The Real Estate Connection: University Town
The land endowed to UBC by the citizens of British Columbia is a gift of immense value. It provides a spectacular natural setting, ample space for the University’s building and social requirements, and tremendous potential for building the endowment.
In the early 1990s, UBC began planning a complete sustainable community on campus, a University Town of culturally rich neighbourhoods with a mix of housing, parks, shops and amenities. The University did this for two reasons: to create a sense of place in what had been, up to that point, largely a commuter campus and, as appropriate, to monetize what was essentially a dormant land asset so that the proceeds could be endowed and optimally invested to the benefit of the University’s mission.
The development of these neighbourhoods is governed through an Official Community Plan (OCP) and a Comprehensive Community Plan (CPP), both of which include public consultation and require GVRD approval. Typically but not always, parcels of land that have specified uses are taken to market and prepaid, long-term land leases are negotiated.