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Georgia Gwinnett College

Designated Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI)

New facilities allow for enrollment expansion and growth.

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When Gwinnett Center’s enrollment expanded beyond its physical capacity, it was time for a change. Georgia Gwinnett College needed new classroom facilities, and it needed them soon.

Created through a partnership between the University of Georgia and Georgia Perimeter College, Gwinnett Center was not originally a college or university. It was a University System of Georgia (USG) satellite institution – a project that relied on rented space so that Gwinnett County residents could receive a college education without commuting to Atlanta or Athens.

By the time the USG Board of Regents approached TUFF, they faced a major challenge. They didn’t have the space to accommodate increasing student enrollment.

Thanks to TUFF’s leadership, Gwinnett Center developed new facilities at below-market costs.

Disparate facilities leased at market rates – that was Gwinnett Center’s reality when administrators began working with TUFF.

Moving quickly to complete the development before the following fall, TUFF studied the market and worked with local landowners to assemble property for a new facility. TUFF then made a $1 million investment in 9.5 acres of land, enabling construction of a 120,000 square-foot classroom and lab facility.

Due to TUFF’s ability to lease facilities at below-market rates, Gwinnett Center ended up paying the same effective rent while doubling its available space.

Today, Gwinnett Center is not just an institutional partnership. It is Georgia Gwinnett College, a USG institution with over 11,000 students.

It also boasts a 260-acre campus in one of metro-Atlanta’s busiest communities. Gwinnett Center’s first facility proved to be a catalyst for further investment in the campus. Ultimately, the State of Georgia appropriated funds for several additional facilities at Gwinnett Center – 15 buildings in total.

As of 2022, GGC enrolls over 11,000 students and offers 20 bachelor’s degree programs with 60+ programs of study. U.S. News & World Report has ranked them the third most innovative Southern regional college for 2022,  the #16 top public Southern regional college and the most ethnically diverse Southern regional college for its eighth consecutive year. In September of 2022, GGC was designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) by the U.S. Department of Education, just one of two USG institutions in the state that has achieved HSI status.

To conclude the multi-decade transaction and promise to the BOR, in June 2022 TUFF gifted the 120,000 square-foot facility, now valued at $32M, to GGC, plus an additional $100k cash gift.

In line with our continued mission as a real estate developer and advisor to “create facilities for institutions of education and research that foster economic growth and accelerate innovation”, TUFF played a pivotal role in GGC’s journey to become a USG institution of higher learning.


Project Specifications

  • At risk acquisition of land
  • 120,000 square feet of classroom and lab space
  • 30% more space at 20% less cost to the institution