Jackson Walker regularly advises public and private institutions with assets such as student housing, parking, athletic facilities, academic buildings, and real estate investments. We help ensure timely development and construction, which is essential to a school’s financial and educational success.
Landowners, investors, and developers engaged in the sale or lease of property to higher education institutions need attorneys that are well-versed in real estate law and the issues unique to colleges and universities. Due diligence is important, as the resolution of issues discovered during development may hinder actions the developer or institution can take.
Special issues arise in dealing with public institutions in particular. Acquisitions may require approval by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Real property owned by state agencies is generally exempt from municipal zoning. There are certain property tax exemptions that may positively affect accounting assessments, while public bid processes can create additional challenges.
Financing may involve the sale of bonds, state capital budgets, partnership agreements, gifts, and endowments. Even when institutions use a private developer to construct and operate school facilities, the project may still be considered part of the institution’s debt capacity and raise bond or other issues.
Our attorneys know the ins and outs of the challenges involved when higher education institutions engage in real estate transactions. We are able to seamlessly integrate our public entity understanding and experience into the deal-making process to enhance our ability to guide clients through the business considerations, regulatory constraints, authority issues, and tax implications of university and college real estate transactions.