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Project Highlight - Case Study

 

Baltimore City Community College - Baltimore, MD

Baltimore City Community College (BCCC) initially contacted METROVENTURES for development advisory service to assist in structuring a transaction for the disposition of its Lockwood Property. The site, located along the Inner Harbor promenade of Baltimore City, consists of approximately 2.8 acres and is currently valued at approximately $11 million. On behalf of the College, METROVENTURES initially conducted a predevelopment feasibility analysis, including market surveys and analysis, to examine all aspects of both short and long-term economic returns for disposition of the site based on a variety of alternate transaction structures.

Most recently, METROVENTURES served as the real estate advisor to assist the College in preparing a real estate offering document soliciting developers to present qualifications for structuring a development transaction for the site. METROVENTURES' primary mission was to assist BCCC in achieving its objective of maximizing the economic potential of its unique real estate asset while preserving current income to the College. Working in close coordination with BCCC, METROVENTURES' activities included developing the methodology for soliciting and managing the selection of a developer, writing a real estate offering document that incorporated technical and financial criteria along with BCCC's project objectives, serving as liaison between prospective developers and the College, and researching physical restrictions such as setbacks and easements that could impact development.

To ensure maximum publicity for the offering, METROVENTURES assisted BCCC with advertising and strategic media coordination. This encompassed researching local and national advertising media resources, as well as all major real estate organizations in the area, such as the Urban Land Institute, the National Association of Industrial and the Office Properties (NAIOP), the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), and the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors. METROVENTURES developed advertising media formats, researched costs, and established schedules for media placement. All advertising and publicity activities were conducted in close coordination with BCCC's Procurement Office. This publicity generated approximately 20 potential respondents leading to three serious proposals.

Working in conjunction with BCCC's Board of Trustees, legal advisors, and other stakeholders, METROVENTURES developed the criteria that was used in conducting objective evaluations of developers' proposals. These criteria included assessing each proposal in terms of development methodology, conceptual design and approach, economic impact potential to the College, developer's financial capability and experience, and conformance with BCCC's stated objectives. The Project Team meticulously analyzed each submission against the evaluation criteria and produced matrices that were used by BCCC in awarding exclusive negotiation rights to a developer.

The developer that BCCC chose proposed a project valued at $88 million consisting of a 12-story, 200,000-square-foot office building linked to 100,000-square-foot of mid-range "lifestyle" shopping. Adjoining the office/retail component is a seven-story parking garage topped by a 200-room mid-priced hotel. In addition, the developer showed a great commitment to striking an educational relationship with the College, by supporting internships, supplying executives as classroom lecturers, and creating employment opportunities for students.

Through a competitive selection process, METROVENTURES was recently chosen again to serve as BCCC's real estate advisor for the next phase, assisting the College in preparing for the upcoming negotiations to structure the transaction with the selected developer. These services shall encompass developing and analyzing economic information, and alternative strategies and tactics in preparing for negotiations, assisting BCCC's trustees in reviewing project proposals including critical financial considerations, advising BCCC about public-private development strategies, and developing criteria for evaluating and negotiating development programs.