University of Illinois System

Licensing and Easements

One of the greatest resources of the University is its land and facilities. Prudent management of its real property holdings is vital in discharging the University's mission and exercising its fiduciary and stewarding responsibilities.

Frequently, the University is requested by government entities, corporations and individuals to give up its right to the use of its real property, in whole or in part, by granting easements or licenses on various campuses. Often these requests are for the benefit of the general public but can also benefit the University. The proposed uses include, but are not limited to, rights-of way for street and infrastructure construction, temporary construction licenses and utilities and telecommunications licenses over, across, under and within the University's land and facilities. It may be in the best interest of the University for these License or Easement requests to be accommodated provided that the standards of the proposed use are acceptable, the future use of the University's real estate and its many and varied programs are preserved, and appropriate compensation is received. It is not in the interest of the University to grant such requests that are in conflict with the University Master plan or are in conflict with other program objectives of the University.

Examples of commonly granted license agreements (or receivable leases) include the restaurants and coffee shops, bank branches and ATM's on our three campuses, including University Village Marketplace in Chicago or temporary construction or utility access licenses. University units may allow other entities to use University space for a variety of other uses. Such agreements are concession agreements and are not subject to the requirements of the Illinois Procurement Code.

License agreements/Receivable leases may be negotiated between the cooperating unit and the other party.; Real Estate Services or an attorney from the other party will draft the agreement in accordance with University policies and procedures. The length of term is not limited as it is with payable leases.

License agreements should include specific information as to where payments shall be remitted, and a specific payment contact should be included on the Real Estate CARF to be attached to the license before execution.

Approvals for license agreements don’t follow the requirements of payable contracts.  A unit head needs to sign the RE-CARF for every license/payable lease as well as anyone else the using unit wishes to include in the approval process.

Each license agreement or easement must be in writing signed by the University Comptroller or Delegate for real estate.

Easements are occasionally requested for use of University land.  As easements don’t have a termination date, even if the land is sold, the University doesn’t enter into easements without careful consideration.  Easements must include a proper legal description and are recorded.

Requested easements may include, but are not limited to, rights-of way for street and infrastructure construction, utilities and telecommunications easements over, across, under and within the University’s land.

Considerations in the decision to grant a license or easement:

  • Objectives of the applicant
  • Location and land area
  • Specific use of the site
  • Duration of use
  • Immediate impact of the land value
  • Environmental, aesthetic and economic impact
  • Benefit to the University
  • Design, construction method and supervision, maintenance
  • Frequency of entry by the applicant
  • Tax status of the applicant
  • Alternatives available to the applicant
  • Importance of welfare to the community

Compensation for License/Easement Agreements

Basis for Compensation for granting a License/Easement agreement:

  • Type of use
  • Duration of the agreement
  • Value of any loss of the University property or the net difference in the value of the in-kind benefits received by the University and the loss of value and other factors as may be appropriate
  • Benefit to University
  • Profitability to applicant
  • Costs to University for administrative review and processing and any taxes or other costs that would impact the University’s real estate
  • Impact and relocation costs to any University facilities, plantings or research and functional activities at the site or otherwise
  • Whether such license is non-exclusive and within and existing R-O-W