STATEMENT ON BEHALF OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AND UIRP,LLC REGARDING THE SALE OF RESEARCH PARK BUILDINGS
The Research Park at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has been successfully developed as a public-private partnership with Fox/Atkins Development LLC since 2001. The Research Park has reached record employment and occupancy rates as a reflection of the vibrant technology community that includes a mix corporate innovation centers, startup companies, and university partnerships. The overall Research Park currently includes 16 buildings, more than 120 companies, and 2,100 employees.
Fox/Atkins has identified a buyer for some of the buildings in the Research Park. The land will remain University property and the overall management remains under the leadership of the University of Illinois Research Park, LLC, whose sole member is the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. The new owner of the buildings will retain Champaign, IL based FDC LLC, the leasing and property management company of Fox/Atkins Development, to provide all the tenant services and leasing for the buildings being acquired.
The leadership of the University and the UIRP,LLC has been very involved in this potential purchase to ensure as much of seamless transition as possible. The overall Research Park operations will remain led by a full-time team of University of Illinois employees that will continue the programming, marketing, company relationships, and planning responsibilities of the Research Park. The purchase does not impact the operations of EnterpriseWorks incubator, the iHotel and Conference Center, and buildings with other private ownership.
The purchase has the opportunity to bring new investment to the Research Park and is a reflection of the positive performance of the overall real estate development. The current development agreement with Fox/Atkins Development remains in place through 2021. The UIRP LLC has not yet provided formal consent for the new buyer, a Chicago-based institutional manager of real estate investment funds, to receive a transfer of the ground lease agreements. The due diligence process is underway. The University of Illinois is enthusiastic to continue the growth of the Research Park as an economic development priority.