Proposed Changes to Local Preference for Government Contracts in Miami-Dade County

Government ContractsWe have in the past discussed how government contracts are not utilized only to acquire goods and services for the public, but to further public-policy objectives. For example, procurement regulations at all levels of government—federal, state, and local—frequently incorporate preferences in the bidding process for certain types of companies, such as small business, local businesses, minority-owned businesses, etc. Regulations of this type are not “one size fits all”—they vary drastically from one jurisdiction to the next, or even one type of contract to the next within the same jurisdiction. In order to be competitive, it is critical that government contractors understand the applicable regulations. In fact, we have been involved in several bid protests challenging contract awards where the core dispute is premised upon a failure to comply with local-preference regulations.  Continue Reading

How Miami Can Go From Smart Airport to Smart City

smart cityIn the next few years, Miami-Dade County is expected to spend 1.5 billion dollars on upgrades to Miami International Airport. We recently wrote about Miami-Dade County’s SMART Plan, which will revitalize our transportation system and implement smart city technology. Now, through public-private partnerships, the County has the opportunity to bring this technology to Miami International Airport—the world’s gateway to the Caribbean, Latin America, and South America. Continue Reading

Opportunity Zones Create Funding Alternative for Social Infrastructure Projects

UOpportunity Zonesnder current legislation, tax-exempt and other low cost financing solutions are not typically available for social infrastructure projects. The resulting higher cost of capital for social infrastructure projects raises viability concerns when the public sector procures projects with private sector-driven financings. As a result, historically, social infrastructure P3s have been outpaced by their surface transportation counterparts in the U.S. market. At the same time, deferred maintenance plagues public service facilities nationwide. For example, the National School Board Association estimates that $550 billion in investment is needed in order to bring U.S. school buildings up to standard. Continue Reading

Higher-Education P3s Continue to Gain Momentum

Higher EducationLast week, the Michigan State University Board of Trustees authorized the negotiation of a comprehensive public-private partnership (P3) agreement with the winning proposer for a planned expansion of the university’s health and research facilities at the Grand Rapids campus. The decision marks one of many recent success stories for higher-education P3s. We previously wrote about a recent judicial decision that facilitates P3s for student housing, and a P3 for off-campus student housing at Florida International University recently reached financial close. This is consistent with a larger, national trend towards P3s for student housing. Continue Reading

Unsolicited Proposals for Public-Private Partnerships

infrastructureWe have previously discussed the State of Florida’s P3 law, which broadly authorizes private firms to submit unsolicited proposals to state and local agencies for a wide variety of public services and facilities. The concept behind an unsolicited proposal is simple enough. The private sector is constantly innovating.  As a result, the government may not have enough information to draft a request for proposals and solicit offers for a particular solution.  Essentially, the government cannot ask for what it cannot describe. In those situations, the private sector can jumpstart the process by submitting a unsolicited proposal that informs the government of its innovative solution. Ordinarily, if the government likes the new idea, it must then conduct a competitive process that permits other firms to submit alternative proposals. Continue Reading

Watch the #SoFloRedev2018 Conference Highlights

Bilzin Sumberg’s 2018 South Florida Redevelopment Conference highlighted emerging development trends and the latest changes in the South Florida market. Panel discussions covered successful strategies and unique opportunities for redevelopment in South Florida, including real estate P3s, transit-oriented development, tax strategies for real estate developers, development within opportunity zones, and the many faces of adaptive reuse.

Bilzin Sumberg’s South Florida Redevelopment Conference: P3 Opportunities

P3On October 5th, Bilzin Sumberg hosted its first-ever South Florida Redevelopment Conference. The conference kicked off with “Cafecito with the Mayors,” where Bilzin Sumberg’s Managing Partner-Elect and leader of the Firm’s P3 Practice, Albert E. Dotson, Jr., spoke with Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez and City of Miami Mayor Francis X. Suarez about development insights and issues in South Florida. The Mayors discussed South Florida’s resiliency initiatives, attraction and retention of talent, and exciting opportunities for public-private partnerships (P3s). Both Mayor Gimenez and Mayor Suarez enthusiastically invited the major development players in the audience to bring ideas for P3s and touted the benefits of South Florida as a prime area for business development and growth. Continue Reading

BRT Chosen for Southern Corridor of SMART Plan

busWe recently wrote about the legislation that the Miami-Dade County Commission passed, giving the County exclusive regulatory jurisdiction over the property within the SMART Plan corridors. Now, the Miami-Dade Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) has made a major decision largely affecting the future of the SMART Plan.

Yesterday, the TPO decided to adopt the County consultant’s recommendation to use Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) as the mode of transportation for the implementation of the southern corridor of the SMART Plan. The consultant’s recommendation was based on a multi-year study that compared potential modes, including BRT and the extension of the MetroRail at ground level. BRT was supported by the Mayor, County Public Works Department, and three of the five municipalities along the southern corridor, which extends from Dadeland all the way south to Homestead and Florida City.  The County chose BRT, with a promise to look at a conversion to rail upon reaching 35,000 average weekday riders. Continue Reading

Florida Blazing the Trail for P3 Legislation

leaderWe have previously blogged about the many recent legislative developments in Florida and the Miami area, with a focus on legislation that is designed to facilitate public/private development projects (P3).  Although an increasing number of P3 projects are now in various stages of development, the success of Florida’s legislative effort can also be seen in the positive reaction by other jurisdictions.

Earlier this month, the State of New Jersey adopted comprehensive P3 legislative that largely mirrors Florida’s recent P3 law, including the broad authorization to units of local governments to deliver public facilities and services using the P3 modelContinue Reading

National Security Review of Foreign Investments to Escalate

filesWith its roots in the Exon-Florio Amendment to the Defense Production Act, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), is an inter-agency committee that reviews certain foreign investments in the United States that implicate national security concerns. CFIUS generally determines its own jurisdiction within the parameters of regulatory framework ascribed to it by the federal government. Historically, CFIUS has reviewed transactions where a foreign person acquires control of a U.S. business and  the acquisition poses a threat to national security. For example, in 2012,  Former President Barack H. Obama, following CFIUS’s recommendation, required a Chinese company to divest its acquisition of a wind farm in Texas because the wind farm was located in restricted airspace. This represented the first time since 1990 that a U.S. president blocked or ordered the divestiture of an investment based on CFIUS’s recommendations. Continue Reading

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