Drake University housed over 1,700 students in its on-campus residence halls — but only 100 were juniors, seniors or graduate students and the University wanted to provide attractive campus housing options for its upper-division and graduate students. Having acquired a significant parcel adjacent to campus, the University’s leadership recognized the land might best be used as student housing. Still, with upper-division and graduate student housing outside its core mission, Drake wanted to develop the housing in a way that would limit the institution’s exposure to risk and credit impact.
The University engaged Scion to perform feasibility analysis and development consulting for its contemplated mixed-use housing and retail development. Scion began with a market study to gauge potential demand and then applied the findings of that research to create a complete feasibility analysis — including consideration of costs and benefits, programming options, financial models and exploration of various methods for financing, ownership, delivery and operations.
Drake then retained Scion again, this time to direct a national selection and interview process for potential development partners, assisting the University in achieving optimal terms. After an extensive quote and proposal process, Drake selected its development team. The 457-bed Drake West Village project — named by Drake students — successfully completed its $36 million non-recourse, tax-exempt bond financing in May 2007 and opened in Fall 2008.