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April 18, 2014

Real estate pros explore CSH project

MILLEDGEVILLE — The Central State Hospital Local Redevelopment Authority (CSHLRA) heard a presentation from The Counselors of Real Estate (CRE) Consulting Corps in January.

The board officially signed an agreement retaining the high level CRE advisory services.

If the legislation comes through, the redevelopment authority needs “a roadmap” and “strategic plan” to define the 2,000-acre property according to CSHLRA executive director Mike Couch.

“I really believe what we are heading for now is developing a master plan for the future,” Couch told the Milledgeville City Council when discussing CRE earlier this month. “How we work with those assets will define the next 20 years of this community. We want the state hospital to be part of what's next.”

The 1,100 real estate professionals within CRE span the globe and membership is invite-only. These pros engage in development

evaluation, feasibility, design, legal, master planning and capital formation to name a few areas.

This public service program completes real estate analysis and action plans that address client's real estate dilemmas and often enhances the property's performance.

A five-member CRE Consulting Corps panel will visit Milledgeville June 9 through 13.

The real estate counselors volunteer their time pro-bono, which is estimated valued at upward of $300 per hour, to solve complex problems and opportunities to organizations like the CSHLRA that need strategic planning help. Panels convene at 7:30 a.m. and work until dinnertime, often meeting until midnight throughout the week.

Areas of focus include formulating an attainable vision statement, goals for public/private partnerships and assessing pros and cons of engaging a master developer, self-managing the process in accordance with a master plan or selling the property with covenants.

The team will set up interviews with stakeholders to get various viewpoints regarding the property, and by the end of a one-week panel session, the CRE professionals will devise preliminary conclusions and recommendations to delivered to the CSHLRA.

The strategic plan final product should refine the CSHLRA mission, vision and objectives, along with an agenda for action. A written report delivered to the board within 60 days of the weeklong crash course is included in the price.

A total possible price tag of $45,000 for the consulting services includes administrative fees and capped reimbursement of all out-of-pocket expenses incurred during the team members' stay. The total falls within the CSHLRA budget parameters.

“We look forward to partnering with you to develop an attainable vision for the adaptive reuse and redevelopment of the Central State Hospital site into productive private sector uses,” John J. Hentschel, 2014 of the CRE Consulting Corps Steering Committee said in the Letter of Agreement.

Couch expects a good outline for a CSH redevelopment-marketing program as well.

CSHLRA vice-chair Dudley Rowe said the CRE consultants would help the authority “unfold the market” to be able to segment, promote and sell it.

“It's going to take us going to the private sector anyway we can,” the CSHLRA director said.

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