Campus retains consultant firm for Lower Sproul renovation operating costs

As part of another step in the multimillion dollar Lower Sproul renovation project, UC Berkeley has recently retained a Washington D.C.-based consultant firm to assist in gauging the potential maintenance and operating costs associated with the project.
The firm Brailsford and Dunlavey has been chosen to assist the campus in the plaza’s business planningand the analysis of operations and maintenance costs, according to Associate Vice Chancellor for Budget and Resource Planning Erin Gore.

In the past, the firm has worked with the campus on projects to provide studies on student housing feasibility and to report on how alternative financing approaches for the campus could meet its growing needs. The firm has already worked on the Lower Sproul project in determining retail demand at the plaza, and in July gave a presentation to the campus on operating cost projections for the plaza that indicated a negative cash flow.

In a Memorandum of Understanding signed in June 2010, the $840 million project was broken down among project costs, debt service and operating and maintenance costs, which were listed to be around $100 million. Because the numbers at the point of the memorandum’s publication were used mostly as “placeholders,” the firm will fine tune the costs of future operating and maintenance of the plaza, according to campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof.

The firm will be in charge of developing a business plan for the project, which will add 49,508 gross square feet of space onto the 333,573 gross square feet plaza.