The Jewish Theological Seminary
Beginning in fall, 2014, U3 Advisors was engaged by JTS as the lead project manager and real estate advisor to undertake an ambitious project to reshape JTS’ campus in Morningside Heights. The plan calls for the demolition of JTS’ existing library facility and the redevelopment of a portion of the site with a new mixed-use JTS building. The new mixed-use JTS building will include a new library facility showcasing JTS’ unparalleled special collection of Hebraic and Judaic rare books and scrolls (the largest and most extensive collection in the Western Hemisphere), state of the art academic spaces, an auditorium, conference space, and a new residence hall. Another portion of the site will be sold to a private developer partner, who will construct a residential tower. U3A was charged with setting the strategic trajectory of the project and managing the project from an internal planning process to construction. U3A worked closely with JTS leadership to complete an intensive programming phase with its selected architect, execute the land transaction with a third-party developer, and navigate the construction management process. In January 2016, JTS closed on the transaction with a private developer for the residential development site.
As part of its project management and advisory duties, U3 Advisors led a solicitation processes to select a world-class design architect. To assist JTS in finding the right design partner, U3A researched numerous firms and managed a Request for Qualifications process, followed by a Request for Proposals to a handful of shortlisted firms. Throughout this selection process, U3A wrote the solicitation documents, fielded questions from design teams, conducted interviews, reviewed and summarized proposals, managed studio visits, and checked references. U3A also staged a full day “immersion event” during which 6 short-listed firms toured the JTS campus and had one-on-one conversations with a variety of JTS internal stakeholders. The RFQ/RFP process culminated in the selection of critically acclaimed architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien who are currently designing the new building.