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BOULDER, CO-The Urban Land Institute recommends the University of Colorado centrally and more efficiently manages its non-academic property, considered one of the university’s most valuable assets.

Currently, CU has no policy for managing non-academic real estate, which is defined as any property that is not directly tied to education and research. The CU Foundation and the University Improvement Corp. are among groups that manage non-core real estate holdings. That can lead to redundancies, the ULI indicates. It also is a slow process when disposing of real estate since it takes at least three years to move forward on selling or developing land. The ULI says economic windows of opportunity can close before CU moves on the property.

The ULI is proposing the creation of a new entity, the University of Colorado Real Property Asset Management Group. It would coordinate all non-academic real property activity. Among other things, it would be responsible for the analysis of all real estate gifts to the CU Foundation.

Byron Koste, director of the CU Real Estate Center and a member of the group that hired ULI to do the study, supports the proposal. Koste says the ULI had conducted a similar study for the University of Virginia. Since then, the Virginia university has real estate entity that has built a golf course, hotels and a business school that in turn has been deeded to the university, Koste says.

The CU Foundation, the University Improvement Corp., various CU campuses and other interested policy groups are studying ULI’s suggestions and are expected to release their own report in about 90 days.

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