The Merced 2020 Project — UC Merced’s unprecedented, $1.3 billion campus expansion plan — has been named the “Americas P3 Deal of the Year” in Thomson Reuters’ Project Finance International (PFI) Awards.
The PFI Awards are part of the Thomson Reuters Awards for Excellence, recognizing corporate and individual success in the global financial industry. The Merced 2020 Project is being funded through an innovative public-private partnership (P3) led by developer Plenary Properties Merced.
PFI accepts award nominations from the project finance community. Winners were announced this month, and the awards will be presented at the PFI Awards Dinner in London on Feb. 1.
The award marks the third time the Merced 2020 Project has been recognized by an international organization. During the P3 Awards in October, Vice Chancellor for Planning and Budget Daniel Feitelberg received the Best Individual Contribution Award, given to a person who most successfully progressed P3 infrastructure and innovation. And in August, Feitelberg received the Public Sector Champion Award from Performance Based Building Coalition and InfraAmericas.
“The continuing recognition of our project is a true testament to the exceptional team that helped make this vision a reality, including those on campus and in the UC Office of the President,” Feitelberg said. “Through hard work, creativity and collaboration, we are enabling UC Merced to accommodate increasing demand for one of the best public research universities in the world.”
The Merced 2020 Project is a type of P3 known as an “availability-payment concession,” in which a single private development team designs, builds, operates and maintains major building systems and partially finances the entire project under a single contract. Financing for the project will include a combination of UC Board of Regents-issued revenue bonds, developer funds and UC Merced’s own funds.
During construction, the university will make predetermined progress payments to the developer. Once the buildings become available for use, the university will make performance-based “availability payments” that cover remaining capital costs, as well as the operations and maintenance of major building systems.
The project broke ground in October, and the first buildings are scheduled to be available in 2018. Upon completion of construction in 2020, the campus will have the capacity to enroll up to 10,000 students.