While TUFF has a standard set of operating guidelines, no two transactions are ever the same. Whether it is difficulty with a complex transaction, concern over balance sheet impact, or a tight timeline to deliver a facility, TUFF has the capacity to structure the transaction in a way that will have the most impact for an institution’s unique needs.
TUFF has the ability to increase speed-to-market by supplying upfront capital so that a project may proceed before financing has been secured. This can cover the spectrum from grants to hard construction dollars, however most often, TUFF's partners find this useful during the predevelopment phase while they are working for the support of all stakeholders. That said, in a number of circumstances, TUFF has provided significant equity (up to 100% of total project cost) to accelerate delivery of a facility prior to securing permanent financing. For an example of this, explore the details of Technology Enterprise Park and the Florida Tech Student Housing Project.
TUFF has a long history of structuring public-private ventures, particularly as it relates to co-ownership of a single facility. Leveraging the best of the public, private, and institutional sectors, TUFF provides for the lowest cost / highest quality solution. For an example of how TUFF has structured these unique transactions, explore the details of the Centergy project.
The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has issued an Exposure Draft that, when enacted, will fundamentally alter the way that Institutions account for their leased facilities. Among other things, the proposed guidance would eliminate operating leases by requiring the recognition of assets and liabilities arising from lease arrangements. While it is unlikely these changes will be codified in the immediate future, they have generated uncertainty as university administrators analyze their facility pipeline. TUFF has emerged as an industry leader in assisting its partner institutions' understanding of the implication of these changes and helping them chart a course for successful facility delivery. Accordingly, TUFF was recently invited to speak to the National Association of College and University Business Officers about the news and how it may effect institutions around the country.
With increasing frequency, universities are seeking to leverage their brand equity by expanding their education mission in new markets. TUFF has assisted its partners in establishing new satellite campuses in previously untapped marketplaces. For an example of this, explore the Georgia Tech Regional Engineering Program.
Institutions often contemplate the impact to their credit capacity while trying to expand their facilities. Using a master lease structure, TUFF has the ability to help their partners capitalize on the value of core assets without losing operational control. Upon the full amortization of the debt from the transaction, in most cases, TUFF will seek to gift the facility back to the institution.
Unlike traditional feasibility studies, an engagement with TUFF at this level provides the opportunity for TUFF to perform a thorough exploration of campus life, research enterprise, and market dynamics to suggest new and different alternatives that the Institution might not have considered. This study can manifest itself in a business plan or TUFF may provide funds for additional market studies, architectural master planning, or environmental and engineering investigations. TUFF's role as counselor allows for this work to be conducted alongside universities prior to the issuance of an RFP. Institutions value this process as TUFF and its partners are able to leverage their experience and network to better incorporate best-practices into the contemplated project. For several examples of TUFF's experience, explore the Feasibility Study page.