Centennial Campus North Carolina State University

Raleigh, North Carolina

Project Type:

  • Highest & Best Use Analysis
  • Financial Analysis

Product Type

  • For-Rent Apartments
  • Hotel
  • Retail/Lifestyle Entertainment Center
  • University/College/School

Development Concepts

  • Mixed/Multi-Use

The Challenge

The Centennial Campus of North Carolina State University is a highly successful model of integrated research and academic facilities. The University administration retained RCLCO to help improve the park’s competitiveness and we recommended exploring strategies to bring a mix of uses to the park and increase service and recreational offering. This recommendation resulted in a detailed study, financial analysis, and preparation of a transaction strategy for a mixed-use development on a 15-acre lakefront site. The 1,000-acre Centennial Campus currently houses faculty, students, residents, and non-affiliated employers. The campus is an advanced technology community and research campus for university, government, and industrial partners. It is one of the few research campuses in the country to have residential units on site. To accommodate the diverse array of market audiences on campus and in the surrounding area, and to drive the competitive potential of the park RCLCO prepared detailed recommendations for the mixed-use project, planned to include retail, office, residential, and potentially some university related services such as a fitness center, along with a significant conference hotel.

Solution

RCLCO served as strategic real estate advisor to identify the feasible scope and scale of uses on the property, with particular focus on the retail opportunity and the potential to attract off-campus users. This charge required a careful custom analysis, as the project would be entirely internal to the campus and required evaluating the potential spending that might be generated as well as destination use. Our analysis included considering the impact of on-site housing and office development that did not have an explicitly research orientation.

Specifically, we completed the following:

  • A detailed demographic and economic analysis to isolate the key market audiences
  • Evaluated the depth of retail demand that is created by the campus population and the surrounding community
  • Identified the appropriate character and scale for the key land uses in the project
  • Analyzed the residential opportunity and provided recommendations on product
  • Projected supportable retail & residential and provided recommendations on the best solution for those uses
  • Evaluated the feasibility of the hotel component
  • Provided input as to the amount of future office use that might be served in the town center and potential benefits
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