Columbia University and Columbia University Medical Center

U3A’s New York office has served as Columbia University’s real estate consultant since 1999, assisting the University with a wide variety of real estate matters at both Columbia’s main campus in Morningside Heights and its Medical Center in Washington Heights. These include portfolio analyses, property acquisitions and leases, planning and development projects, and transaction agreements. In addition, U3A has served Columbia as project manager and “staff extension” in the planning and development of the University’s new Manhattanville campus.

Morningside Heights Transactions

Serving as project manager and financial analyst to Columbia, U3A represented the University through a multi-year competitive selection process for two development sites at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, near the Morningside Heights campus, culminating in the negotiation of an option agreement for a long-term ground lease. U3A also helped Columbia negotiate an agreement with Union Theological Seminary to gain access to new facilities and stewardship of the largest collection of religious books outside the Vatican.

Manhattanville Campus Planning

U3A served as project manager and advisor during the planning phase of Columbia’s new 17-acre campus in the Manhattanville section of West Harlem. This massive undertaking, which involved land assemblage, rezoning, and the development of millions of square feet of academic space and new infrastructure, will accommodate the University’s growth needs for decades. As project manager during the planning phase, U3A interfaced between University stakeholders and a team of design consulants led by Renzo Piano Building Workshop and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. U3A managed the project schedule, budget and contracts, and served as liaison to the City and State agencies overseeing the project.

Medical Center Space Planning Initiative

In 2007, U3A managed a team of architects, consultants, and attorneys to review Columbia University Medical Center’s real estate portfolio, evaluate and categorize off-campus sites, and develop a menu of actionable, near-term development options to accommodate the Medical Center’s growth needs for research, education, and residential facilities. U3A analyzed nearly 70 potential development sites, including sites owned by the University, New York Presbyterian Hospital, the City of New York, and private owners. Based on this analysis,
U3A developed a comprehensive plan that was both politically and economically feasible. U3A also developed a plan to attract retail, housing, and other amenities to the Medical Center.