Joseph Freed and Associates

Chicago,

Multi-Campus Student Center Feasibility Analysis And Financial Modeling

In 2005 Joseph Freed and Associates retained B&D to conduct an assessment of establishing a joint-use student center in Chicago’s downtown Loop area. It would serve the more than 20 educational institutions located within a three-mile radius of the site–the Carson Pirie Scott building. Our analysis included identifying potential opportunities and risks, and it sought to define the components of the proposed project. We examined all the institutions to assess desired services and amenities and held focus groups, performed interviews and conducted surveys. We concluded that the project had to be seen as an asset to the entire educational community and showed how the facility could provide both direct and indirect benefits. Specifically, we pointed out: a sufficient number of students existed in the area to support the concept; a phased approach should be taken in any development of the space, with many opportunities to expand; several types of membership fees should be explored—student-paid and/or institution-paid; and that marketing the student center would require the active participation of the schools involved. Later that year, Joseph Freed and Associates re-hired B&D, this time to construct a detailed financial model for the proposed student center.