Master Planning

NorthStar’s experience with master planning is unrivaled and creates a roadmap for development with a unique combination of visioning, user experience, student metrics, operational feasibility, and pre-design architectural and planning. We understand it is a bit of a mining effort to truly identify and align thoughts and expectations, along with mission, vision, and goals. We create a compilation of information gained from the stakeholders (Board, Staff, and Donors) and develop a plan with not only an eye on Day One but a focus on sustainability and longevity.

Permitting, Licensing and Zoning Coordination

By bringing the entire project team to the table and making sure the client’s mission is clear, NorthStar effectively navigates complex municipal processes. Using our experience and 360° understanding of the necessary components, we work with the project team to satisfy requirements while communicating with the municipality to understand their process and timing.

Feasibility Studies/Due Diligence

Determining the viability of a project is based on a comprehensive analysis of site conditions, financial implications and more. NorthStar’s in-house, multi-disciplinary team employs a holistic approach to study every facet of a project and uses its global insight to advise a client as to the advantages or corrective measures that might be necessary.

Operational & Strategic Planning

The operational and strategic plan will be the vision and the living element within the institution that everyone believes in, works towards, and refers to as grounding for all decisions. It is a key element to long-term sustainability. NorthStar looks at staffing models associated with the proposed operational planning and applies these within our financial modeling process.

Community Assessment/Engagement

A wide net must be cast to learn more about how the community views your institution and what they would like to see as a future vision. Our analysis is comprised of an assessment of market areas and trends as well as audience and visitor needs. In collaboration with the client, NorthStar employs one-on-one meetings with civic leaders, surveys of current audience as well as focus groups to gather information and feedback to assist in guiding the plan and path forward.

Funding Source Coordination & Management

Understanding the relationship between operating, project and fundraising budgets as well as the drivers that motivate lenders, NorthStar coordinates the information and develops the necessary statements, projections and strategies to maximize the revenue-generating opportunities for the client.

Real Estate Strategy

A thorough real estate strategy supports the vision of the institution for the short and over the long term allowing for responsibility of fiscal management and plans for growth. Whether identifying the right location for your institution based on needs and lease costs or providing for expansion over time, NorthStar has been at the table time and again guiding clients, working with brokers and negotiating with Owners.

Capital Budgeting

NorthStar builds capital budgets from the ground-up using our proprietary budgetary software. Developed to deliver the level of detail clients require, this program employs client input and NorthStar expertise to identify where the dollars will be spent and continues to track them in real-time throughout the project.

Value/Cost Benefit Analysis

NorthStar uses a systematic approach to assist clients in making decisions during the course of design to maintain their vision while keeping a watchful eye on the budget and schedule. Working with the project team, our team weighs the value and cost benefit so every dollar, which took great effort to obtain, is well spent.

Design Team – Identification, Solicitation and Management

NorthStar focuses on selecting the best design team for your project and then maximizing the resulting plans. With multiple checks and balances along the way, a constant eye on the bottom line, and a focus on schedule, aesthetics and efficiency, we ensure that the final project is consistent with your vision and mission. By keeping you informed, clients understand their options, choices and potential solutions. We collaborate and challenge, and in the end, deliver the project you expect in the time you need it.

Cost Advisory/Cost Estimating

Cost estimating is a science that requires the ability to understand the pieces, see in 3D and take a project apart piece by piece. NorthStar’s experience with complex design, construction, understanding of market costs and ability to visualize the finished project provides clients with an itemized estimate that accounts for every nut and bolt. Our cost estimating service paves a clear path for our clients to create an accurate capital budget.

Technology Support and Coordination

Technology integration is one of the most complex components of a project. NorthStar coordinates our clients’ voice and data providers, makes sure drops and systems are accurate and maintains the schedule to ensure our clients are up and running when the project is completed.

Exhibits – Identification and Design Management

Interactive and engaging exhibits are the bread and butter of a successful museum. NorthStar focuses on understanding the audience and culture of the community and pairs it with their knowledge of what works and then maximizes the resulting concepts through design. We collaborate with the client and designers and challenge, and in the end, deliver the exhibits you expect in line with the mission of the museum.

Historic Preservation Advisory

With the intent to preserve the historic nature of a site and gain potential tax benefits, historic preservation requires a guiding hand to keep the process moving and coordinate with Federal and local guidelines. Having successfully worked with many clients in this capacity, our team advises clients on options, communicates with the proper agencies for approval and keeps the information organized to fulfill the requirements.


Budget and Schedule Management

When NorthStar manages and maintains the budget and schedule throughout a project, clients have a clear and accurate understanding of the status of their project in real time. This up-to-the-minute accounting of dollars and timing facilitates critical decision-making throughout the life of the project.

Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment Management

Whether furniture, equipment or services, NorthStar tracks these vital pieces of our client’s projects from start to finish. From detailed, accurate writing of the initial scope; careful selection of items or vendors; and tracking of shipments for consistency and timing, our process provides our clients with best pricing and accuracy and ensures critical deadlines are met.

Collections Management

Appreciation of collections may be subjective but there is no question the high priority institutions place on the acquisition, movement and preservation of their collections. With years of working with clients in this capacity, NorthStar has a systematic approach to art management that addresses the importance of these assets including storage, relocation, installation and display.

Exhibits – Fabrication Management

NorthStar manages the exhibit design process from concept to reality. We understand the potential pitfalls during fabrication and carefully review in relation to the plans and intent as changes to exhibits incur delays and disrupt the schedule. When complete, our team tracks the shipment of exhibits for consistency and timing to make sure critical deadlines are met.

Purchasing/Procurement Management

From gathering of initial scope, to purchase orders, through tracking receipt of products, NorthStar dedicates the resources you need to have the process go smoothly and on time.

Construction Support/Management

When it is time for a project to be built, NorthStar keeps an eagle’s eye view on behalf of our clients during the construction process. Keeping the schedule and making sure “a dollar for a dollar” is spent, our team maintains the vision of the institution while pushing the project forward towards successful completion.

Relocation Management

Careful coordination and comprehensive planning is the key for successfully moving our clients, whether to a new location or within an existing space. Our experienced team mitigates the risk of potential downtime by initially vetting the entire project team and continuing to monitor the process and schedule. Communication with change is critical and NorthStar’s clear and concise plan with management, staff and the project team provides a smooth transition.

Ticketing/POS Systems Procurement/Implementation

Your ticketing and POS systems need to work to your particular accounting needs. Our team focuses on identifying the best solution that is customized, fast, easy-to-use, modular and scalable. In the end, the selected method and system must work within your budget and ultimately enhancing the customer experience. Once selected, we overse the installation of the system.

Commissioning Oversight

Schools have teachers and students; museums have collections and exhibits. Each has its own set of parameters, ranges and drivers. NorthStar understands the complexities of commissioning and oversees these activities. From our experience, we understand that acceptable environmental conditions vary depending on placement and season and reliability of components and systems is critical.

Exhibit Installation Oversight

When it is time for the exhibits to be put in place, NorthStar is onsite on behalf of our clients during the installation process. With a watchful eye, our team makes sure every aspect is as intended including placement, electrical hook-up and lighting before the final bolt is put in place.

LEED® Certification Management

Sustainability is a given in many projects, but when our clients choose to pursue LEED certification, NorthStar navigates this complex and paperwork-driven process from Day One. With a registered, LEED accredited professional as part of our team, clients realize benefits of advanced planning and a central source to gather information for certification submittals.

For More Information

Contact Rosella Harvey at

For more information contact Rosella Harvey

Pennsylvania 610-896-8100

New York 212-600-0823

  Virginia 703-844-1729

Skip to content