The College of New Jersey is located just outside Trenton and draws more than 6,000 students. But on-campus housing has been insufficient, and on-campus options for food, beverages and shopping extremely limited. Recognizing that recruitment and retention of students depends not just on quality academics, but on a vibrant campus life, the College solicited development proposals. The PRC Group of West Long Branch, N.J. asked Berusch Development Partners to help craft its development submission and compete for the project. PRC was selected as the master developer in 2011. Berusch is on the development team, playing a key role that includes strategic advising, anchor tenant negotiations, and providing a retail leasing strategy.
While the College is the client, negotiating the ground lease and development agreement required more than the will to make it happen. State laws governing the use of public land made the negotiations more complex. In addition, the College had no large anchor tenants beyond the campus bookstore. That meant the PRC team needed a strategic retail merchandising plan and tenant recruitment effort that laid out a compelling value proposition grounded not just in vision but in solid market research, financial analysis, and creative deal making.
|STATUS & RESULTS||
Environmental remediation and site work has begun on Campus Town, a mixed-use development that includes on-campus apartments for 454 students, a fitness center, and many quality shops.
As a development advisor, Berusch helped PRC develop site and building plans; set apartment and retail rental rates and capital requirements; structure management of the new student housing; and establish and oversee the retail merchandising strategy and execution of tenant deals.
When Campus Town opens in 2014 it will enhance the quality of life on campus, put fallow land to productive use, and create a new stream of tax revenues to support government services.