Innovation Campus consultants sought

Jan 8th, 2009 | By | Category: Campus News, Issue, January 8, 2009

UNL has issued two Requests for Proposals to select consultants who will help the campus define a Master Plan and a Business Development Strategy for Innovation Campus.

UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman said the process involves two phases.

“This first phase is focused on planning,” Perlman said. “This phase will allow us to fully understand the opportunities and challenges of developing State Fair Park into an Innovation Campus. Following completion of Phase 1, we will then be better prepared to pursue Phase 2, to seek a development partner in January 2010, when we obtain the property. We remain very optimistic that this project will transform the university and contribute significantly to the economy of Nebraska.”

The firms selected from the RFP processes will become partners with UNL leaders and planners to develop a long-term master plan and business development strategy for the property. The RFPs issued Dec. 23 follow the process the university implemented in July when it requested information through a formal Request for Information process to solicit information about how to approach the development opportunity.

The RFI process suggested that UNL issue two distinct RFPs, said Bill Nunez, director of Institutional Research and Planning at UNL. The request for master planning services would be from a consultant or planner to help the university understand the site and its infrastructure issues, and propose ways to develop the site over phases. The business development plan will build off the master planning services to include business models on construction, financing or ownership of facilities with leasing potentials and management approaches, shared research services and amenities, phasing, marketing and market analyses.

“Through our RFI process and consultations with responders, this approach surfaced as a much more reasonable and effective approach,” Nunez said. “We’ve focused our efforts, refined our approach to separate planning and developing, and these two RFPs will be more understandable and result in a better product. The short-term effort that we’re putting into Phase 1 planning at this stage will pay off immensely when the property transfers to the university in January 2010.”

Final plans for Nebraska Innovation Campus are expected to be completed by December 2009.

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