Public-Private Partnerships – The Future May Be Sooner Than Thought


Public-Private Partnerships, also known as P3, are evident in Florida. A P3 is a contractual relationship between a public agency and private entity that agree to share risk and rewards of a project. Historically, these partnerships have been used in connection with the State of Florida, Department of Transportation (FDOT). The reason for FDOT’s use of P3 projects stem from the several Florida Statutes that allow for P3 projects by FDOT under certain circumstances. FDOT currently has fourteen P3 projects in various stages of contract and two other recent P3 projects that are contractually complete. Some of the better known P3 projects include the Miami Tunnel project and the 1-595 improvements in South Florida. On March 11, 2013, FDOT issued its Request for Qualifications for the I-4 Ultimate Project in Orange and Seminole Counties.

Additionally, there have been a few other P3 projects outside of FDOT projects. In 2001, Nova Southeastern University and the Broward County Board of Commissioners opened a jointly operated library on the campus of Nova Southeastern University. More recent P3 projects include Innovation Village at the University of Florida, the football stadium at Florida Atlantic University, Miami Marlins Stadium, dormitories at the University of Central Florida, Turnpike service plazas and the redevelopment of downtown St. Petersburg.

The use of P3 projects is gaining more traction with recent statewide budget constraints. The legislature is responding and there exists two bills in the Florida Senate and one in Florida House of Representatives dealing with the use of P3 projects throughout the state. These bills would create a new statute section allowing for P3 projects outside of the FDOT projects. This section would also create a task force for developing P3 guidelines for the state. Senate Bill 84 is currently in committee, as is the similar House Bill 85. If approved, these bills would become law as soon as July 1, 2013. Another Senate bill, SB238, has also been proposed with different language. These bills may be the catalyst for much needed additional construction work within the state. We will be monitoring these bills in anticipation of many potential projects as a result.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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