Campus Infrastructure & Community Development

Helping to structure, negotiate and close complex campus infrastructure and student housing transactions that connect campus and community.

Our approach

With over half of U.S. colleges and universities located in cities and urban areas, we see tremendous opportunity. And with strong interconnectivity between campus and community, there is a growing need for partnerships between universities and private developers to develop facilities that will make communities flourish.

The potential for mutual benefit is limitless: research hospitals and medical facilities, stadiums, mixed-used and retail, performing arts centers, privatized student housing, technology incubators.

Developing large-scale projects in urban areas presents challenges, from tight construction schedules to the need for complex financing.

We guide you through each phase of your project’s development, with advice related specifically to higher education institutions, such as the role of governing boards, the applicability of nonprofit regulations at the federal and state level as well as financing and development issues unique to institutional owners.

Who we work with

  • Our clients are primarily colleges and universities, aiming to maintain and attract a diverse and growing student population.
  • For financing and real estate development, portfolio and acquisition due diligence and other business needs, we also represent:
    • National and local developers
    • Investors
    • Lenders
    • Underwriters
    • Credit enhancement providers
    • Bond issuers

Recent experience

University of Rochester’s College Town

This exciting development is a successful public-private endeavor in Rochester, New York. College Town is transforming the neighborhood into a gateway to the University of Rochester Medical Center by adding 500,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, a conference facility, hotel, parking and housing. We worked with the University of Rochester in negotiations for the development agreement, various financing documents and local land use approvals.

Rochester Institute of Technology

We represented the Rochester Institute of Technology in a joint venture with Rochester developer Wilmorite to develop, construct and operate a mixed-use project on an approximately 60-acre parcel of RIT's campus. The development consists of residential apartment uses (approximately 900 beds), retail, restaurant and office uses.

Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center, Inc. (MGHPCC)

Nixon Peabody represents a joint venture of five Massachusetts research universities in the creation of a joint venture that has constructed a super-computing center in Holyoke, Massachusetts. MGHPCC is a groundbreaking collaboration between Harvard University, MIT, University of Massachusetts, Boston University and Northeastern University; the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; and private industry.

CUNY Law School Commercial Condo

We represented City University of New York in connection with the acquisition, development and financing of a commercial condominium unit for the relocation of its law school in Long Island City, New York, and the development and financing of student housing facilities on multiple campuses throughout New York City.

St. John Fisher College Campus Expansions

We advised St. John Fisher College on extensive campus expansions and in connection with bringing the Buffalo Bills training camp to its campus, which has become a successful annual community event.

Pace University Revenue Bonds

We represented Pace University in connection with the issuance by DASNY of its $116,475,000 Pace University Insured Revenue Bonds, Series 2005A and Series 2005B, the proceeds of which were used to finance the costs of construction of various capital improvements on the university’s Manhattan and Pleasantville campuses.


  • Chambers USA has ranked members of our real estate team, with clients praising our “attention to detail, deep knowledge, responsiveness, and great value” since 2010.
  • Nixon Peabody LLP has received Tier 1 recognition in real estate law from U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers in its 2013 “Best Law Firms” rankings.
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