The University of California, Merced, opened a competitive process on April 17 by issuing a request for qualifications (RFQ) for a development team to be part of its vital plan to further grow the campus.
The 2020 Project includes the comprehensive development of academic, administrative, research, recreational, student services and housing facilities. This includes infrastructure, utilities, outdoor recreation areas, open space areas, roadways, parking and landscaping.
“The university is searching for a comprehensive development team that can partner with the university to provide cost-effective development that takes advantage of existing investments in campus infrastructure and provides best overall value for the lifecycle of the facilities,” Vice Chancellor for Planning and Budget Daniel Feitelberg said. “This project will enable the campus to complete the type and quantity of space required to support a campus population of 10,000 students by 2020.”
Enrollment at the newest UC campus, which opened in 2005 with 875 students, has surged to nearly 6,200, creating severe space limitations on campus. The 2020 Project is a critical step to accommodate rapid growth in enrollment, which is expected to reach 10,000 students within the next six years.
The selected development team will create facilities that support an inspiring and dynamic living and learning environment, providing opportunities for interdisciplinary scholarly activities. The project could develop up to 1.8 million square feet of new teaching, research and residential facilities on a 219-acre, university-owned site adjacent to the existing campus. The university aims to select the developer in the second half of 2015, begin construction in 2016 and deliver the first building as early as late 2017.
Campus planners envision mixed-use facilities in a compact fabric that supports a pedestrian-friendly environment and results in a unique and inspiring environment for students, faculty and staff. In May 2013, the UC Board of Regents approved an amendment to the campus’s master plan and certified an environmental impact report to enable the 2020 Project to move forward.
Feitelberg added that the university is looking for a development team with a demonstrated track record and capacity to deliver dynamic, large-scale projects.
Details about the initiative can be found online.
UC Merced has selected Jones Lang LaSalle to act as its real estate development adviser and Nossaman to act as its legal adviser for the 2020 Project.
UC Merced is the first new UC campus in 40 years and the first American research university of the 21st century. Enrollment has grown rapidly, reflecting strong demand from students in the San Joaquin Valley and throughout the state. The campus has the largest percentage of first-generation college students, students from low-income families and students from underrepresented ethnic groups in the 10-campus UC system.
Through its discoveries in fields ranging from alternative energy to water resource management and health and cognitive sciences, UC Merced is contributing greatly to the economic recovery of the region, the state and the nation.
The university has won numerous sustainable design and construction awards and is the only campus in the country to have earned LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for every one of its buildings.
The 2020 Project will continue UC Merced’s tradition of creating sustainable, environmentally appropriate facilities that are consistent with UC Merced’s goal of achieving zero net energy, zero landfill waste and zero greenhouse gas emissions.
When fully developed, UC Merced is expected to enroll some 25,000 students in undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs across a broad spectrum of academic disciplines.