U3 Advisors was engaged by the Hyde Family Foundations beginning in 2014 to understand the economic and physical impact of eight major anchor institutions in the Memphis Medical District including Baptist College of Health Sciences, Memphis Bioworks Foundation, Methodist/LeBonheur, Regional One Health, Southern College of Optometry, Southwest Tennessee Community College, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital/ALSAC, and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Together, these anchors employ 16,000 people, educate 8,000 students, have $1.2 billion in collective purchasing, and control 250 acres of property. U3 Advisors found that despite the significant size of these anchors, their potential impact within the Medical District has not been fully realized.
U3 Advisors first began working in Detroit in 2009, when a group of local philanthropies engaged U3 to assess if there was an opportunity for Detroit’s anchor institutions — its Eds and Meds — to have a greater economic impact on the city. Through a data driven approach, U3 Advisors concluded that there was tremendous potential to capture the anchors’ economic impact within the city, and accordingly created a place-based economic development strategy that defined Midtown as the urban core of the city. Subsequent analysis and visioning resulted in several major initiatives.
U3 Advisors spent three years in Northwest Detroit planning and launching an anchor strategy in partnership with University of Detroit Mercy (UDM) the Kresge Foundation. The Live6 Alliance launched in September, 2015 as a new entity focused on the commercial corridors surrounding the UDM campus that are severely disinvested, but could potentially support the diverse surrounding neighborhoods and improve quality of life for residents. The strategy includes focusing on real estate development, placemaking, business attraction and retention, community engagement, and safety.