Public-Private Partnerships Key to Growth?

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An attorney says the success of recent public-private partnerships in Indianapolis and Carmel shows the funding method could grow as a development trend throughout the state. Jeff Abrams with the Indianapolis office of the Benesch law firm says Carmel's City Center and a privately-operated parking garage in Broad Ripple demonstrate such collaborations can benefit both sides. He says, as financing can be difficult to come by for some projects, he doesn't know why other municipalities throughout the state "wouldn't jump on it." In late 2013, the city of Carmel announced plans for additional development at its City Center as part of an $80-$100 million deal with Hamilton County-based Pedcor Commercial Development LLC. Those plans included six new buildings with commercial, retail and residential space.

Earlier this year, the Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority Board unanimously approved a 40-year, $100 million public-private investment partnership with Virginia-based Aviation Facilities Co. Inc. The deal to operate the facility includes profit sharing with the airport and the city.

Public-private partnerships often involve a municipality providing grants or funding to help developers complete projects in a more timely and cost-effective manner. Abrams says the conditions attached to the funding are normally "easily manageable" for developers.

Sources: Benesch, Inside INdiana Business