University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Campus Master Plan Update

B&D has developed numerous housing plans for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign over the years including a strategic housing and dining plan, a graduate and family housing plan, and an Orchard Downs redevelopment plan. The firm’s most recent engagement was in 2016 when the school engaged a team of consultants to perform a Campus Master Plan Update, with B&D providing an analysis and long-term vision for all student life facilities on campus through strategic visioning, student focus groups, and benchmarking.

A major challenge identified through the analysis was the pressure that growing enrollment was placing on existing housing stock. The University desired to accommodate upper-division and graduate students on campus but increasing freshman class sizes, combined with a first-year live-on requirement, left limited beds available for returning students. Projections based on current capture rates showed a shortfall of 700 beds by 2025 if no additional capacity is added. To meet the growing housing need, B&D has recommended that the University complete its planned Ikenberry Commons development while increasing capacity of these future projects and plan for new housing facilities that can take advantage of existing dining halls.

Orchard Downs, a 765-unit apartment complex primarily for graduate and family students, was also identified as a primary concern for the future of the housing system. This community provides an affordable option for many students, but requires significant investment to upgrade and handle deferred maintenance. As opposed to the University undergoing costly renovations that are unlikely to be financially self-supporting, B&D recommended that the University explore a solution that redevelops the entire site into a mixed-use development that replaces the graduate and family housing and incorporates undergraduate housing, retail, and a senior living / alumni community. This redevelopment could be delivered through a public-private partnership that provides an improved asset for the University and a new campus gateway from the east.