Volume 7, Issue 30 - October 28, 2015
New P3 trend brings food trucks to universities, school districts
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
Sweeping national trends rarely originate in public school cafeterias or college dining halls. But, at least one did!

On campuses nationwide, student lunches in noisy dining areas are becoming a thing of the past. Food trucks are now the new rage.

Campuses that offer food service to students, either prepared in-house or through contracts with professional on-campus dining services, face a daily dilemma. The food must not only meet strict nutritional standards, but it must also appeal to the discerning and diverse preferences of students. 




In This Issue
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New York's Port Authority to get $10 billion terminal
Manhattan's bus terminal to be replaced, design competition announced
Photo of Port Authority by Rob Young licensed under CC BY 2.0.
Building in Manhattan is always going to be expensive, and so there's little surprise that replacing the world's busiest bus station on the nation's priciest island won't be cheap. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced last week a design competition to replace its bus terminal, currently located at 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue.

The project could cost as much as $10 billion.

The Port Authority two years ago formed a committee to study how best to replace the terminal, and that committee's recommendation is to construct the new one just west of the current location, between Ninth and 11th avenues. The committee also recommended keeping the current terminal operational during construction in an effort to lessen disruption to commuters as much as possible. The current Port Authority bus terminal served 66 million bus passenger trips in 2014, a figure that is above its operating capacity.

Last week's vote by the Board of Commissioners set up an international design contest with a deadline of September 2016.

Port Authority Executive Director Patrick Foye described the effort to replace the terminal as "an unbelievably complicated project, with construction being done at the crossroads of the world, at the site of some of the most important and expensive real estate in the world."

The study committee came up with three configurations for the new terminal, but the groups participating in the design competition will be free to build on those or to dismiss them totally. Designers are also able to go with the location proposed by the committee or to recommend an alternative.

While a financing mechanism hasn't been determined yet, the current terminal location will likely be sold to developers upon completion of its replacement, and those funds will go toward the project's considerable costs.

"We've taken an important first step today," said Port Authority Chairman John Degnan of the board's vote. "We still have a lot of work to do. We're going to have to find the money for this project and for other projects that are being presented to the board."

The Port Authority also is planning to construct a $20 billion commuter-rail tunnel beneath the Hudson River and has requested the federal government fund half of that project.
Roadmap to upcoming opportunities
Interested in staying ahead of the competition? Then ... take note! Government entities throughout Texas are planning November bond elections.

The bond vote represents contracting work valued at $8.7 billion. New construction, renovation and maintenance projects, road work, new bridges, street improvements, new public safety buildings, parks renovations and water and wastewater projects - this is what the bond funding will cover.

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San Francisco makes bet on Internet of Things
Agreement places sensors throughout city, creating nation's largest network
Photo by Doug Kerr licensed under CC BY 2.0.
Last week, San Francisco announced a partnership with a French technology company that will create the nation's largest network for the Internet of Things (IoT).

The move is the company's first foray into the United States, but it has already created networks throughout France and Spain. Its deal with San Francisco gives the city free access to its sensors in return for space on municipal buildings to place the devices.

Those devices are small and don't require much energy to power them, significantly less than what is needed to power a cellular network. That means, of course, that the data they can transmit is much smaller too, not enough for streaming video, for instance. But the network is strong enough to power communications from items like parking meters, fire alarms or smart meters.

In its announcement, San Francisco didn't specify to what uses it planned to put the network. Miguel A. Gamiño, the city's chief information officer, did allude to San Francisco's place in the high-tech world as reason enough to initiate this pilot program, implying that the benefits of opening up the city to the Internet of Things aren't known yet but will be discovered as the city and its community of tech start-ups experiment.

"The next wave in technology innovation in San Francisco will likely be the Internet of Things," Gamiño said. "This new network reinforces San Francisco's commitment to attracting start-ups and established companies in the emerging IoT space. It also allows the city to offer residents innovative new services and positions San Francisco as the leading smart city in the United States."

This pilot program in San Francisco is the first of a planned 10-city rollout for the company. By the end of the first quarter of 2016, it plans to install networks that provide coverage for Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and San Jose as well.

Upcoming contracting opportunities

House committee moves $325B highway bill forward
Well, the first step has been accomplished. The U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee last week passed a bipartisan bill to spend up to $325 billion on transportation projects over the next six years. It still needs to go before the full House and then, if passed, go to a conference committee that will have to wrestle it and the Senate's transportation bill, passed last summer, into accordance. But, still, it has at least passed the committee stage. The bill, called the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform (STRR) Act of 2015, would spend $261 billion on highways, $55 billion on transit and approximately $9 billion on safety programs over six years. Much like the Senate's bill, it guarantees funding for just the first three years. Unlike the Senate bill, though, it does not guarantee the latter half's projects will go ahead. That portion of the bill will only be "unlocked" if Congress finds the money to pay for it. "The STRR Act is fiscally responsible and authorizes federal surface transportation programs for six years," House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Rep. Bill Shuster (pictured) said. However, the nation's current transportation funding mechanism expires tomorrow, Oct. 29. The House passed a three-week extension yesterday, and the Senate is expected to follow suit, pushing the deadline to Nov. 20.
Pennsylvania issues RFP for HealthChoices program
Pennsylvania's Department of Human Services (DHS) has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the state's entire HealthChoices program at once, rather than splitting the services geographically as it has in the past. HealthChoices is DHS's Medicaid managed care program, and it currently operates in five zones statewide. Interested organizations can choose to bid on one or more zones. DHS has identified several goals for the renewal of the contracts. Those include improving care coordination, emphasizing a patient-centered approach and increasing community-based initiatives and access to health care, especially in rural areas. Bids are due by Nov. 17, and the program is expected to begin Jan. 1, 2017. The HealthChoices program is headquartered in Erie, Penn.
Plans for new Intracoastal Waterway bridge presented
The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) revealed plans to build another bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway near Orange Beach, Ala. The state of Alabama has started the proceedings to purchase land, beginning at the Foley Beach Express highway in Gulf Shores, that will allow it to construct the new bridge. "We hope to have the first phase of that taken under contract by the middle of next year," ALDOT Director John Cooper (pictured) said. "The second phase will be the bridge across the intracoastal, and I believe that will be taken under contract in the spring or fall. Those two segments range in price from $25 million to $28 million. "At that location, we will be able to cross the Intracoastal Waterway without putting anything in the Intracoastal. We'll be able to span it the way the angle is set up," said Cooper. Orange Beach city officials have said the city would pay for a bike and pedestrian lane alongside the new construction, while the state would pay for the required widening of the road. The bridge project follows an announcement that a new convention center will be built alongside the region's beaches.
Columbus releases RFQ for downtown redevelopment
Columbus, Ind., has issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) to redevelop a portion of the city's downtown area. The city plans to sell about 10 acres at Second and Lafayette streets to be developed into a hotel and apartment complex. The Columbus City Council has agreed the project will be a $60 million development that will consist of apartments, town homes, the hotel and an extended-stay temporary housing operation. It will also have commercial development on the first floor of the complex. The Columbus Redevelopment Commission has heard from the city's employers that Columbus requires more rental housing to keep up with the demand of their employees. Responses are due Dec. 1
Florida county builds it, hopes they will come
Palm Beach County, Fla., is preparing to construct a baseball stadium on the site of a former yard-waste dump. The project is part of a deal to lure two Major League Baseball teams to the county for spring training. The $144 million costs of the stadium will be split among the county, the state and the teams, with Palm Beach picking up about half of the price tag. "I'm totally beyond happy that we are here at this point," County Mayor Shelley Vana said. The stadium is scheduled to open for the 2017 season, when it will begin serving as the pre-season home to the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals. Palm Beach County is already home to the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals for spring training, but county officials argue that this stadium will not only attract more tourists for spring training but also make the area more attractive to the major league teams, which can train with and  play against the increased nearby competition. The stadium will also be used for youth baseball tournaments year-round.
Montgomery County approves construction on garage
The redevelopment of the area around a mall and conference center in Bethesda, Md., will include the construction of a new 650-space parking garage. Montgomery County officials have said that the county will begin construction in the summer of 2016 on the parking garage at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel & Conference Center. The garage will be part of a larger project that entails straightening out Executive Boulevard. That realignment will force the loss of some surface parking spots, which will be replaced by the new garage. The county owns the conference center and will build the garage, which is in the design phase now. Though that design is not yet complete and is subject to change, it currently includes five levels of parking with a skywalk connecting garage users to the conference center.
Upper Arlington to construct fiber-optic network
An Ohio city government is teaming with the town's public library and school district to build a fiber-optic network. Upper Arlington's city council will review the plan to build a 30-mile fiber network that will reach 40 locations. The $2.5-million project would provide high-speed internet services to all city, school and library buildings, as well as to most public parks, said Assistant City Manager Dan Ralley (pictured). It also would provide connectivity among the city's facilities and allow the city to lease some of the capacity to commercial companies. "You're seeing municipalities across the country, as well as central Ohio, see fiber networks as critical pieces of their infrastructures," Ralley said. "The city will own this asset and ultimately maintain it, but by sharing those costs with Upper Arlington schools and the library." The city has received a $500,000 state grant to pay for part of the network's construction, which could start as early as 2016, with the schools receiving access first.
Fayetteville seeking bids for city hall renovation
Fayetteville, N.C., is conducting a search for a local company to perform renovations on its city hall. The city began its solicitation in the spring of 2015 but is renewing the effort in an attempt to find a local company to do the work. The city council rejected three bids in the summer when the lowest proposal came from an out-of-town contractor. Additionally, that lowest bid of $1.5 million was still about $250,000 above estimates. The project is to renovate the city hall's third floor, which had been emptied of staff and office furniture earlier this year in anticipation of the renovation. The deadline to submit bids is Nov. 12.
San Francisco to build homes for teachers
With the cost of living going ever upward in the San Francisco Bay Area, the city's school district has moved to ensure its teachers can afford to live near their place of work. "Providing this housing opportunity for our teachers is one of the most important things we can do as a city," Board of Supervisors President London Breed (pictured) said. The city and the San Francisco Unified School District announced last week a plan to build a 100-unit housing complex solely for public school teachers and staff members. The plan also includes up to $44 million over the next five years to help the teachers purchase homes. Officials have said the housing complex will be built on school-owned property, although they haven't identified which sites are being considered. According to a November 2014 school district survey, about 70 percent of teachers in San Francisco live within the city's boundaries.
Topeka approves $5 million to fund four projects
The Topeka, Kan., City Council agreed to fund almost $5 million in projects last week. The projects will receive their funding from the city's transient guest taxes. They include $3.4 million for a downtown plaza project, $680,000 for the Jayhawk Theatre, $355,000 to renovate the city's constitution hall and $300,000 for a new Evel Knievel museum. The plaza project is meant to be a tourist center that will draw visitors to Topeka. Its location is not yet determined. The city council also agreed to spend $20,000 on a feasibility study for a new turnpike interchange. "Nothing will create a return on an investment any faster than a year-round programmed, public downtown plaza," says Kurt Young, president of a trade group backing the plaza project.
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News About public-private partnerships (P3)

Ohio State issues RFI for energy privatization plan
The Ohio State University is in the middle of a process that will turn its energy services over to a public-private partnership (P3). In February, the school issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) on the project, and last week it released a request for information (RFI) to the 40 groups that responded to the RFQ and were deemed qualified by the university. This is not the school's first foray into the world of P3s. In 2012, it leased its parking operations to an Australian company in a 50-year, $483 million deal. This project would call for a private partner to pay for a 50-year lease to provide operations and maintenance of the university's utility system, to buy its energy and to make sure it meets energy-efficiency goals. Ohio State estimates that it needs at least $250 million in energy-efficiency improvements. The responses are due in December, after which the school will issue a request for proposals (RFP).
Denver to get airport rail service from Union Station
Denver Transit Partners (DTP) has announced that the city's light rail line from Union Station to the airport is scheduled to start running in April 2016. DTP is a consortium of private companies that is the concessionaire on the Eagle P3 project in Denver, which calls for DTP to design, build, finance, operate and maintain four separate rail lines. The Regional Transportation District (RTD) will own all of them, with DTP taking on the risk as well as a substantial portion of the costs. The 23-mile line to Denver International Airport has a total cost of $2.2. billion, almost half of which has come from a federal grant. DTP provided $450 million of its own money in return for a 34-year deal to operate and maintain the train line. "In just a few short months, our entire region will begin to experience the true unbridled potential of connecting FasTracks and the Denver International Airport with the opening of the A Line," Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said.
Lake Jackson enters into P3 to construct CNG station
Lake Jackson, Texas, has entered into a public-private partnership (P3) with a private company to build, operate and maintain a publicly accessible compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station in the city. The deal is for 10 years. It allows the city to save money by using CNG for its own fleet, as well as allowing access to the CNG fueling for local residents. The station's construction is expected to be completed by December. "We are pleased to pioneer a unique public-private partnership model," Lake Jackson Mayor Joe Rinehart (pictured) said, "introducing us to building and operating the public side of a CNG fueling station with private funds. Providing the local community an option to fuel with cleaner and cheaper, domestically produced fuel will encourage many local companies to utilize CNG."
Orange County considers P3 for Dana Point Harbor
The Orange County, Calif., Board of Supervisors is considering a plan to issue a request for qualifications (RFQ) for the Dana Point Harbor Revitalization Plan. The RFQ would solicit for a public-private partnership (P3) to redevelop that section of the city of Dana Point. The county's public works department already has completed the design for the first phases of the project. Orange County will be responsible for infrastructure improvements to the area, and the private partner would operate through a master ground lease with the county. The developer would construct, manage and operate the property for the duration of the lease, as well as administer leases, collect rents and be responsible for all the costs of the development. It would pay the county rent based on gross receipts.
Miami college seeks bids for mixed-use development
Earlier this year, Miami Dade College received an unsolicited proposal pitching a public-private partnership (P3) to develop a mixed-use development on its downtown Miami campus. Now, the school is opening up the project to other private groups to see if they're interested in the idea as well. Currently used for faculty parking, the 2.6-acre property has a view of Biscayne Bay and is desirable real estate in a city experiencing a building boom. The original proposal would build a Latin American art museum, a sculpture garden, a 1,600-seat performing arts theater, a 3,000-seat conference center and two residential towers. The school would then own the museum, theater, conference center and sculpture garden, while the developer would receive the land for no up-front costs and be responsible for the construction costs. The college's request for proposals (RFP) outlines a project similar in scope. Responses are due Jan. 19, 2016.
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