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​Return on investment is more than just a number.

​Your school’s real ROI is measured by the impact your project makes on the lives of the students and faculty who call your campus home. But with many public institutions facing tightening budgets and aging infrastructure, simply getting a project off the ground can be a challenge.

JLL’s Herman Bulls, Ohio State University’s Amanda Hoffis and Georgia Institute of Technology’s Steven Swant detailed in Business Officer Magazine how an effective public private partnership helps to ease your financial burden while getting the job done.

Here’s what two leading academic institutions were able to do by properly utilizing a P3:

Georgia Tech - Tech Square

For more than 13 years, Georgia Tech’s Tech Square has been helping students connect with the commercial, government and nonprofit world of Atlanta to push high-tech innovation. 

  • The nearly three million-square-foot, mixed-use urban village conceived by tvsdesign’s (and Georgia Tech alum) Tom Ventulett houses eight buildings, including: the school of business, a bookstore, a plethora of restaurants, shops, condo buildings and office space. (Phase two anchored by the 750,000-square-foot Coda Tower is scheduled for completion in 2019.)

  • More than 100 startup and innovation companies within the square focus on interdisciplinary research.


(Georgia Tech's Hotel and Conference Center in the heart of Tech Square.)

Ohio State - University District

Partnering with the City of Columbus to create Campus Partners, a non-profit group tasked with managing the project, the area near Ohio State’s campus was reborn.

  • A strategic plan reshaped the 2.5-square-mile University District through the addition of new academic, office, retail and housing facilities that brought students and faculty back near campus. (A complete revamp of the traditional campus entrance at the intersection of 15th Avenue and High Street is also planned.)

  • Added the South Campus Gateway, a 7.5-acre site that includes retail, office and residential space as well as a 1,200-space parking garage in the popular High Street Corridor.


(Construction in Columbus's Weinland Park neighborhood, encompassed within University District.)

Note: "Big-Picture Rewards" originally appeared in the December 2016 issue of Business Officer, the monthly flagship magazine published by the National Association of College and University Business Officers in Washington, D.C.