Miami-Dade pursuing public-private partnerships for major projects

Among the projects: office facilities, an African Heritage Cultural Arts Center and four new jails

Sep.September 25, 2015 03:00 PM

Downtown Miami

A day after Miami-Dade’s cultural affairs director disclosed the county is interested in teaming up with private developers to build high rise towers at the downtown cultural complex that is home to HistoryMiami and the central library, Mayor Carlos Gimenez said there are many more projects that could be open to public-private partnership, or P3s.

“The only way we are going to get any of them done is with P3s,” Gimenez said. “If we have to maintain and operate all these things, we couldn’t do it.”

On Friday, Gimenez participated in a panel discussion about the county’s transportation needs, put on by the P3 Institute at Florida International University’s north campus. A packet prepared by the P3 Insitute listed roughly $7.5 billion in unfounded county projects Miami-Dade officials are considering for possible partnerships with private companies.

Some of the projects include three general maintenance and office facilities that will cost an estimated $120 million to build, a $20 million African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, an expansion and new garage for the Miami-Dade County Auditorium that will cost an estimated $40 million, and four new jail facilities that will cost an estimated $625 million. On Thursday, the county’s cultural affairs director had discussed the future partnership potential of the downtown cultural complex, as reported by the South Florida Business Journal.

Gimenez said the county will also consider public-private partnerships for all future transit projects, including Baylink, a light rail that will connect Miami Beach to Miami via the MacArthur Causeway, and for an east-west transit connection from the airport to Kendall. Gimenez also said he would like to see Baylink’s track expanded in Miami Beach and Miami to include the Julia Tuttle Causeway, so that trains could go through the Design District, Midtown and Mid-Beach.

Neil Sklar, a partner with the law firm Peckar & Abramson and P3 Institute president, told The Real Deal that his organization hosted two-day panels on public-private partnerships to give the county an opportunity to meet with private company executives who are interested in pursuing deals.

“I was surprised to learn the county has many more projects that people don’t know about,” Sklar said.


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