Designing and Planning for the Future
Howard is an anchor institution in the nation’s capital that has watched communities thrive, decline, and rebound during our 150-year history. Our leadership recognizes that the health and well-being of the University is inextricably tied to the physical, social, and economic well-being of the city in which we were founded. This simple truth drives the University’s prerogative to improve our physical campuses and the communities that surround them. As a major landowner, the University controls numerous underdeveloped assets within and outside of the District of Columbia. University assets are assessed using two primary filters: asset typology and activity tier. Asset typology is a categorization of assets based upon the extent to which the use of an asset is directly linked to the furtherance of the University’s educational mission (Core, Edge, Non-Core). Activity tiers categorize and prioritize development sequences based upon the immediacy of, and potential for value optimization (Tiers I through III). The intersection of these two filters has established the rhetoric for the strategic treatment of assets in furtherance of the mission.
As the University pursues development opportunities and initiatives, Howard has a responsibility to dedicate our resources to projects and programs that align with our core mission. The guidelines in this document offer a consistent set of guidelines that will steer Howard’s real estate development efforts. The policies are designed to work in combination with the University’s Campus Master Plan, Strategic Plan, and other planning documents to achieve Howard’s goals.
Howard University’s Office of Real Estate Development and Capital Asset Management (“Real Estate”) is committed to optimizing the value and performance of real assets in support of the University mission. The “optimization of value” relates mainly to commercial real estate activities intended to generate capital for strategic reinvestment. The “optimization of performance” relates to the repair and maintenance of core facilities that support the academic mission, and is executed primarily by Howard’s Department Physical Facilities and Maintenance (“PFM”).
The University’s future development initiatives are driven by a consistent set of guiding principles that align with and advance the University’s core mission. These principles must be flexible to enable Howard to respond quickly to opportunistic programs and projects, but precise enough to direct decisionmaking. In a resource-constrained environment, Howard will use these principles to make careful selections among competing opportunities.
The economic development principles and initiatives described in this section ultimately support Howard’s mission in the following areas: catalytic development, value optimization, risk mitigation, diversity, affordability and transparency.
As an anchor institution in the District of Columbia, Howard University is committed to supporting strong, vibrant communities in the neighborhoods surrounding our campus. Through partnerships with local communities and the District, Howard seeks to catalyze economic growth through strategic development.
Howard is leveraging our assets to generate value to support missioncritical physical and programmatic improvements across our campuses. As such, one of the University’s primary goals in all economic development initiatives is the creation and capture of value, including financial and in-kind.
All major economic development initiatives present risks to Howard, whether they relate to financial or legal concerns, student experience, or brand. When selecting and executing projects, Howard will prioritize projects that minimize risk to the University by allocating risks among the parties best suited to manage and efficiently price such risk.
Howard recognizes our role as a promoter of economic opportunity for underrepresented professionals and businesses and will support diversity among our business partners. Howard will increase participation of local and minority-owned businesses; Certified Business Enterprises (CBEs); and city residents in design, consulting, and construction opportunities.
Much akin to the rising costs of higher education, the affordability of housing in and around Howard’s campuses is an area of concern for the University community. Howard is committed to supporting the community’s affordable housing goals responsibly, and will continue to leverage our real estate development initiatives to make our curricula and degrees accessible to students with financial need.
Howard has a long tradition of working closely with community and local government partners when pursuing campus planning and economic development initiatives. This transparency has allowed the University to communicate our reinvestment needs and our intent to leverage assets strategically to meet those needs. Howard will continue to communicate our plans and priorities from community stakeholders and incorporate feedback and recommendations that align with the University’s core mission.