Inlaid-Ivory Towers: Higher Education Joint-Use Facilities as Community Redevelopment Bulwarks

115 Pages Posted: 10 Dec 2012 Last revised: 12 Mar 2014

See all articles by Michael N. Widener

Michael N. Widener

Bonnett, Fairbourn, Friedman & Balint; Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Date Written: December 10, 2012


Community interest in occupation-based approaches to urban economic development remains strong in this country. This paper addresses how communities manage their way (adopting policies implicating land use and environmental sustainability principles by means of repurposing buildings while sharing additional community assets and “campus” leasing actions) to attract private sector higher education providers to establish its downtown as a node of intellectual stimulation, including cultural diversions. This paper identifies the goals of higher education institutions attracted to such an opportunity to expand their student bases in a time of heightened competition from proprietary institutions capitalizing on “career” orientations. Etching the ivory tower environment into community centers sustains the quality of place, thereby attracting the “creative class,” which forms the core of leadership and entrepreneurship in America’s knowledge economy.

After identifying the “town’s” and “gown’s” respective value propositions in this unusual public-private partnership, this paper analyzes the essential interests of each party to a multi-institution leasing transaction and how the parties’ respective vital needs can be met in a commercial lease instrument. The appendix to this paper affords the reader a template of critical leasing terms for establishing this unique form of higher educational cooperative.

Keywords: commercial leasing, multipurpose educational facility, higher education, multiuse building, downtown revitalization, downtown redevelopment, college lease

Suggested Citation

Widener, Michael N., Inlaid-Ivory Towers: Higher Education Joint-Use Facilities as Community Redevelopment Bulwarks (December 10, 2012). 33 Pace Law Review 327 (Winter 2013); Arizona Summit Law School Research Paper No. 2012-A-03. Available at SSRN:

Michael N. Widener (Contact Author)

Bonnett, Fairbourn, Friedman & Balint ( email )

2325 East Camelback Road
Suite 300
Phoenix, AZ 85016
United States

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University ( email )

Prescott, AZ 86301
United States

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