Louisville Metro Police Headquarters

Remember the P3 Basics as Deals Heat Up in Kentucky

By Ed Green
P3KY Editor

The topic of public-private partnerships in Kentucky is heating up, and a number of projects are moving forward that could follow a P3 model. Just last week, a consultant hired by Louisville Metro Government suggested using a P3 to replace the Louisville Metro Police headquarters and the nearby Fiscal Court building – aging structures that would require more than $60 million to renovate.

EOP Architects suggested using a P3 model, partnering with a private developer that would finance, build, maintain and operate the new properties. The consultant’s report included a range of replacement options, from building a 115,690-square-foot building on the site of the current police headquarter to developing a multiuse facility that would span include 227,000 square feet of government space as well as parking, office, residential and retail space.

Louisville is the latest government to consider a P3 model to help address critical space needs, following Lexington’s use of a P3 to renovate its courthouseand the state’s use of a private partner to develop its 300 Building in Frankfort and the current Capital Plaza project.

As more municipalities, counties and state agencies turn to partnerships, it’s worth pointing out that leaders should remember that some best practices can help make their projects successful.

Keys to success

The National Council for Public-Private Partnerships offers 7 Keys to successwhen developing a P3:

  1. Projects need a public-sector champion who will promote and defend the partnership. A key critical component of success should be actively communicating the purpose, need and value of the partnership.
  2. The statutory environment must be transparent and competitive, although “unsolicited proposals can be a positive catalyst for initiating creative, innovative approaches to addressing specific public-sector needs.”
  3. The public sector should have an organized structure with a team to manage P3 projects or programs.
  4. Each project should have a detailed contract with descriptions of the responsibilities, risks and benefits of both the public and private partners.
  5. Each project should have a clearly defined revenue stream that provides a reasonable rate of return over the life of the project.
  6. Projects require support, so communicating with key stakeholders is important to gain and maintain support.
  7. Government agencies should pick partners carefully. The best value is not always the lowest price. Experience in delivering a successful project is an important component for a long-term relationship with a partner.