HART contemplates P3 as best option to complete rail line

Hawaii– The board of the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) is nearing a decision on whether to pursue a public-private partnership (P3) to complete and then maintain the city’s 20-mile rail line. Faced with financial and construction setbacks, the city is now debating whether or not to bring in a private firm to mitigate the projected financial overrun of completion and maintenance/operations of the rail line.


In 2012 the city promised completion of the rail line for $5.63 billion by 2019, yet costs have now ballooned to nearly $9 billion and the date of completion has been pushed to 2025. The project has faced delays that have resulted in $745 million dollars of Federal funding being withheld until a feasible plan to resolve the current state of the project is implemented. Further complicating the project is an ongoing $1.4 billion P3 contract for operations and maintenance that the city awarded to a metropolitan train company that could extend until 2021. With every year of delays adding $100 million to the cost of the rail line, a P3 to finish the remaining 8 miles of track is becoming a more feasible solution.

City of Mercer Island wants P3 for mixed-use development

Washington State- The city of Mercer Island is offering incentives for a private developer to build a mixed-use residential development and public parking garage. The city will provide $2 million and the land for the development. The project is located across the street from a light rail station that is scheduled to open in 2023. The three-quarter acre development site at the intersection of Sunset Highway Southeast and 80th Avenue Southeast includes the city-owned property and a former coffee house.

The city plans to rezone the property to allow a five-story development with ground-floor restaurant and retail space. Request for qualifications (RFQ) for this public-private partnership (P3) are due Oct. 5, with city tours of the site set for Sept. 11 and 20. Attendance is mandatory for anyone who plans to submit an RFQ.

Port KC selects firm for P3 counsel

Missouri– The Port Authority of Kansas City (Port KC) Board of Commissioners approved the selection of a private firm to be the lead partner on a public-private partnership (P3) project. The firm will advise Port KC staff in the formation of a successful P3 to develop the Missouri River Terminal (MRT). This is the latest step in Port KC’s plan to transform 415 acres of land along the Missouri River, which is the site of a former steel mill, into a full-scale inland intermodal port.


The Port KC has determined the P3 model provides the greatest potential to create an intermodal inland port and sought to obtain expert services from the project’s inception. Port KC anticipates the next step will be to seek a financial adviser and begin the pre-procurement process with the selected firm’s assistance.

Construction starts next year on National Western Center

Colorado– A collaborative project between the city of Denver, Denver County, Colorado State University and the Western Stock Show Association will transform the stock show campus along Interstate 70 into a year-round destination. The first two phases of construction, costing $756 million, will stretch over the next seven years for the National Western Center. The redevelopment will preserve historic buildings, connect the site to the South Platte River and surrounding neighborhoods, and potentially create one of the largest campuses to be powered by renewable energy.


Major assets within the National Western Center’s first two phases will include redevelopment of the stockyards, construction of a 508,000-square-foot, year-round Equestrian Center with 1,050 below-grade parking spaces, and a Livestock Center, including an equestrian barn and arenas. When not in use for the stock show, the 325,000-square-foot Livestock Center will provide multiuse space for small concerts and other events.


The final piece to the National Western Center, a 60-acre parcel known as the Triangle, will include construction of a new 10,000-seat event center to replace the Denver Coliseum, along with a Trade Show and Exhibit Hall, structured parking and renovation of the historic 1909 Stadium Arena into a new use. A request for qualifications is expected to go out late this year. National Western Center partners will be looking for innovation and creativity to deliver the required and associated uses on the Triangle site. The hope is for the county to start breaking ground on the projects as early as 2019.