The long, quick journey to the start. September 28th was the conclusion of a historic milestone for LSU. Beginning in 2009, LSU had a vision to revitalize the western edge of the flagship campus in Baton Rouge. What was once a blighted corridor will now become the showpiece entrance for the University. Thanks to collaboration with the LSU Foundation, LSU was given a vehicle to position and finance the development utilizing a Public, Private, Partnership (P3). This P3 is the first and largest LSU has undertaken. Not only is it large for LSU, Nicholson Gateway is also one of the largest P3 projects in the country at this time.
Although Public Private Partnerships are common in the infrastructure industries, it is still a very new and evolving concept in the Higher Education market. LSU and the LSU Foundation relied on CSRS and partner Brailsford & Dunlavey to help shape, guide, manage, and coach LSU during the program definition, selection, negotiation, and delivery oversight phases of the project. Together, we are acting as high value development advisors, working towards the best possible project outcomes for all affiliated parties. In just eighteen months, we were able to kick start the project program, select a development partner, design the project, gain all approvals required, navigate a complex legal and financial structure, and close on all necessary $225,000,000 bonds to fund the project.
The concept was a long time waiting but, with the introduction of the right team and initiative from LSU, together we were able to achieve an almost impossible task at unprecedented speed. With this success in getting to the starting line of construction, the entire Higher Education community has eyes on us. The LSU Nicholson Gateway and the process and procedures performed to deliver the project will be used and adapted for many new projects in the future. We may have crossed a finish line on September 28th but, the next race is about to start. Delivery of a built project is due July 27th, 2018.