Jackie Buhn, our Principal & CEO, recently attended the Society of College and University Planning (SCUP) Conference in Pittsburgh, PA to talk about her work on a consulting project for New Mexico State University (NMSU) for the Counselors of Real Estate (CRE).
The SCUP International Conference is held annually, bringing together the industry’s leaders to share best practices about integrated planning for higher education.
Jackie joined Jon Willis, Principal of Global Property Strategies and a fellow CRE member, along with Greg Walke, Campus Planning Officer for NMSU to talk about the work they did together to assist NMSU in creating an attainable vision for the use and management of its real estate, along with the action steps needed to realize that vision.
The panel discussed the CRE study, which provided guidance to NMSU in the use of its land holdings to supplement its academic, civic and economic mandates, concluding with a strategy to begin implementing the study recommendations.
As part of their process, the team conducted a 1-week visit that included site tours; data collection and analysis; stakeholders meetings; and internal discussions and presentations. At the end of the process, the team presented NMSU with strategic recommendations that had both real estate and other considerations such as:
- Reinforce and update the master plan
- Create gateways and a consistent university identity through real estate
- Engage with city of Las Cruces
- Create student-oriented retail and entertainment
- Create private sector student housing
This plan caused a shift in attitude on the role of real estate for NMSU, which has made the university examine how it uses its real estate assets to further the university’s goals, how it can plan proactively for its real estate instead of reacting to buyers or donors, and how they can create a more walkable environment that considers mixed-use development, street frontage and campus branding.