Edulink (EDU) and Texas Tech University (TTU) have signed a framework agreement to establish a Texas Tech University satellite campus (TTU-CR) in San Jose, Costa Rica in order to offer mainly undergraduate, postgraduate and certificate programs in English with high quality and high demand careers such as Electrical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Information Technology, Mathematics and Restaurant Management, and Hotels and Tourism, in Costa Rica. EDU will manage the operations of the university (except for academic), as well as the marketing and student recruitment; and TTU will be responsible for the enrollment of students, the academic offering, accreditation and research activities.
The project, Texas Tech University Campus Building ("TTU-CR") in Costa Rica (the "Project") is intended to provide long-term take-out financing of the capital expenditures associated with construction, operation and maintenance of the AE205 building which has been specifically designed for TTU-CR, located on Escazu Avenue (“Avenida Escazú”), Escazu Municipality (Cantón de Escazú), San José, Costa Rica. Avenida Desarrollo Nuevo, S.A. (“ADN”), a subsidiary controlled by Portafolio Inmobiliario, S.A. (“Portafolio”), will own, operate and maintain and sign a master lease agreement with Edubuilding, S.A. who in turn will sub-lease 7 floors plus basement and parking to EDU. The total estimated cost of the Project is estimated US$ 28 million, which will be financed through an "A" loan from the IDB Group of up to US$ 12 million. The financial plan will be completed with the participation of a B-Lenders and/or parallel lenders and through capital contributions. The main interest of the IDB Invest in participating in this innovative project is that TTU-CR is intended to address the growing demand gap for local skilled labor, which industry in Costa Rica is demanding, by specifically targeting high demand careers through tailored degrees, in English, that would create positive trickle-down effects, resulting in additional indirect job opportunities. Moreover, the building and its interior fit-out has been designed and completed taking into consideration sustainable and climate friendly principles and is pending LEED Silver certification for the exterior and LEED Platinum for the interior.
The Project has been developed within Avenida Ezcazu, a premier lifestyle center in Central America, combining work, entertainment, dining, living and open spaces in a fun and safe environment. This AE205 building has 7 floors, plus basement floor and parking, of approximately 13,476 m2 of gross leasable area (GLA), pending LEED Silver certified facility. TTU-CR will occupy 11,521 m2, approximately 85% of the total GLA.
The AE-205 building will be granted LEED Silver Certification for New Construction, for: (i) water efficiency savings, approx. 666,551 gal/year; (ii) energy efficiency savings, approx. US$47,577/year; (iii) location and transportation, walkable project, promoting public health and physical activity; (iv) quality views, positively impacting mental alertness, productivity and psychological well-being; (v) green vehicles, preferred parking and charging spaces for electric vehicles; (vi) solar panels.
However, TTU-CR will look for a LEED Platinum v4 ID+C certificate, for: (i) Integrative process, finding connections between different building systems and processes; (ii) location and transportation, for its surrounding density and diverse uses, and reduced parking footprint; (iii) water efficiency, for its indoor water use reduction; (iv) energy and atmosphere, for its enhanced building commissioning, optimized energy performance, advanced energy metering and renewable energy production; (v) material and resources, for its storage and collection of recyclables, long-term commitment and for the building product disclosure and optimization, in sourcing of raw material and material ingredients; (vi) indoor environmental quality, for it low-emitting material, construction indoor air quality management plan and assessment, and interior lighting; (vii) innovation, for its practices and strategies on green building education and green vehicles, and for the exemplary performance on indoor water use reduction and reduce parking footprint; and finally (viii) regional priority for its location in Costa Rica.
The IDB Invest initiated due diligence after eligibility on March, 2018, by beginning the review of key project documents, specifically those related to the environmental and social licenses or permits, which included the Environmental Resolutions Nos. 821-2004-SETENA, for the whole Avenida Escazú Business complex, and 1601-2017-SETENA, for a partial modification of the previous resolution, both from the Environmental National Technical Secretary (SETENA, for its acronym in Spanish) of the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE, for its acronym in Spanish). This was followed by an environmental and social due diligence (“ESDD”) mission visiting the projects in San José, Costa Rica, from June 25th and 26th, 2018. The mission included: (i) meetings with the top management of EDU, TTU-CR and Portafolio, from the different administrative and technical areas (Procurement, Construction, Operation and Maintenance – O&M, Environmental, Social, Health and Safety – ESHS, Corporate Social Responsibility, etc.); (ii) interview with local authorities, such as the President of the National Commission for Risk Prevention and Emergency Response (CNE , for its acronym in Spanish); (iii) a site visit to the location of the TTU-CR Project and surrounding areas (Avenida Escazú Business Complex) and (iv) interviews with executives and representatives from private companies in the technological industry in Costa Rica as well as with the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (“CINDE”). Throughout this period, document review continued and included the LEED Certificate Reports, both for the AE-205 building and the TTU-CR, and others.