Louisiana State University transforms an underdeveloped tract of property into a vibrant gateway district

Project Highlights

  • Nicholson Gateway is one of the largest projects ever constructed in Baton Rouge.
  • The development includes over 50,000 square feet of campus-focused retail space.

Louisiana State University

Campus-Edge Mixed-Use Development Advisory

Louisiana State University embarked on an unprecedented project to transform the Nicholson Drive corridor from what has traditionally been the back of the campus into an exciting, mixed-use gateway development. Nicholson Gateway greatly improves the area’s vitality and aesthetic while upgrading the residential quality of life for students, enhancing the game-day experience, and improving LSU’s relationship to downtown.

As development advisors, Brailsford & Dunlavey, in partnership with Baton Rouge–based CSRS, first led a project definition exercise with LSU stakeholders and leadership that refined the development concept. With the scale and complexity of the project, the university and its affiliated LSU Property Foundation decided that a public-private partnership would more efficiently and effectively deliver the development to the community.

B&D and CSRS led a selection process that reduced risk and drove value for both the public and private partners, leading to the university reaching a successful financial close with RISE Real Estate in late 2016. During implementation, B&D and CSRS continued to assure compliance with the development program and ground lease requirements. Phase 1 opened in fall 2018, which included student housing, recreation, parking, office, retail, and infrastructure. Phase 2 opened in fall 2019.






of new revenue over 40 years

‘‘B&D knew exactly what to expect during each phase of our P3 project, and I can’t imagine a process going more smoothly. Even the private sector firms who weren’t selected had nothing but positive things to say, and that’s because of the leadership, organization, communication, and trust that B&D brought to the process.’’

Patrick Martin, Assistant Vice President Real Estate, Public Partnerships, and Compliance, Louisiana State University

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