40-Acre Research Park is the Focus of Assignment
Chicago, IL, February 10, 2020—A team of six professionals from The Counselors of Real Estate provided expertise and recommendations to the leadership of Agricenter International in Memphis, Tennessee, on how to best create synergies and catalysts for economic development and additional community involvement on the 1,000-acre property.
The Counselors’ public service initiative, the CRE Consulting Corps, assists non-profit groups and municipalities throughout the U. S. with solving specific real estate challenges. Agricenter International is an urban farm dedicated to advancing knowledge and understanding of agriculture. The non-profit is a “living laboratory” for companies to evaluate new and innovative agricultural products and services.
While it had a high-level strategic business and conceptual master plan, Agricenter International requested the CRE Consulting Corps to help it identify tangible action steps to implement one component of that plan—the Innovation District, a 40-acre development site that is the centerpiece of the campus’ research effort.
The project included a week-long site visit during which the team interviewed Agricenter International officials and local community sources, toured the property site, and researched and analyzed market data. The group presented a set of recommendations for the highest and best use of the Innovation District’s vacant land, as well as provided input on likely tenants and the type of space those tenants would need. It outlined viable development options that advance its mission and offered suggestions on staff management, infrastructure improvements, accessibility, landscaping, and signage.
“The Counselors of Real Estate and its Consulting Corps have been important partners on this project,” said John Butler, president of Agricenter International. “The CRE team was incredible to work with. They brought with them a wealth of knowledge around the potential development and growth of our Innovation District.”
Team members were David H. McCoy, CRE, CCIM, CPM, Kamuela, HI (team leader); Garner Chandler, CRE, CCIM, Santa Rosa Beach, FL; Brian Dolehide, CRE, Chicago, IL; George E. Grace, JD, CRE, New York, NY; Hugh F. Kelly, Ph.D., CRE, New York, NY; and Brent A. Palmer, CRE, MAI, FRICS, Chelan, WA.
“Agricenter International is a significant public amenity and asset,” said McCoy. “The Consulting Corps’ objective was to determine the viability of developing new buildings in the Innovation District that align with Agricenter’s goals, create new and valuable revenue streams, and foster the development of new agricultural products and services.”
Members of The Counselors of Real Estate volunteer their time and expertise for Consulting Corps assignments, providing access to the highest levels of industry knowledge. The team for the Agricenter project was selected for its objectivity and experience directly applicable to the non-profit’s needs. Agricenter International is one of more than 50 projects completed by CRE Consulting Corps teams.
About The Counselors of Real Estate
The Counselors of Real Estate® is an international organization of commercial property professionals from leading real estate, financial, law, valuation, and business advisory firms, as well as real property experts in academia and government. Membership is selective and extended by invitation, although commercial real estate practitioners with 10 years of proven experience may apply.
Counselors have created and endowed the MIT Center for Real Estate, resolved the dispute between the developer of the World Trade Center and its insurers post September 11, led the privatization of U.S. Army Housing, developed a multi-billion-dollar, 10-year master plan for Philadelphia Public Schools, and valued both the Grand Canyon and Yale University. Counselors reside in 20 countries and U. S. territories, with only 1,000 professionals holding the CRE credential worldwide. For more information on The Counselors of Real Estate® and how to apply for membership, visit CRE.org.
About Agricenter International
Agricenter International, a 1,000-acre farm, is a non-profit dedicated to advancing knowledge and understanding of agriculture. It has a $524 million annual economic impact on the region, hosts over 1.3 million visitors annually, and educates 10,000 students a year. For more information visit www.agricenter.org or call 901-757-7777.