Volume 9, Issue 13 - March 29, 2017
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.
City leaders have lots of priorities, but perhaps none more critical than affordable housing! Teachers, medical personnel, public safety officers, first responders and others need to be able to live downtown, but because urban real estate is so expensive, it is almost impossible for them to find affordable housing. City leaders know they must change that reality. 

Residents in cities that lack good public transportation have incredibly high transportation costs. The costs are so high there is a huge disincentive to moving to the city. Auto-intensive cities such as Austin, Orlando and Las Vegas have transportation costs that are prohibitive. Because of that, it is almost impossible to hire people whose jobs require them to locate and find living accommodations downtown. City officials are continually reaching out to potential private-sector partners to help them remedy this serious problem. 

There are all kinds of successful public-private partnerships (P3s) related to affordable housing projects. And, city leaders are taking long looks at P3s. The success of a Mountain View affordable housing public-private partnership in California has led other cities to pursue affordable housing programs using a variety of funding mechanisms such as tax credits, low-interest loans, grants, incentives and the transfer of city-owned property to developers.

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"Share the road," is a phrase most people have seen on a roadway sign or may have heard in a commercial brought to you by your state's transportation agency. We all own the road, but are we doing a good job of sharing it with those who drive, walk or pedal their way alongside of us? How much of a wide berth are we giving the vehicle in front of us and the pedestrian or cyclists that we will eventually pass? Even when we do our best driving it still won't stop a cyclist or pedestrian from darting into traffic or abstaining from the use of reflective gear or lights. Whether its four wheels, two wheels or no wheels, everyone must do their part to keep down deadly statistics. 

According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, 5,376 pedestrians and 818 bicyclists were killed in crashes with motor vehicles in 2015. This represents the highest number of pedestrians killed in one year since 1996. Though total traffic fatalities in the United States fell by nearly 18 percent from 2006 to 2015, pedestrian fatalities rose by 12 percent during the same ten-year period. 

Walking, bicycling and using public transportation can help your wallet, health and community. Cities are trying to alleviate road congestion by implementing projects or campaigns that may entice drivers to keep their vehicles parked at home.

Upcoming contracting opportunities

Massachusetts- The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Green Line Extension (GLX) Project team has issued a draft request for proposal (RFP) to the short-listed design build (DB) teams. The RFP seeks to award the GLX contract to a qualified firm that will then be responsible for the design and construction of seven new stations and train service while staying under the affordability limit of $1.319 billion. 

The RFP also contains "Additive Options" that could be pursued by the awarded firm if the options can be completed within the schedule and budget after the core aspects of the project are done. The Additive Options include platform canopies, additional elevators at select stations, public art, additional connection to the community path located on Chester Street in Somerville, extension of the community path between East Somerville and Lechmere Stations and an enhanced vehicle maintenance facility in Somerville. The final RFP will be issued in May 2017 after responses to the draft RFP are evaluated. It is expected that price proposals for the competing design-build firms will be due September 2017. 
New Jersey- A request for proposals (RFP) has been issued by the Morris County Improvement Authority seeking potential leasers of the Morris View Healthcare Center, a 283-bed county owned nursing home and sub-acute rehabilitation facility. The RFP calls for experienced private health care organizations to lease the 211,277 square-foot facility, including the transfer of the 283-licensed long-term care beds through the New Jersey Department of Health. 

The Board of Freeholders approved the leasing option after an independent study of Morris View projected financial issues with rising tax-supported subsidies if the county was to continue managing the healthcare center itself. The county will retain ownership of the facility and to ensure high quality of care to the elderly and disabled residents, the county is considering specific patient care requirements within the RFP. Responses to the RFP are due back to the Morris County Improvement Authority by March 31, and a decision is expected to be made by April.
Georgia- Atlanta BeltLine has issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) aimed at identifying consultants to plan and engineer land development and transportation demand along University Avenue near the new Westside Beltline Trail. The area of potential development would include the Annie E. Casey Foundation site, an area over 30 acres, and the Murphy Crossing site.  

This RFQ follows the trend of development in the areas near Westside Trail. A $30 million project to build a beer garden on the Beltline was announced last year. The RFQ seeks consultants to study all mode of access along the University Avenue corridor, including the long-term impacts of transit service along the Beltline.
Ohio- The city of Cincinnati recently issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) to identify developers to deploy Wi-Fi or "wireline" broadband throughout the city along the Cincinnati Bell Connector streetcar route. The route is 3.6 miles long and runs through the city center from the Banks to Findlay Market. City officials are hoping that this RFQ can serve as the first step to a smart-city grid as Cincinnati continues to explore smart-city concepts. 

The RFQ grants developers 45 days to submit their qualifications and provide details such as the build-out schedule, the city's role, project costs and a timeline specifying when the network would become profitable. A city appointed selection committee will evaluate submissions and then the city will issue its RFQ - likely within a 30-day deadline. The goal is to get the network operational this summer.
Maryland- Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) is estimating that it will release a request for proposals (RFP) by the end of the year to add a hotel within the terminal. The move will follow a new master plan study that is looking at the best uses for the entire BWI campus and will wrap up soon. 

The decision to have an in-terminal hotel was based on feedback and practices at other airports in Boston, Detroit and Orlando. This new RFP will look for a developer to bring a four-star branded hotel with between 200-250 rooms, with a public-private partnership being used for the funding.
New Mexico- Los Alamos County's Economic Development Division recently published a request for proposals (RFP) searching for developers to work on two land parcels located behind Los Alamos Medical Center, at the end of 35th Street, just south of Trinity Drive. As stated in the RFP, the county intends to develop an entirely new neighborhood that is environmentally and financially sustainable in a high desert setting. 

Parcels are approximately 11.8 acres, and the county is seeking a development entity that has the faculties to implement and manage an overall development strategy for the sites. The County has stated that they will consider all development options that align with Los Alamos County Council Strategic Leadership Plan priorities, conform to the Comprehensive Plan and adhere to applicable building and development codes adopted by the county. The county may consider partnering on land, development processes or infrastructure to attract the development and sustainable management of mixed uses. The RFP will close on May 5. The next step will be for a county team to evaluate and score all responses followed by the selected bidder entering contract negotiations. Award of the contract would be subject to council review and approval.
Washington- The city of Seattle is seeking a request for proposals (RFP) for a redevelopment of KeyArena, which could possibly bring the venue up to National Hockey League and National Basketball Association standards. The project calls for all-private construction financing and lease arrangement with any interested developers. The city would maintain ownership of the arena, and the developer would pay a rental fee and assume all costs for maintenance and arena operations. 

The developer could sell naming rights for the upgraded venue as well as sponsorships and gain additional revenue through ticket sales and other routes. Proposals are due by April 12 for the 55-year-old arena and must include a renovation plan within the existing structure, but they can also submit a full demolition and rebuild plan. 
News about public-private partnerships (P3s)

Indiana- The city of Indianapolis has released its intent to begin soliciting bids for the Old City Hall. While the original $55 million bid for the museum redevelopment in the area has been cancelled, the city is envisioning a public-private partnership (P3) to develop on the site. Funds for this original bid were to come from a combination of a $9.1 million loan from the city-controlled not-for-profit Circle Area Development Corporation (CADC) and an $11.3 million loan through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

City officials are now going to consider other funding opportunities instead of loans, with options including tax-increment financing funds or federal New Market Tax Credits. The historic Old City Hall opened in 1910, containing city offices for over fifty years until the opening of the City-County Building in 1962. Following this, the Indiana State Museum filled the building until 2002, after which the site was used as a temporary location for the downtown library. The city has ownership of both the building and the adjacent parking lot.
Colorado- Parker development officials are searching for a master development team to create a public-private partnership (P3) to develop four underutilized and vacant parcels in downtown Parker. The first plot is located at Mainstreet and Victorian and the second is a 1.4-acre strip located directly in front of the PACE Center. 

The third piece of property is 4 acres just west of the town's Discovery Park, and the fourth is a 24-acre plot on the east side of Pine Drive known as Pine Curve. Town officials have indicated that while the selection process will take time, they intend to involve town residents to the fullest extent possible. The request for qualifications was released on March 1, with the selected team to be announced by May 16.
North Carolina- A public-private partnership (P3) proposal for Emerald Isle to create a town meeting center recently passed by the board of commissioners. This unanimous vote will permit Emerald Isle to acquire a 1.8-acre tract of land adjacent to the Western Regional Ocean Beach Access off Islander Drive. 

This property is listed at $715,000, with the proposal calling for a contribution of $450,000 from the county and Emerald Isle financing the remaining $265,000 over a period of five years. After the town secures the land, this property will be given to a private entity to build and operate an events center. Long-term, this center is a positive introduction for the town as it would make Emerald Isle even more attractive as a regional destination for conventions and meetings. It would also encourage further development in the area.
South Dakota- Sioux Falls City Hall is looking to enter into a public-private partnership (P3) to give nearly two acres of publicly-owned property a face-lift and bring more development into the area. The city's Community Development Department recently released a formal request for proposal to redevelop city-owned parcels in downtown Sioux Falls. These lots, located at 701 and 721 North Phillips Avenue, are north of the Phillips Avenue Lofts and west of Falls Park West and the planned Levitt Pavilion.

Since 2004, there have been significant public and private dollars invested in the uptown area. With the Phillips Avenue Lofts going up in 2014 coupled with the planned Levitt Pavilion, the timing is right for more private development. All interested parties must submit their ideas by April 14 with a selection likely happening this summer and the project being completed in 2018. 
Missouri- The city of St. Louis is exploring the possibility of privatizing the St. Louis Lambert International Airport. City officials filed a preliminary application with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a document which essentially begins the process of determining whether privatization is in the city's best interest. This document is in its very initial stages and the city can withdraw at any time. Once the city gains approval by the airlines and FAA, the plan will need to be approved by a public vote. Lambert is one of the few major metropolitan airports in the United States to consider privatization, due to the possibility of financial constraints. Currently, most revenue generated at the airport must be used exclusively at the airport.

If Lambert was to privatize, funds from this arrangement could be allocated elsewhere in the city for services such as police and fire. Airport revenue has remained stagnant over recent years at about $6 million annually, and this is not projected to change under the current structure. With a public-private partnership, the city would be able to immediately receive money for non-airport use. Currently, the airport is a public entity, owned by the City of St. Louis. Privatization would essentially entail shifting governmental functions and responsibilities of operating and managing the airport to a private entity. However, it seems that the city intends to maintain ownership and lease or rent the airport to a private entity. The mechanism that gives airports the opportunity to privatize was created back in the 1990's and is known as the Airport Privatization Pilot Program (APPP). 
Calendar of Events 

June 18-20
The 2017 SelectUSA Investment Summit will be held June 18-20 at the Gaylord Hotel - National Harbor in Washington, D.C. The summit's theme "Grow with US" will highlight the
innovative business climate in the United States and feature investment opportunities from every corner of the country. Keynote speakers and panelists will lay out a clear roadmap of how businesses of any size, and any industry, can benefit and contribute to the U.S. economy. Register for the event here.
June 25-28
The Smart Cities Connect Conference and Expo will take place June 25-28 at the Austin Convention Center. This Internet of Things technology trade show will include hands-on workshops and smart technology demonstrations. Areas of focus include connected buildings, urban mobility, advanced networks, governance, infrastructure, energy, resiliency, technology and data and citizen life. Register for the event here.
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