Volume 11, Issue 23 - Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Mary Scott Nabers, President/CEO, Strategic Partnerships, Inc.

Cities with vibrant cultural assets attract tourists, retail establishments, hotels, real estate developers, and appreciation from local citizens. Cultural facilities also boost a region's economic engine. The 2002 redevelopment of Millennium Park in Chicago, for example, spurred $1.6 billion in revitalization nearby. 

Libraries, museums, multipurpose theaters, recreational venues, and civic centers also are key components in establishing a regional identity. Some cities are developing destination art hubs or arts corridors in downtown areas, with a signature performing arts center. Other cities are linking various cultural sites with landscaping and innovative pathways to other public spaces.

Opportunities abound in every region of the U.S. for all sizes and types of cultural facilities. The activity is creating a marketplace to watch. 

  • City officials in San Francisco recently unveiled designs for the South San Francisco Civic Center campus. It will include a new library, a parks and recreation center, and new City Council chambers. The budget for the project is estimated at $210 million. Financing will come from a recent sales tax hike approved by voters. A new police station adjacent to the civic building is also planned. The project's timeline calls for police station construction bids to be released in fall 2019 with groundbreaking in 2020. Construction of the rest of the campus will follow.
  • The University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) has recently announced plans for a $95 million Center for the Arts to be built on its campus. The 88,000-square-foot building will be used primarily by the UIC's School of Theatre & Music. It will be home to a 500-seat concert hall, a 270-seat reconfigurable theater, an exhibition hall, rehearsal halls, production spaces, a donor lounge, and a cafe and jazz club. A design team has been chosen, but construction plans have not yet been announced. Fundraising will come from both public and private sources.
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Mobile Harbor
Washington, D.C. - The U.S. House is set to discuss a five-bill appropriations minibus June 12 that totals $986.8 billion, including $8.99 billion in infrastructure and reclamation spending.

Division E of the five-part legislation includes $46.4 billion to improve the nation's water infrastructure and national security, spark energy enhancements, boost the country's economy, strengthen national security, and mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Of that, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) would receive $7.36 billion and the Department of the Interior/Bureau of Reclamation would collect $1.65 billion.

Federal funding would support USACE's construction projects for $2.34 billion, investigations for $135 million, operations and maintenance for $3.92 billion, and harbor maintenance trust fund projects for $1.7 billion for fiscal year 2020. Appropriations also would finance six study starts and six new construction projects. The investigations account includes funding to complete one preconstruction engineering and design for Mobile Harbor in Alabama and three dredged material management plans for Buffalo Harbor in New York, Cleveland Harbor in Ohio, and Corpus Christi Ship Channel in Texas. 

The Bureau of Reclamation would get $1.63 billion with $400 million of those funds dedicated to water resources projects including those in the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation (WIIN) Act and $121 million providing for rural water projects.
Rikers Island
New York - Officials at the New York Department of Design and Construction (DDC) are undertaking an $8.7 billion effort to construct four city jails in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx that would allow for the closure of its Rikers Island Jail Complex. DDC recently awarded a contract for program and project management to a joint venture that will create four separate design-build management teams, one for each borough jail in the project. 

The city's goal is to create a jail system that is smaller, safer, and fairer and to ensure that the city's jails are humane, productive locations for employees and detainees. Another objective is to integrate the facilities' designs in operations and architecture into existing neighborhoods to serve as civic assets to the community. DDC officials anticipate issuing a request for qualifications (RFQ) for design and construction between December 2019 and April 2020.
Rendering of MIA ticketing hall
Florida - Miami International Airport (MIA) is set to benefit from $5 billion in capital improvement funding after Miami-Dade County Commissioners approved a multi-phase project for the airport.

The five- to 15-year project will include two new hotels - one with a business and conference center and exhibition space, two redeveloped Central Terminal concourses, an expanded South Terminal, renovated Concourse D gates for more wide- and narrow-body aircraft and larger regional jets, and expanded aircraft parking and cargo warehouses.

MIA is the busiest U.S. airport for international freight and the third-busiest U.S. airport for international travel. According to the Miami-Dade County mayor, the airport generates $30.9 billion in business revenue.
Interstate 270
Maryland - The state's Board of Public Works on June 5 passed Gov. Larry Hogan's plan to form a public-private partnership (P3) to pay for two additional toll lanes in each direction on interstates 270 and 495. Under Hogan's $11 billion proposal, a private company would keep some of the toll revenues.

The I-270 widening will likely to occur in the first phase, followed by widening of I-495 (Capital Beltway) in Montgomery County, and later in Prince George's County. The American Legion Bridge expansion was shifted to the second phase of the project. 

Board approval now allows the Maryland Department of Transportation to vet companies that bid on the project, but board members must sign off on contracts with private companies hired to build each phase of the expansion.
Gov. Charlie Baker signs H69.
Massachusetts - Gov. Charlie Baker released a $2.43 billion capital investment plan and signed a $1.9 billion transportation bill last week that includes $200 million in Chapter 90 funding for improvements to municipal roads and bridges.

Baker's capital investment plan would raise the state's bond cap by 3.8 percent and pour millions of dollars into programs for fast-tracking bridge repairs, improving state highways, resurfacing non-interstate highways, and adding bike lanes and pedestrian safety amenities. More than $100 million would go to MassWorks, a grant designed to assist cities and towns with the cost of infrastructure improvements. Among other initiatives, dam rehabilitation programs would receive $4.2 million.

Massachusetts' gas tax generates $50 million to $60 million a month for the Chapter 90 program that reimburses cities and towns for eligible transportation projects. Including the FY20 signed bill (H69), the Baker Administration has awarded $1.14 billion through Chapter 90 funding since 2015.

The Massachusetts Legislature also approved $200 million for rail improvements and allocated $1.5 billion in federal funds to interstate highway repairs.
Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport
Washington, D.C. - The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will award $840 million in infrastructure grants to 381 airports - the first allotment of $3.18 billion to be distributed via the Airport Improvement Program (AIP).

The airports will apply funding from 432 federal grants toward runway reconstruction and rehabilitation, construction of firefighting facilities, and maintenance of taxiways, aprons, and terminals in efforts to improve airport safety, emergency response capabilities, and capacity.

The FAA presents AIP entitlement funding annually to airports based on their activity and project requirements. If capital projects at an airport exceed its entitlement funds, the FAA can support it with discretionary funding.

Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport in Birmingham, Ala., will receive $11.5 million to construct an aircraft rescue and firefighting building, acquire two aircraft rescue and firefighting vehicles, and conduct an environmental study. The Wiley Post-Will Rogers Memorial Airport in Utqiagvik, Alaska, will collect $17.1 million to build an aircraft rescue and firefighting building, a sand and chemical storage building, a snow removal equipment building, and an emergency operations center building.

Other airports receiving project grants are: Bishop Airport in California, $4.6 million; Des Moines International Airport in Iowa, $10.3 million; Blue Grass Airport in Kentucky, $11 million; Fitchburg Municipal Airport in Massachusetts, $13.8 million; and Crater Lake-Klamath Regional Airport in Oregon, $6.7 million. McGhee Tyson Airport in Tennessee will accept $14.1 million in grant funds, and Virginia Tech/Montgomery Executive Airport in Virginia, will get $1.3 million.
Proposed Blaisdell Center site plan
Hawaii - The city and county of Honolulu are planning to create a public-private partnership (P3) to redevelop the Neal S. Blaisdell Center arena complex for an estimated $800 million.

Officials with the consolidated city-county's Department of Enterprise Services said they will issue a request for qualifications (RFQ) in July and a request for proposals (RFP) in December. The current master plan outlines the city's and county's shared vision to renovate the arena and concert hall, build a new exhibition hall and parking structures, and create new public and commercial spaces on the site.

Most of the facilities on the 22.4-acre Blaisdell Center complex have been in operation since 1964. They include an 8,800-seat multi-purpose arena, exhibition hall, galleria, concert hall, meeting rooms and parking structure.
Louisiana - Lawmakers passed HB578 to funnel $700 million in oil spill compensation to roadwork, bridge updates, and port enhancements throughout Louisiana. The funds previously were being directed into the state's 'rainy day fund.'

The state is scheduled to collect more than $53 million in annual payments through 2034 to fund 10 projects over fiscal years 2021-2026 including $150 million for improvements to LA Highway 1 between Golden Meadow and Leesville, $125 million for LA Highway 415 Bridge at the Intracoastal Canal, and $150 million for Interstate-49 South.

Other funded projects are I-49 North Inter-City Connector in Caddo Parish for $100 million, LA Highway 3241 from Interstate 12 to Bush, Louisiana, for $50 million, and a New Cameron Parish ferry purchase for $20 million. Several of the state's farm to market road bridges that are ineligible for federal funding also will get a facelift with $40 million in assistance.

The Port of New Orleans will get $20 million to acquire two cranes, and the first and second phases of the Sugarhouse Road Extension/Eddie Williams Boulevard to LA 42 Highway 1 project will receive $19 million. The widening of Hooper Road from LA 3034 to LA 37 will get a $15 million boost.

Legislators sent HB578 to Gov. John Bel Edwards for his signature. 
Rendering of Innovation District
Florida - The city of Pompano and the Pompano Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) are inviting developers to submit a request of interest (RFI) to redevelop a section of city-owned land within its downtown Innovation District. The RFI deadline is July 10. A request for proposals (RFP) will follow.

The city and CRA own more than 65 parcels on 30 acres with interstate frontage. Their vision is to create a vibrant and pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use environment throughout the entire downtown. The redevelopment is inspired by the global rise of the "Innovation District" concept that emphasizes a combination of business, technical, corporate, government, hospitality, education, and cultural uses.

The city has zoned the mostly vacant land with appropriate building height, density, and massing for a downtown, according to city documents. CRA funds would be available on a case-by-case basis to assist developers with infrastructure costs. New developments in the downtown will consist of active uses on the ground floor and residential and commercial uses on the upper floors. The first phase would include 750,000 square feet of office/flex space, 165,000 square feet of retail use, 35,000 square feet of restaurant space, 1,500 residential units, up to 420 rooms in two hotels, and potential education opportunities.

The Innovation District is part of a 400-acre downtown that also includes Old Town, Civic Commons, and surrounding neighborhoods. A new $19.25 million cultural center is planned near Pompano's library and city hall in the Civic Commons area. The city and CRA are exploring a possible public-private partnership (P3) with a developer to construct a new city hall and other government offices.
California - San Francisco recently raised its proposed affordable housing bond by $100 million to $600 million after the City Controller's Office determined the city could issue more debt without raising property taxes.

In April, the bond amount grew by $200 million to $500 million when the city received updated property tax revenue projections. In late May, city officials announced the extra $100 million threshold.

A working group co-chaired by the city's mayor and board president assigned specific spending amounts to "shovel-ready" projects, senior housing, and middle-income housing, but officials have yet to determine how the extra funding would be spent.

The city's Board of Supervisors must first approve the bond package before it goes before voters in November. To be successful, the bond must pass by a two-thirds majority.
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Magnolia Bridge
Washington - Planners in the Seattle Department of Transportation released four scenarios last week for replacing the deteriorating 90-year-old Magnolia Bridge with cost estimates ranging from $190 million to $420 million.

A third-party Magnolia Bridge Planning Study, the first of 10 bridge studies funded by the Levy to Move Seattle, developed four options that evaluated factors such as environmental impact, ease of mobility and access, cost, construction duration, and impact.

The most expensive option calls for a full replacement of the bridge at a cost of $340 million to $420 million. Another option would be to build a new Armory Way Bridge and West Uplands Perimeter Road to Smith Cove Park for an estimated $200 million to $350 million. 

The study also suggested improving the existing Dravus Street connection into the Magnolia neighborhood and building a new Western Perimeter Road to Smith Cove Park at a total cost of $190 million to $350 million. The study also put forward the idea of making improvements to the Dravus Street connection into Magnolia and erecting a new Garfield Street bridge to Smith Cove Park for a total of $210 million to $360 million.

Officials said they will explore state and federal funding possibilities because the city cannot currently fund any bridge replacement options. It would likely be 2024 before the city could issue bonds for replacing the bridge or starting construction on one of the alternatives. Although a House transportation bill mandated a timeline for replacing both the Magnolia and Ballard bridges in Seattle, one has not been set.
Hemlock Bridge in Fryeburg, Maine
Maine - Gov. Janet Mills is calling for a $189 million bond election this November that would include funds for road and bridge improvements.

The Legislature would need to pass all proposed bond items for the state to conduct the election. Mills' plan is for a $189 million referendum this November with $50 million more being pushed to a 2020 vote. In addition, she is proposing several bond bills that total almost $2 billion, including a $105 million transportation bond. Mills said that issuing this debt would trigger up to $140 million in federal grants. 

The proposed referendum follows two voter-approved transportation bond packages for $200 million in November 2018 for highways, bridges, and other infrastructure and $155 million in 2017 for transportation infrastructure and research.
Port of Greater Baton Rouge
Louisiana - Gov. John Bel Edwards recently announced the state will fund a $20 million rail project that will boost the transport of corn, grain, soybeans, and other commodities from Louisiana farmlands to the Port of Greater Baton Rouge, which generates an economic output of $11 billion.
State funds will help complete the project to extend four railroad tracks farther into the port and connect with one of the largest grain elevators on the Mississippi River to speed delivery, shipment, and volume of the commodities.

The Port Allen-based facility is undergoing $60 million in rail infrastructure improvements that will expand the port's ability to ship commodities for its tenants. Port officials expect to begin construction soon on a rail logistics facility, known as a chambering yard, to expedite rail services to grain elevators, rail delivery of wood pellets, improve the port's overall rail operations, and attract prospective tenants. Two tenants have committed future shipment proceeds to match state and port funding of the chambering yard.
Normandy City Hall Park
Washington - Officials at the city of Normandy Park are preparing a request for qualifications (RFQ) for the conceptual design of new city hall, police, and recreation facilities on the City Hall Park site.

A 2015 study estimated buildings for the three departments could be constructed for $10.7 million to $14.7 million. The draft RFQ describes a phased development plan, starting with a combined facility for city hall and recreation services not to exceed 30,000 square feet. The police station will be a phased addition to the design.

City Manager Mark Hoppen said the city would first contract an architectural firm to develop a conceptual design. A different architectural firm could be hired to create preliminary and final architectural plans. Construction will depend on cost and phasing.
Rendering of Boise State baseball stadium
Idaho - After considering a move for its baseball team to a downtown stadium, Boise State University officials announced plans to build a baseball stadium on the university's campus.

Developers previously estimated costs at $10 million to $12 million to build an on-campus stadium with a 12- to 16-month timeline.

School officials previously issued a request for information last fall for an on-campus stadium that included requirements for an artificial turf field, seating for 2,000, field lighting, sound system, video and scoreboards, locker rooms, ticket office, press box, and concessions stands with space for indoor practice and maintenance buildings.

However, they held off on that project in favor of exploring a 25-year co-sharing agreement as recently as April. When the developer's plans for a downtown stadium stalled, university officials decided the baseball program's future was best served with an on-campus facility.

The Boise State Broncos will begin their 2020 season at Memorial Stadium in Garden City, but school officials are aiming for the team to start playing its home games in a new campus stadium by 2021.

California - Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed Alva Johnson as director of the California State Lottery on June 10. Johnson previously served as director of governmental affairs for the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, and a private law firm. He also was chief consultant for the California State Assembly Governmental Organization Committee, staff consultant for the Joint Committee to Develop a Master Plan for Education, and legislative liaison at the California State Lottery. Prior to those tenures, he held positions as deputy legislative secretary for California Gov. Gray Davis and as legislative liaison for the California Department of EducationHe replaces former lottery director Hugo Lopez who stepped down June 4. 
Mississippi - David Shaw has been selected as provost and executive vice president at Mississippi State University (MSU). Shaw is expected to begin his new role on July 1. He succeeds Judy Bonner who announced her retirement in January. Shaw was the founding director of MSU's Northern Gulf Institute and Geosystems Research Institute. Prior to that, he was an assistant professor with a joint teaching and research appointment. 
Oklahoma - Gov. Kevin Stitt named Justin Brown as director of the Oklahoma Department of Human Services on June 4. Brown, who takes over for outgoing director Ed Lake, has served as the CEO of a senior living company following eight years in health-care finance.

Missouri - The city of Hannibal hired Lisa Peck as its next city manager, effective June 24. She succeeds Jeff LaGarce who resigned to move to the St. Louis area for family reasons. Peck previously served as city manager of Fenton, Missouri, since July 2018. Before that, she was assistant city manager at the city of Highland, California. She joined Highland as an economic development and marketing coordinator before earning promotion to community and economic development director in Building and Zoning. She previously worked for Madison County Community Development and as an economic development manager in University City, Missouri.  
South Carolina - Richland County named Leonardo Brown as its new county administrator. Brown, who has served as administrator of Smith County, Texas, for eight years, will start in his new position July 15. He takes over for acting administrator John Thompson. Prior to serving as Smith County's administrator, Brown was its director of human resources. He also held management positions in the private sector. 

New York - Jeremy Goldberg recently became the deputy secretary for technology and innovation at the New York State Office of Information Technology Services. Goldberg joined the state after serving as deputy chief technology officer for New York City. He also worked for the cities of San Jose, California, and San Francisco where he oversaw Civic Bridge, a public-private partnership program. 
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