Virginia Commonwealth University

Project Details
  • Education
  • Cities
  • Real Estate
  • Social Infrastructure
Feasibility and procurement





Fall 2018


$96 million

Important Info

360,000 sq. ft., 12 stories, 1,524 beds, traditional doubles and semi-suites

Project Location

Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, Virginia

Property Name
Gladding Residential Center
Property Location
Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, Virginia

Related Projects and News

Virginia Commonwealth University Opens New Freshman Dorm Developed By American Campus Communities In A Public Private Partnership

"I don’t remember any of our projects moving along so rapidly."

VCU President, Michael Rao

The Challenge/Objective

Improve the student residential experience at VCU by aligning the housing with strategic initiatives related to student success, while preserving scarce debt capacity for critical academic projects.

Plan of Action

In order to meet the objective of opening new freshman housing by the Fall of 2018, VCU fast-tracked the new residential development by exploring a public private partnership.

Key activities that led to the project’s success include:

  • Developed a two-step procurement process that generated 14 RFQ responses and 4 qualified, short-list developers
  • Provided VCU a pro forma model to evaluate private sector proposals
  • Evaluated credit impacts of various scenarios and secured credit ratings in advance of agreeing to final terms
  • Provided multiple presentations to the University Board and executive leadership
  • Developed preliminary terms\ sheet to provide apples-to-apples comparison of finalist’s proposals
  • Negotiated final transaction documents including development agreement, ground lease, and retail agreement
  • Worked with the State Historic Commission for project approvals and coordination

The $96 million 1500+-room Gladding Residential Center opened on- time and on budget in August 2018

The new freshman dorm is a critical addition to VCU’s student housing inventory

  • The 365,000-square-foot dorm is the university’s largest, capable of housing 1,500 freshmen
  • The dorm’s main entrance is an archway preserved from a former public bathhouse that was on the site in the early 1900s. The dorm also features a 40,000-square-foot outdoor courtyard, and a gym, as well as lounges, kitchens and common areas on each floor
  • Due in part to the equity financing model selected by the University, the project had no negative impacts on the University’s credit rating

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