Roughly 250 miles separate Georgia Tech’s Atlanta campus from Savannah, the state’s largest coastal city.
Due to the distance, many qualified students from coastal Georgia were going elsewhere for higher education and even more Georgia citizens were missing opportunities for professional advancement.
From Georgia Tech’s perspective, this was a problem.
Thankfully, it was a problem the institution could solve. Georgia Tech needed a satellite campus – a place where students from Georgia’s coastal region could pursue new careers.
They also needed a platform to support veterans reentering the workforce.
TUFF invested in Georgia Tech’s Savannah Campus, accelerating development and providing below-market financing.
Georgia Tech already had a site for the new campus. The City of Savannah had provided 40 acres to the State’s Board of Regents (BOR) with the stipulation that the Board use it to develop education facilities.
To accelerate development at the site, TUFF provided short-term equity. TUFF later helped finance the Savannah campus with $24 million in tax-exempt bonds. A commercial loan provided additional financing.
TUFF ultimately developed three facilities. The first was a 17,500 square foot facility on the BOR-owned parcel. Two additional buildings occupy 97,000 square feet on an adjacent, 9.4-acre parcel purchased by TUFF.
A new opportunity for professionals in coastal Georgia
The new facilities house Georgia Tech Professional Education (GTPE), a program designed to advance the careers of working professionals and support the goals of industry partners. GTPE offers professional development courses, certificate programs, workforce development programs, and professional master’s degrees.
At the BOR site, TUFF developed testing facilities, satellite uplink facilities that connect campuses around the world, administrative offices, and meeting space. Following development, BOR purchased that building from TUFF at cost ($5 million). The other two buildings contain classroom and office space.
Today, there are two landowners and two facility owners, but the campus experience is seamless.
Continued investment and growth
In 2012, TUFF refinanced the development to provide greater flexibility to Georgia Tech’s Professional Education programs. All of the savings went directly to Georgia Tech.
Georgia Tech also partnered with industry aviation leader, Gulfstream. The company leases the second facility, where University faculty actively work with Gulfstream training staff. The collaboration enables additional research and the development of new courses, further strengthening ties between the University and corporate partners.
- One 17,500 square foot facility on 40 acres
- Two facilities (97,000 square feet total) on 9.4 acres
- Classrooms, laboratories, administrative offices
- Located near Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport