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Volume 7, Issue 20 - August 19, 2015
P3s revolutionizing nation's university campuses
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
Is there anyone who does not know about the funding crisis in higher education? After headline-grabbing budget cuts in dozens of states with strong public universities, there is even more urgency to find new funding options.

Almost every state in the nation has made significant reductions to public funding for higher education. Between 2000 and 2012, state-supplied revenue per student fell by 37 percent and student populations grew by 45 percent. That is jaw-dropping data!

In this environment where public officials must "do more with less," well-placed public-private partnerships (P3s) offer an attractive option to university executives. Collaborative efforts between industry and public colleges and universities offer long-term benefits to both parties. The P3 projects have been diverse. Some involved construction of new facilities, research labs, sports stadiums or student housing. Other types of P3s have resulted in revenue-producing development on university campuses.



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Tampa presents $1.7 billion waterfront redevelopment
Public and private money will remake Port of Tampa's waterfront property
Port Tampa Bay has released plans for a huge renovation and redevelopment of the City of Tampa's waterfront. A year in the making, the $1.7 billion Channel District project will remake what has largely been a light industrial area of town into one of the largest waterfront makeovers in the country. The plan describes the creation of four districts - a cruise district, the central waterfront, a park district and a marina district - and would entail private investment of $1.5 billion and another $200 million in infrastructure upgrades paid for by the city and the port. 

"Great cities like San Diego, New Orleans and Vancouver have been built around their ports,'' Port President and CEO Paul Anderson said. "We believe this will stand out as an innovative example of how to take full advantage of valuable waterfront, while balancing the needs of the maritime community and adjacent neighborhood.''

As of yet, no developers have been signed up for the project, but neither the city nor the port has any doubt the announcement will quickly generate significant interest from investors, developers and builders. 

Concurrent development plans for land adjacent to the area of the port dovetail with these new plans. And so, ongoing efforts to lure a major corporate headquarters relocation and the shift of the region's University of South Florida medical school to downtown Tampa will fit right in with the proposed redevelopment.

Those proposals include construction of 9 million square feet of mixed-use development with a hotel and an open-air market, two residential towers of up to 75 stories, demolition of one cruise ship terminal and the expansion of another to accommodate two ships at a time and the creation of a new 7-acre park.

The proposed redevelopment encompasses about 45 acres of land that is owned by the port, most of which will remain so. The idea behind the project is to make use of a portion of the port's real estate in a way that serves the public better. "It's a small but significant piece of the 5,000-acre footprint of the port and adds diversity and uniqueness," Anderson said.

The leases to various private developers would run from 40 to 100 years and will provide a continuing revenue stream for the port. There is the possibility, however, that the port will consider the sale of some piece of land, but those decisions would be decided by the port authority board and handled on a case-by-case basis.
A Roadmap To Upcoming Opportunities
Sales teams interested in staying ahead of the competition - take note! Government entities throughout Texas - school districts, cities, counties, colleges, health care and special districts - have until Aug. 24 to announce their plans to call a November bond issue. Those bond referendums collectively will result in billions of dollars' worth of contracting and subcontracting opportunities.

Over the years, bond projects have led to opportunities for new construction, renovation and maintenance projects on public school campuses. Counties and cities have used bond proceeds for road and bridge projects, street improvements, new public safety buildings, parks renovations and water and wastewater projects. New hospitals have been built and community college facilities have been constructed.

To ensure that your team has detailed information about the bond proposals, order the Strategic Partnerships, Inc. November 2015 Bond Package in advance today. When all the bond elections are set, subscribers will receive the most complete package of bond information available, including entities calling bond elections and comprehensive details of what is included in each. The package also will include bond results immediately after the election and valuable information on bond issues under consideration for 2016 and beyond. Pre-order now!
States finally taking action on transportation funding
More than a dozen states have made moves to shore up road projects funds
As the U.S. Congress continues to delay passage of a comprehensive transportation infrastructure bill and instead repeatedly passes short-term fixes, states are having to take the matter into their own hands. So far this year, almost one-third of the states have made efforts to boost funding for transportation in the face of expected declines in tax revenues.

The most significant of these maneuvers have been in Connecticut, Texas and Washington, which have each committed to efforts that will raise billions of dollars for their roads, bridges and other transportation projects. But they're not alone. At least 16 states, from Maine to Mississippi to Idaho have stepped up when the federal government has not.

There are several different methods that states are using to raise money for the projects, and many of those states are looking to diversify their sources of revenue.

Delaware is shifting some revenue from vehicle sales taxes to transportation funding. Connecticut authorized $2.8 billion in bonds to be repaid through the diversion of one-half cent of its sales tax. Georgia, Idaho and Iowa are using a mix of gas tax increases and raised fees on registrations. As well, Nebraska, South Dakota and Washington are looking to increase their fuel taxes.

A few states are leaving it to voters to decide whether to fund transportation projects. On Oct. 24, Louisiana voters will be able to choose if they want to shift money from the state's rainy day fund toward transportation. Maine will vote on transportation bonds in November, at the same time Texas voters will be deciding on moving $2.5 billion annually from general sales tax revenues to the state's transportation fund and 35 percent of vehicle sales taxes.
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Vegas plans $2.3 billion convention center expansion
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority decided last week to demolish the 60-year-old Riviera casino-hotel and pave over the land rather than let it sit vacant for years while the agency looks to fund the expansion of its convention center. The authority bought the Riviera for $182.5 million plus $8.5 million in transaction costs in February, and the hotel closed for good in May. The expansion will cost $2.3 billion and will bring the convention center to the Las Vegas Strip, including on the site of the Riviera. Any demolition, the method of which hasn't been determined, wouldn't happen for at least six months, though the agency's contractor suggested it will require an implosion as well as tear down. The expansion project could cost $42 million to demolish the casino and replace the 26-acre site with a paved lot for temporary outside exhibit space until it can build convention space. The exact cost of the demolition won't be known until the agency seeks bids for the work. Rossi Ralenkotter (pictured), the authority's CEO, said the expansion is among efforts needed to compete with other destinations that have risen up to take some of Vegas' convention business. "The fact is, there's a destination arms race all around us," he said. The project is designed to take the convention center from 3.1 million square feet to 5 million square feet.
NY awards $20 million to repair Syracuse water plant
The New York State Environmental Facilities Corp. approved $20.5 million in loans to Onondaga County to pay for improvements to the Metropolitan Syracuse Wastewater Treatment Plant. Half of the loans will be at zero interest, with the other half at market rate. The treatment plant treats a daily average of 84 million gallons of wastewater generated by 270,000 people and industrial and commercial customers in Syracuse and its suburbs. Treated wastewater is discharged from the plant into Onondaga Lake. The funding will be used to help the county-owned plant meet new permit requirements by installing a seasonal disinfection system, which will reduce fecal bacteria and chlorine levels in discharged water. Included in the project are a new bypass chlorine contact tank, chemical storage and feed building, dewatering pump station and tertiary bypass control gates among other upgrades. Construction will begin in September and be completed by March 2017.
St. Johns River projects receive $25 million
The St. Johns River Water Management District's Governing Board approved $25 million in cooperative funding for 50 local projects that, when leveraged with local partners' funding, represents almost $100 million in total project investment. These projects will conserve more than 1.7 million gallons of water per day (MGD), develop more than 56 MGD of alternative water supplies and reduce total nitrogen loading by nearly 540,000 pounds per year and phosphorus loading by more than 113,000 pounds per year. "Through this program, we are partnering with public and private entities on projects that will significantly help local communities conserve water, develop alternative water supplies or improve surface water quality," said Board Chairman John Miklos (pictured). The funding will go toward reclaimed water projects, storm water or surface water treatment and enhancement projects, alternative water supply development and water conservation enhancements. The projects address one or more of the district's strategic priorities, including springs protection and water quality protection in the Indian River Lagoon, Northern Coastal Basins and middle and lower St. Johns River basins. The board will also initiate a second round of solicitations to generate proposed projects for an additional $5 million in funding. That will go toward innovative projects or projects in Rural Economic Development Initiative (REDI) communities.
Florida DOT issues RFP for land development
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has issued a request for proposals (RFP) to develop 18.8 acres near the Sheridan Street Tri-Rail Station in Hollywood. The proposed transit oriented development would be on a state-owned park-and-ride lot. FDOT could lease the land to a private developer, who would be requested to maintain at least 809 commuter parking spaces and related transportation facilities. One of the RFP's goals is to find a project that will complement the passenger rail and bus stations there. Tri-Rail extends from West Palm Beach to Miami International Airport and is working toward an expansion to downtown Miami within a few years. FDOT awarded a ground lease for the property in 2005, but that project stalled during the recession and was terminated in 2012. The two parcels have been planned for 300,000 square feet of commercial use, 245,000 square feet of office space, a 150-room hotel and 550 mid-rise units. Two groups are currently building more than 330 apartments near the rail station on privately owned land. The potential development of the FDOT property would be in addition to that.
Springfield to develop former high school property 
Springfield, Mass., is advertising for a buyer of the former Chestnut Junior High School property, saying the vacant 3.8-acre site offers great potential for redevelopment following full demolition and cleanup. Mayor Domenic J. Sarno (pictured) said that a fire in 2013, which left the long-vacant school in rubble, led to the city choosing to demolish the school. "The silver lining is now you have a property ready to go," Sarno said. "The property is clean now, and it's four acres in a very strategic area of the city." Those interested in buying and redeveloping the site must submit proposals to the city by Sept. 14, to the city's Office of Procurement. The city expects strong interest in the site, as it entails "prime property" between two major medical centers. "It's got great potential and all options are open," Kevin Kennedy, the city's chief development officer, said. The property is city-owned and consists of eight parcels. Once proposals are received, the city will establish a review committee. Any sale of the site needs approval from the mayor and City Council.
Sioux City approves park contract
Sioux City, Iowa, has approved the building of a park that has been anticipated for more than three decades. The park's funding was initiated in 1981, when Ruth Cone died and put $200,000 into a trust for 25 years with the intention of building a park in Sioux City. The approximate value of that trust is now $2.9 million and the city will add $800,000 for a park that will be located near Stadium Drive. The park will be open 365 days a year with summer and winter elements, including a tubing hill, an ice skating rink that doubles as a splash pad, snow making capabilities and trails. "We're very excited to finally have some clear direction on what the park's going to be, and we're going to move forward into the design phase," said Sioux City Parks and Recreation Director Matt Salvatore. Cone Park will be located just east of the IBP Ice Center. "We want to make sure that the vision that the community had is implemented, and it's going to be very unique. There's lots of summer uses with our city parks. Having a winter use in addition to summer uses is very attractive for the community," Salvatore said. Construction on the park could begin as early as next spring and the plans are for the park to open in either 2016 or 2017.
Staunton approves consolidated courthouse plans 
A new plan that would consolidate a county and city courthouse in Staunton, Va., is moving forward. City Council member Erik Curren (pictured) said, "Staunton has been the county seat of Augusta County for the last two and a half centuries, so there's a lot of tradition there." In order to preserve that tradition, the Staunton City Council approved plans to combine the city and county court system into a new downtown structure. The plans will now be sent to the Augusta County Board of Supervisors, which will decide to accept them, keeping the county seat in Staunton, or let the people decide on a referendum this November. Curren says this plan will save money because the city will be contributing a much higher figure in cost sharing to build it. "It could save citizens in both Augusta County and the city of Staunton money over the long term."
North Dakota funds $664 million in water projects
With a record $1.12 billion budget for 2015-17, the North Dakota State Water Commission (SWC ) will take on $664 million in projects. The SWC budget sets aside $69 million for Fargo flood protection and a $30 million grant for a Grand Forks water treatment plant project. It also has $4 million for flood levee projects in the Bismarck area. A total of $5 million also was approved for the planning of the Red River Valley Water Supply Project, a proposed state-funded pipeline from the Missouri River to eastern North Dakota. Interim Water Topics Overview Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Schmidt said a priority of the committee will be working to improve communication between the Legislature and water commission. He said beginning last session lawmakers moved toward applying dollars to specific purposes in order to track where dollars are going. In this budget, a total of $414 million was designated for projects of specific purposes. Among them are $130 million for rural water, $113 million for flood control and $85 million for municipal water. Another $61 million is designated for general water projects.
Yonkers to build firehouse to replace condemned one
Yonkers, N.Y., will build a new firehouse downtown, its first in more than three decades. The new building will replace Station 1 on New School Street, which was condemned earlier this summer because cracks were discovered in exterior walls. That structure was nearly 90 years old and will be torn down. "It has become clear after extensive cost analysis and recommendations from experienced contractors and engineers that it is cost-prohibitive to rebuild Firehouse Station 1," said Mayor Mike Spano (pictured). "Therefore, it has been decided the city will invest in building a new, state-of-the-art firehouse that will be modern, more efficient and compatible to the way our fire department operates in the 21st century." The last firehouse built in Yonkers, Fire Station 8 on Warburton Avenue, was constructed in 1980. A final decision on where the new firehouse will be located will be determined by the School Street Firehouse Reconstruction Committee, which will study the issue. The goals of the committee will be to identify the new site of the firehouse, which is estimated to cost up to $15 million, and to create expedited specifications for a request for proposals (RFP) for the firehouse's development. It is expected the city will release the RFP for the new firehouse by Oct. 1, anticipating the development and construction of the new firehouse to be complete by 2018.
New York revives plan for Highbridge Park ice rink
The New York City Parks Department is trying to revive interest in a plan to open a seasonal skating rink in Highbridge Park in Manhattan. In March 2014, the Parks Department released a request for proposals (RFP) for the development and operation of an ice rink in Highbridge Park to operate annually from October to March. Despite a promised $1 million allocation to upgrade the site's infrastructure, the RFP did not generate much of a response, the Parks Department said. The city is hoping that another attempt will renew interest in the project. As with the original, the new RFP calls for the development of an ice rink with skate rental and sharpening facilities, as well as food services. Concessionaires are also free to propose a warming station and pro shop. However, the new RFP will accept proposals to build a rink anywhere within the large pool area, as opposed to the original, which had required the operator to build the rink over the park's wading pool. The department has also reduced some of the requirements for public programming at the rink. Whereas the old plan called for a minimum of six hours per week of free youth clinics, the new RFP reduces that requirement to four hours per week. The Parks Department is accepting proposals through Sept. 14, with the hope of opening a rink at the site during the winter of 2016.
May 2015 Texas Bond Results
News About Public-Private Partnerships (P3)

ADOT outlines P3 options for I-17 improvements
The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is looking to partner with a private company to bring improvements to Interstate 17, said Gail Lewis (pictured), director of ADOT's Office of P3 Initiatives and International Affairs. Any such deal has the potential to include using highway tolls and fees, revenue bonds or "Grant Anticipation Notes" to repay the private money. Lewis made a point to emphasize that going down that road would not provide "free money," but would help to "shift the risk" involved in such a large project. In April 2015, the Central Yavapai Metropolitan Planning Organization (CYMPO) executive board approved a resolution suggesting the state look into a public-private partnership (P3) solution for the interstate. Lewis presented a number of possible improvements, including both near-term and long-term solutions. Those near-term plans include $44 million for a new northbound climbing lane from Black Canyon City to Sunset Point and between $100 million and $125 million for a one-lane reversible or two-lane reversible stretch of highway, which would help to deal with rush-hour traffic by switching the direction of lanes depending on traffic flow and congestion. A longer-term fix includes a $500 million project consisting of three southbound lanes on a new roadway alignment and four northbound lanes. "P3s are a tool in the toolbox, but are not the answer to all of ADOT's funding needs," Lewis told the CYMPO board. Lewis said results of the initial component should be ready for release to the public by December.
Boise State to build $40 million honors college dorm
Boise State University's Honors College will get a bigger home, able to house 656, about half of whom will be Honors College students who will study and take classes together in the building. The remaining living space will go to other students needing living space, as the school is over capacity in terms of dorms. The building will be constructed and managed under Boise State's first public-private partnership (P3) for a residence hall. A private contractor will construct the building on land leased from the university. The company will own the building, students will lease dorm space and, after 50 years, ownership will revert to Boise State. This marks Boise State's second attempt at a P3 for dorm construction. It backed out of a similar arrangement in 2010 when a bond rating agency indicated that any debt the company undertook to build a dorm on college property would affect the debt rating for the university. Under the current agreement, the builder will spend $40 million up front to construct the dorm and will not incur any debt that could affect Boise State's debt capacity or credit rating. The announcement of this new construction follows a robust building program across the university over the past decade, largely paid for with increases in student tuition. President Bob Kustra still envisions a couple of additional academic buildings - one for fine arts and one for materials-science research. The 236,000-square-foot-building will be built where the former University Christian Church building was located. Boise State purchased the church site in 2013 for $5.9 million.
Long Beach Civic Center legislation signed into law
California has passed legislation geared toward simplifying the public-private partnership (P3) procurement process for the Long Beach Civic Center, merging separate sections of state law into a single section. The law combines state and case law relating to lease-leaseback public-private partnerships and design-bid-finance-maintain (DFOM) public-private partnerships into a hybrid model specific to the Civic Center Project. "The Long Beach Civic Center Project is a once-in-a-lifetime project that will transform Downtown Long Beach," Mayor Robert Garcia (pictured) said in a statement. The new law will allow the city to invest more directly in development costs. The city's annual payment on the lease is designed to be the same as the payment for the current Civic Center and other off-site leases. The 15.87 acres of land included in the Long Beach Civic Center Project will include a new city hall, Port of Long Beach Headquarters and Main Library, as well as a redesigned park. Additionally, transit-oriented, mixed-use developments, high-rise condominiums and retail will encompass the private side. 
$232 million makeover for  Charity Hospital on table?
A Dallas-based developer is pitching a $232 million renovation of New Orleans's Charity Hospital in partnership with a local team of architects and affordable housing developers. The makeover of the Charity campus would bring market-rate and affordable apartments for workers in the biomedical industry, including at the new $2 billion hospital complex nearby. Preliminary designs call for 585 apartments, extended stay rooms, offices for health care businesses and neighborhood shops opening onto a revamped plaza. The second floor of the mixed-use proposal would house a proposed New Orleans Academy for Biotech and Healthcare Workforce Skills Development. Market-rate and affordable apartments would be targeted at workers in the biomedical fields "to add economic diversity to the community while promoting increased income and spending leading to community wealth generation," the proposal says. The developer proposed a "cooperative endeavor agreement" in a public-private partnership with the state. The deal would be financed partially through various tax breaks, tax credits, and a federally guaranteed loan through the city or state. It would also include grants, a $99 million mortgage and $20.6 million of private equity, about half of which will be supplied by developer. The proposal also notes that after the 25th year of the plan, "expected net cash flow from the project is minimal" because full property tax rates will be back in place. The developer would then consider refinancing or conveying the property to a public agency or nonprofit partner.

Bergen County looks to remodel park system
Bergen County, N.J., has outlined an ambitious vision for the county parks system that calls for expanding existing attractions, adding new ones and seeking out public-private partnership (P3) opportunities to help pay for them. "My vision for the parks is to make them destinations and give an identity to each one of them," County Executive James Tedesco (pictured) said of the plans for the county's park system. Among the attractions the county hopes to bring are treetop zip lines racing down a ski slope on a summer day at Campgaw Mountain in Mahwah, a new kids train winding through an expanded zoo at Van Saun Park in Paramus and a boat launch for rowers navigating the Hackensack River in the Meadowlands. Unlike most county departments, parks makes almost as much as it spends. The department's 2015 annual budget is $10.5 million. Last year, it brought in about $8.5 million in revenue from golf and other park fees. The system comprises 21 parks, five golf courses, two horseback riding areas, the Campgaw ski area and the zoo at Van Saun.
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