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News release


CU Denver implements facilities master plan with assistance from JLL

Income from a public-private development partnership will fund facilities for the future, such as new, first-year residence and dining hall

DENVER, May 23, 2018 – The University of Colorado Denver is beginning implementation of its Facilities Master Plan, adopted in November 2017, to guide its facilities and real estate investments and strengthen its position as an educational and economic asset to downtown Denver. 

CU Denver has engaged JLL to consult on how to leverage existing real estate assets and realize master plan priorities, including building a new, first-year residence hall and dining facility to meet the needs of its growing student body.

"As Colorado's only public urban research university, CU Denver is committed to its home in the heart of this vibrant city," said CU Denver Chancellor Dorothy Horrell. "We've hired JLL to help us determine how we can maximize our real estate assets to the benefit of our students now, while ensuring our land is preserved for the needs of our university in the future." 

On behalf of the university, JLL is soliciting a private-sector partner for a development, operation and management opportunity at Walnut and 4th Streets (near the intersection of Colfax Ave. and Auraria Parkway) that includes the existing 700-bed Campus Village Apartments and an adjacent, undeveloped parcel.

"The site offers an existing revenue stream from the in-demand Campus Village Apartments. It's located next to the Auraria Campus with nearly 50,000 students, as well as two light rail stops – one of which provides direct access to Mile High Stadium," said Bob Hunt, Managing Director with JLL's Higher Education Group. "It's an attractive development opportunity for a partner to activate under-utilized land with mixed-use development, enabling CU Denver to direct its focus and funding to its critical facility needs."

The selected partner will also work with CU Denver to develop a first-year housing and dining facility on the Auraria Campus. This new facility will bring first-year students into the heart of CU Denver's campus neighborhood and strengthen the university's connection to downtown Denver.

CU Denver Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Raul Cardenas says the new residence facility will help build community, acclimate students to campus and further connect them to the university's vibrant downtown setting. "I look at this as a gateway for our students, a way to show them what our campus is really about. They will feel that energy from the get-go."

JLL and CU Denver are collaborating to select a developer and negotiate a partnership contract which will be structured as a long-term land lease with the university retaining land ownership. The resulting revenue will be used for campus priorities such as the development of the first-year residence and dining hall and to fund ongoing operations and maintenance services. An RFQ and RFP process will begin in August 2018 with the intention to select a development partner by March 2019. For more information, visit

JLL's work in identifying and selecting a private development partner is the first step toward the realization of CU Denver's 2017 Facilities Master Plan, which maps out a vision for the campus over the next 10 years. The plan also prioritizes a new Engineering and Physical Sciences Building, for which fundraising is now underway. Creation of the master plan involved research and analysis of existing conditions, future campus needs and national trends. CU Denver's Office of Institutional Planning established executive, advisory and steering committees made up of faculty, staff, students and administrative leaders to guide the master plan process. Based on the results of the research, the plan's overall recommendations cover not just bricks and mortar projects but ideas for using campus open spaces, improving classroom scheduling efficiency and developing the university neighborhood identity.

CU Denver selected JLL as its consultant because of the firm's expertise in higher education, strong understanding of Denver's real estate market, reputation for creating successful public-private partnerships and long-term relationship as the broker for the State of Colorado. JLL has also partnered with CU Denver to implement ARCHIBUS Space and Occupancy Management, which delivers campus space data that optimizes the performance of university facilities.

JLL's Higher Education practice partners with public and private universities, as well as university health systems, to help fulfill their missions through the stewardship of real estate. The group taps the unrealized potential of real estate to produce cost savings, improve financial strength, manage risk, and improve the overall student experience. A leading provider of higher education services, JLL has worked for more than 200 colleges and universities throughout the world and provides a broad range of services that encompasses: brokerage, project and development management, sustainability solutions, public private partnerships, facilities management, and master planning. JLL's expertise includes student housing, athletic stadiums, gateway and innovation projects, science and research facilities, parking garages, continuing education, hospitals and international campuses.


About JLL

JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. Our vision is to reimagine the world of real estate, creating rewarding opportunities and amazing spaces where people can achieve their ambitions. In doing so, we will build a better tomorrow for our clients, our people and our communities. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with nearly 300 corporate offices, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of 83,500 as of March 31, 2018. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit

About CU Denver

As Colorado's only public urban research university, CU Denver educates a diverse student body through quality academics, ambitious research and creative work, and civic engagement. More than 15,000 students on our campus in the heart of downtown choose from over 100 degree programs in 8 schools and colleges at the undergraduate, masters and doctoral levels. Graduates gain the powerful combination of immersive classroom and real-world experiences that are in demand today, while the city benefits from well-educated, top talent and a new generation of knowledge that fuels the future of Denver and our region. Learn more at