housed health care facilities and, before that, a World War II radar installation. Our role was to lead the economic analysis, including analysis of individual project developments and opportunities for the Ridges as a whole, creation of development budgets and ongoing revenue and expense projections, and identification of implementation pathways, including partnership and funding strategies. The project began with a work session to review a variety of programmatic uses for the Ridges and an analysis of eight development scenarios being considered by the university. We developed a comprehensive, integrated economic model to analyze and evaluate the plan’s various elements and created an economic model that allowed for testing of a broad range of ownership scenarios with private, public, and quasi-public partners to maximize funding opportunities. The model also projected all financial implications associated with each facility investment by integrating its building program, funding assumption, development costs, revenue calculations, and operating expenses into a single evaluation tool. Potential funding sources were also defined in our analysis, including:

• Federal historic tax credits
• Ohio historical tax credits
• New market tax credits
• Tax increment financing
• Fundraising / grants/ public funding / capital infusion

Recommendations for the university’s next steps were to select a preferred program, evaluate delivery options, consider establishing a for-profit entity, create a strategic phasing plan, and engage a development partner, as needed. Our analysis will allow the university to proceed with its chosen plan knowing that detailed implementation and operating decisions can be made within the established parameters without compromising the project scope or quality.