Volume 11, Issue 16- Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.

Sports and entertainment venues contribute significantly to the U.S. economy. The activities associated with both appeal to millions of people. They generate revenue, attract retail establishments and provide benefits of all types to government. Because of this, sports and entertainment districts have become very "hot items" and every city wants at least one. 

In the past, most sports and/or entertainment districts were subsidized by cities or some sort of government revenue. Some still are...but the new trend is to create public-private partnerships designed to develop a district. A city may be responsible for zoning, traffic improvements, providing city property and more. But, today, most vibrant sports and/or entertainment districts become a reality through a mix of private-sector capital and public contributions of some sort. 

Some of these districts do receive tax incentives because of the revenue that flows back to the city via sales taxes. But tax incentives have become a controversial, political topic - a topic many elected officials are eager to avoid. If there's another way to capture funding, that is preferable to most. 

There are definite commonalities. Almost all sports and entertainment districts have mixed-use development. They also have some sort of large public facility such as a convention center, a performing arts venue or multipurpose arenas. All of these are natural anchors that attract restaurants, retail and other revenue-generating facilities. Many sports and entertainment districts attract hotels... and they all attract visitors.  

Cities benefit from tourism, convention business, industry relocation efforts and economic stimulus related to job creation. Because of all this, these specialized districts are creating a robust marketplace - one that is definitely worthy of watching.

Washington, D.C.-  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is asking Congress for greater ability to include the private sector in future projects. Currently, the USACE has a $98 billion backlog of civil works construction projects. 

The USACE is seeking two programs to resolve the backlog- the Non-Federal Construction of Federal Projects program, which would transfer funds to non-federal partners to complete construction projects, and the Innovative Funding Partnerships program, which would increase the amount of funds available for these projects. Additionally, the USACE is advocating for more public-private partnerships (P3s) as a cheaper and quicker way of reducing its backlog. USACE is asking Congress for $150 million for each program in its fiscal 2020 budget.  
Florida- The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for design and construction of new traffic management systems in Tampa. The systems include fiber optic communications, new signal controllers, traffic cameras, flood sensors and predictive analytics. 

New technology, such as predictive analytics, helps calculate when a serious car accident may occur on the road and how to alert the driver that they may be about to have an accident. The contract amount is roughly $39.7 million. The RFP for the design-build team can be found on FDOT's procurement site with proposals due by Dec. 19 and a selection to be made on Jan. 14, 2020.
Rendering for Aggie Square
California- The University of California (UC) and city of Sacramento have approved a preliminary design for Aggie Square, a new innovation hub to be built on the university's Sacramento campus. The preliminary design is a necessary part of Aggie Square's next step - issuing a request for qualifications (RFQ) to developers sometime in June. A request for proposals (RFP) is slated for later in the summer with the goal of selecting a developer in the fall. 

The design kicks off the first phase of the project's development, encompassing approximately 8 acres of the project's 25-acre footprint. The first phase includes two new parking structures, one to replace parking that is lost to development and another to accommodate growth. Other projects include an office/classroom building dedicated to lifelong learning, two research buildings, a mixed-use building that will include storefront space, a mobility hub and a public square.
Florida- A county in Florida has issued a request for qualifications for a public-private partnership (P3) advisory pool. Miami-Dade County's Internal Services Department is soliciting qualifications for a P3 and Infrastructure Advisory Services to establish a pool to be used as needed when projects are identified by the county. The county intends to create a pool of up to five initial members. Membership in the pool is a prerequisite for opportunities to submit proposals and/or be awarded a contract for projects. Under this pool, potential projects in the future with the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department will include the Biosolids Processing Facility, automatic meter reading, Northwest Well Field Water Treatment Facility, West District Wastewater Treatment Plant and peak flow wastewater management tunnel. Download the future solicitations document here and the scope document here

In 2017, the Board of Miami-Dade County Commissioners unanimously approved a new ordinance which will help the county implement a variety of planned and potential P3 projects in the future. The ordinance tracks and implements the state of Florida's procedures for procurement of P3 projects.
City of Detroit land
Michigan-  An investment group that includes Earvin "Magic" Johnson has closed on the purchase of about one-tenth of the former Michigan State Fairgrounds site in Detroit, years after first announcing the plan. The Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority has finalized the purchase with the investment group of 16 acres of the 158-acre site at Eight Mile Road and Woodward Avenue for $472,464. The investment group plans to work with city planners on a mixed-use project with housing and retail. 

The project will interface with whatever the city has planned for the rest of the property. The remaining 142 acres are being sold to the city of Detroit for $7 million, with half to be paid up front, while the remainder would be paid once it's redeveloped. The closing on that chunk of property is expected in the next few weeks. The city anticipates issuing a request for proposals to redevelop its part of the property after the sale is complete.   
New York- The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) is expected to issue a request for proposals (RFP) for a new tolling system in Manhattan. Congestion pricing is coming to Manhattan after state lawmakers approved the new tolling fees earlier this month as part of the state budget. The Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority is inviting a request for expression of interest from companies in setting up infrastructure for congestion pricing for drivers entering Manhattan below 60th Street. 

Interested companies will be asked to cut traffic congestion, maximize revenues and allow for integration with outside payment applications. While the charge for tolls has yet to be determined, Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office, in line with the recently passed state budget, anticipates fees sufficient for $15 billion for MTA capital projects. A request for proposals is expected in the second quarter of this year for a firm to design, build, run and maintain the tolling system.   
Massachusetts- Worcester city officials will issue a request for proposals (RFP) for a long-term lease of a vacant hospital building. The 54,000-square-foot brick building sits next to the Worcester Senior Center. The site was last assessed at $9.2 million. City officials, with permission from the state, could extend a lease of up to 99 years for the property. 

Worcester officials hope that the building could be used for services complementing the neighboring senior center. An RFP for interested parties in the lease will be issued later this year.  
Washington, D.C.-  The grant application deadline is July 15 to apply for a piece of the $900 million funding through the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grants program. The Fiscal Year 2019 funding was announced by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to support road, bridge, transit, rail, port or intermodal projects. The maximum award will be $25 million, and no more than $90 million can be awarded to a single state for this round of grants. 

Up to 50 percent of BUILD funding will be allocated to rural area projects that align with selection criteria. Some of the criteria includes projects that improve infrastructure condition, facilitate economic growth or competitiveness, promote regional connectivity or promote energy independence. The USDOT is offering a series of special topic webinars that will cover various aspects of the BUILD application process.  
Virginia- The Fauquier County School Board has agreed to form a building committee to write a request for proposals (RFP) for the expansion of Cedar Lee Middle School in Bealeton. The expansion will include 10 to 12 classrooms, a second gym and possibly an expanded kitchen and office areas. The property adjacent to Cedar Lee will be purchased, there will be a geotechnical study and a plan will be devised for the project. 

Writing the RFP may take 120 to 180 days, the RFP will remain in circulation for a month, design of the expansion will take 9 to 12 months and construction is expected to take 18 to 24 months. Following this expansion, the focus will turn to Warrenton and Taylor middle schools in Warrenton. One of the schools will be renovated and the other repurposed. The three projects are projected to total $40 million.     
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Cedar-Lee-Meadowbrook redevelopment site
Ohio- The city of Cleveland Heights is looking to redevelop the Cedar-Lee-Meadowbrook site, an area currently owned by the city that could be as much as 4 acres. City Council authorized officials to issue a request for qualifications (RFQ) and proposals for the site. The area includes a parking lot behind businesses facing Lee Road and stretching toward a fast food franchise on Cedar Road. Last year, the city had two finalists proposing roughly $20 million for 1 acre of this site. The project fell through. 

The city expects to receive creative ideas and approaches to produce a dense, vibrant, pedestrian-friendly and unique commercial, office, residential or potentially mixed-use development that leverages the placemaking opportunities of the site and the Cedar Lee District. Cleveland Heights seeks to partner with a qualified developer or development team possessing the vision, experience and financial resources to carry out a wide-ranging development.     
Park East block
Wisconsin- A block in the Park East corridor of Milwaukee County is ready for development that could include housing, retail or other commercial uses. The city block, at North Water and North Milwaukee streets, was appraised at $5 million in 2018. Past development proposals have been valued at $60 million and up. The county will issue a request for proposals with quarterly deadlines by which developers can submit offers. The first deadline will be in late summer. 

The buyer will be selected by a three-person panel comprised of executives from Milwaukee County, the comptroller's office and an independent representative with past real estate experience selected by the city of Milwaukee. A developer that owns land next to this property is planning to build a pocket park and is still discussing plans for a 20-story building that would include a movie theater and offices.  
New York- The fourth round of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) is open until May 31. New York state is seeking applicants for a contest that awards state funds for cities and towns looking to revitalize the downtown area. The $100 million will support 10 downtown neighborhoods, one in each region of the state, to transform vulnerable, vacant or forgotten areas into livable, walkable dynamic neighborhoods. One community in each of the ten Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) zones will be selected by the REDC to receive a $10 million investment following an application process and thorough evaluation of each downtown's potential for transformation. 

Regional Councils will weigh seven criteria to select nominees. Once a community is selected by the REDC, a Local Planning Committee (LPC) comprised of local leaders, stakeholders and key government officials will be established to oversee the development of a strategic plan for downtown revitalization. DRI funds will be used to implement projects recommended by the LPCs and should reinforce and secure additional public and private investments within and near downtown neighborhoods to build upon growth spurred by the Regional Councils.  
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Washington, D.C.- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced fiscal-year 2019 notices of funding opportunity for more than $1.7 billion in preparedness grant programs. The programs provide grants to state, local, tribal and territorial governments, as well as transportation authorities, nonprofit organizations and the private sector to improve the nation's readiness in preventing, protecting against and responding to terrorist attacks, major disasters and other emergencies. 

Allocations will include $100 million for the Port Security Grant Program, $88 million for the Transit Security Grant Program, $10 million for the Intercity Passenger Rail-Amtrak Program and $2 million for the Intercity Bus Security Grant Program. Also included is $590 million for the Urban Area Security Initiative, $415 for the state Homeland Security Program and $350 million for the Emergency Management Performance Grant. All notices can be found at grants.gov. Final submissions must be made through the Non-Disaster Grants system by May 29. The American Public Transportation Association will host a webinar May 8 to discuss the notices of funding opportunity, timelines and to address stakeholders' questions regarding the Transit Security Grant Program.  
Grays Harbor County Jail
Washington- The Grays Harbor County Commissioners approved a request for qualifications from an architectural firm to provide a feasibility study with Mason County for a new regional criminal justice facility. Both counties face lack of inmate space and deteriorating facilities that house prisoners. In addition to the county jails, the juvenile facility, situated in East Aberdeen just north of Junction City, is increasingly threatened by encroaching water from the Chehalis River.

The new facility, which would be located on the border of the two counties, would assist with the current lack of bed space for inmates. Staff at the Grays Harbor County Jail move inmates between multiple floors. The design proposed for the future facility has inmates housed on a single floor, allowing for more efficient movement within the facility. If Mason County approves the firm, negotiations will begin to determine final cost of the study.      
Baltimore; Edmonton, Alberta; Montgomery, Ala.; Racine, Wis.; and a San Diego County trade organization were announced last week by the Smart Cities Council as the five winners of the Smart Cities Readiness Challenge. Judges reviewed more than 200 projects. The winners were chosen from a pool of applicants from the U.S., Mexico and Canada. 

Each winner will be granted a year's worth of advising and access to the council's network of urban technology experts. Each will receive one year of access to the council's project activator tool, an online portal that helps cities crowdsource best practices for smart city project financing and management. Assistance in financing and planning projects will also be provided for a year as well as optional workshops on 5G, autonomous vehicles and other emerging technologies. 

The 2019 winning cohort proposed tech-centric projects aimed at solving issues like the digital divide, the opioid crisis and access to digital civic services in Baltimore and Edmonton - the first Canadian winner in the competition's history. The grants will also empower cities like the 80,000-person Racine - the smallest winner ever - and San Diego to build out their regional smart city ecosystems with startups and collaborative action plans.  
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Minnesota - Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has announced Tarek Tomes, the former chief innovation officer for the city of St. Paul, as the state's new technology commissioner. Tomes' appointment comes three months after the departure of Johanna Clyborne. Tomes, who will start April 29, spent the majority of his 25-year career in information technology with a British telecommunications company. 

California - Angelica Suarez will be the next president of Orange Coast College (OCC) following approval of her contract by the OCC District board of trustees. She is currently is the vice president of academic affairs for Southwestern College in Chula Vista. Suarez's appointment follows the retirement of former OCC President Dennis Harkins, who was the third-longest-serving president in the seven-decade history of the Costa Mesa community college. She will take over July 1 for interim President Kevin Ballinger, who will return to his role as vice president of instruction. 

Georgia - Charles W. Penny, previously the city manager in Rocky Mount, N.C., where he retired in 2017 but continued to do work for the city in a consulting role, is the only finalist to be Statesboro's next city manager. He has more than 35 years of experience in city management. Penny and the city are in contract negotiations, but the mayor and council hope to take final hiring action May 7. After serving briefly as Rocky Mount's planning and development director, Penny was an assistant city manager there 16 years, from January 1995 through 2010. In Statesboro, he would succeed City Manager Randy Wetmore, who started in the role Sept. 1, 2016. Wetmore is set to retire May 31 after 40 years working for local governments in six states. 

Colorado - Former mayor and longtime businesswoman Kathy (Rogers) Woods will assume the role as the newly-created economic development director for the city of Alamosa. The new department comes as the result of a public-private partnership between the city and the soon-to-be dissolved Alamosa County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC). Woods previously served on Alamosa City Council and as mayor for a combined total of 12 years. She most recently served as president and CEO of a savings and loan business since May 2016. 

West Virginia - Jefferson County Development Authority Executive Director Nic Diehl has resigned to become executive director of the Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport. Diehl is expected to begin May 22. Diehl will work with Airport Manager Neil Doran, who is expected to continue overseeing the day-to-day operation of the airport. The executive director position replaces a business-development manager job at the airport that Jack Brossart briefly filled. Brossart resigned in February after about five weeks on the job to take another position. 

Washington - The city of Ridgefield has hired Louisa Garbo to serve as the city's Community Development Department director. Garbo fills a position which was previously held for 4 years by Jeff Niten, who in January 2019, was hired to serve as the city of Shelton's city manager. Garbo is a certified planner, a certified mediator and an accredited LEED green associate. She most recently served as the Community Development director for Kitsap County, WA, with prior work as a director of Planning in the city of Brandon, Manitoba, Canada, and as a city planner in Arizona for over a decade. 

Maryland - The president and CEO of the Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC), William H. Cole, announced that he was stepping down. Cole has served in this role since 2014. In May, Cole will be joining a Howard County-based consulting firm. The BDC Board has hired Colin D. Tarbert, currently the deputy chief of strategic alliances in the mayor's office, to replace Cole. Tarbert has extensive experience in economic and community development having served in various leadership roles in city government for 13 years. 

Nevada - Austin Osborne has been selected as the next Storey County manager. Osborne will succeed County Manager Pat Whitten who announced his retirement earlier this year effective July 1, 2019. Osborne recently served as the county's human resources director, administrative officer and planning director. He started his career with the county in 2008 as a senior planner. 

Maryland - Kevin C. Reigrut, the head of the Maryland Transportation Authority has resigned. Reigrut oversaw the state's eight toll facilities. He led the 1,700-employee agency since January 2017. Reigrut had previously worked as assistant secretary of operations for the Maryland Department of Transportation. Chief Operating Officer John O'Neill will serve as the acting executive director. 

Virginia - Tarron Richardson, currently city manager of DeSoto, Texas, a Dallas suburb, was chosen to be the next city manager of Charlottesville. Richardson, who will assume his position May 13, has been the city manager of DeSoto since 2011 after two years as an assistant city manager. His prior experience also includes several senior roles with the city of Richmond. Richardson replaces Maurice Jones, who left in July to become the town manager of Chapel Hill, N.C. 

Minnesota - Michael Seymour has been named by the Board of Trustees of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities to serve as the next president of Alexandria Technical and Community College. The appointment will become effective July 1, 2019. Seymour has served higher education in Minnesota for 30 years, primarily at Minnesota State two-year colleges. He currently serves as vice president of academic and student affairs at Lake Superior College. Seymour will replace Laura Urban, who has served as the president of Alexandria Technical and Community College since 2014 and has announced her intention to retire. 

Colorado - Jeffery Maxwell, a former Adams County Public Works director, began his position April 10 as the new Transportation Department director for Boulder County. Maxwell filled the vacancy created by the retirement of former director George Gerstle. Maxwell was the Adams County Public Works director from January 2014 to November 2018. He also has worked in the private sector, as a director and vice president of civil engineering firms.           
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