Bruce Baker co-leads the firm’s Campus Infrastructure & Community Development team. He focuses on the construction aspects of real estate development and financing projects. He also represents banks and other financial institutions on regulatory and enforcement matters.
What do you focus on?
Design, development and construction contracts
I represent owners, developers and lenders in connection with the structuring and negotiation of EPC, design/build, design and construction contracts for complex projects in all asset classes, ranging from commercial and institutional buildings to sports stadiums, toll roads and airport terminals as well as power plants and process manufacturing facilities. Most of the clients I represent are in the higher education, power generation and food/beverage manufacturing industries. In addition to structuring and negotiating design and construction agreements, I represent clients in negotiating development and joint venture agreements, contract interpretation and claims consulting and performance security matters. I represent banks and other financial institutions in connection with regulatory and enforcement matters.
Campus Infrastructure & Community Development
How can colleges and universities partner with their surrounding communities to build facilities that support the economic health of the area? What ways can academic institutions leverage private financing—or public programs—to build these facilities? I am intrigued by the interaction between academic institutions and their surrounding communities and how this factors into campus development projects, especially in urban locations where space is precious.
Recently, we’ve been helping utilities decommission and demolish older power plants that have outlived their usefulness. The contracts for this work are extremely complex, with numerous regulatory and environmental hurdles to clear.
What do you see on the horizon?
I think we are at an inflection point, similar to the decade of the 1950s, for broad classes of infrastructure in the U.S. Thousands of our bridges, roadways and tunnels are functionally obsolete. Hundreds of coal-fired power plants are being decommissioned and will soon have to be demolished. Many of our colleges and universities are beginning to realize that not all of them will survive into the next generation, unless they transform themselves into resource centers for whole communities. Animating both new construction and “deconstruction” is a push by users, designers, municipalities and lenders for sustainable design and efficient recycling/reclamation.