University of Chicago

Over the past 10 years, the University of Chicago has engaged U3 Advisors on a variety of assignments focused on the revitalization of the neighborhoods surrounding the University in the Mid-South Side, to both enhance quality of life for students and staff, and for UChicago to provide a lasting contribution to its host communities.  U3 led the following specific initiatives:

UChicago Neighborhood Strategy

In 2015, U3 began working with the University’s Office of Civic Engagement to refashion its neighborhood strategies to maximize their impact and mutual benefit to the University. U3 undertook a University-wide assessment of the existing programs and institutional activities that land in the nine neighborhoods that comprise the Mid-Southside. Those existing initiatives were quantified and benchmarked against neighborhood outcomes and socio-economic indicators, leading to greater focus on the Woodlawn, Washington Park, and Hyde Park neighborhoods, and deeper engagement from both the academic departments and administrative units. The University is now focused on specific initiatives and development efforts in each of the neighborhoods, drawing on academic expertise, nearby assets, and institutional priorities, that can serve local residents and businesses, while strengthening campus connections.

UChicago Local

In 2013, The University of Chicago hired U3 Advisors to analyze the impact that institutional spending has had on the institution’s immediate surroundings and on the city of Chicago as a whole. Working with the procurement offices from the University of Chicago and the University of Chicago Medical Center, we analyzed over 800,000 discrete transactions, identifying key commodity areas and recommending tactics to increase local spend. The analysis led to the University launching its UChicago Local initiative, along with taking a lead role with World Business Chicago in forming the Chicago Anchors for a Strong Economy (CASE) procurement initiative.

53rd Street Commercial Corridor Strategy

In 2007, U3 Advisors devised the strategy for UChicago to invest in and revitalize the 53rd Street corridor. By assessing the overall demand the University and Medical Center created through its students, faculty and staff, the strategy made the case that a sufficient market existed to support additional retail, residential, and hospitality in Hyde Park. As part of the strategy, U3 recommended specific sites for acquisition and redevelopment, while projecting the supportable square footage supportable over multiple phases. Following U3’s report, UChicago embarked on an investment and development strategy along 53rd Street, including adding retail, a hotel, office, and housing.