AECOM CAPITAL P3 DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR SPEAKS ON PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS Samara Barend, Vice President, P3 Development Director at AECOM Capital, spoke before an international gathering of experts on public private partnerships (P3s) under the auspices of ULI in Manhattan.
PoliticalNews.me - Feb 27,2013 - AECOM CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR SPEAKS ON PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS (P3s)
***P3s under the support of Urban Land Institute in Manhattan discussed to crowd of international experts***
Political will remains the driving force behind the successful leveraging of private dollars for the public good according to Samara Barend Vice President, P3 Development Director at AECOM Capital, who spoke before an international gathering of experts on public private partnerships (P3s) under the auspices of ULI in Manhattan.
Ms. Barend told the group that time and again P3s have demonstrated the ability to create public infrastructure on time and on budget, but without the proper political alignment P3s remain a secondary option for many state and local governments.
“These projects can be highly charged, and given the complexity and newness of the structures the uncertainty can breed concern. For a P3 to work you need an alignment of all the stakeholders including having an advocate at the top who is willing to advance the effort. The messaging needs to reach the taxpayer that the P3 option protects their public infrastructure and the ability to provide efficient government services. In states like Virginia, Florida, and California, P3 advocates have been successful in implementing P3 innovation. New York State is beginning to move into this sector.”
Barend noted that public assets ranging from New York City bus shelters to the Rensselaer School District have become part of the P3 success story in New York, but most of the progress is under the umbrella of the Port Authority of NY and NJ because they enjoy unique P3 authority. As a result they are now advancing on two major P3 projects: Replacement of the Goethals Bridge and the LaGuardia Airport Development Project.
AECOM’s P3 expert warns, however, that focusing exclusively on transportation projects fails to leverage the enormous economic benefits of public private efforts.
She notes, “The Long Beach City Courthouse in California is proving to be a model P3 project, but it has not prompted P3 building construction because, unlike the transportation sector, the buildings sector does not have any equivalent form of loans under the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA), and the Private Activity Bond (PABs) market that exists is severely constrained. Consequently, the public sector’s inability to combine tax exempt financing with private financing is a major impediment to a U.S. P3 buildings market for schools, public universities and community colleges, courthouses, and other critical public facilities. Despite the demonstrated value for money benefits of alternative delivery, this `cost of capital’ argument has often deterred the public sector from using P3s for buildings projects. We need to have Washington address this roadblock.”
Barend challenged the participants to participate in a public affairs initiative that seeks Congressional authorization of low cost loans that would fund P3s for the buildings sector. She observed that this effort couldn’t come soon enough as public buildings across the nation are severely in need of modernization.
In 2009, the American Society of Civil Engineers found that the average