Continued Interview with Prominent P3 Investor
In my last post, I summarized the first half of my interview with Jane Garvey, the North American chair of Meridiam Infrastructure, one of the country’s leaders in public/private partnerships (“P3”). Here is the rest of the information she provided in that interview.
I asked her about the effect on P3 momentum caused by the Legislature’s failure to pass the P3 legislation during the last session. Most P3 participants, especially investors, would tell you comprehensive P3 legislation is critical to attract investments in P3 jobs because they create or advance the perception of stability in the P3 process. Many public owners are unsure of how to embark on P3 projects and, in the absence of comprehensive legislation to guide them, they tend to wallow around a bit, adding time, cost and anxiety to the process. Legislation tends to coalesce and educate public entities, prompting them to develop stable structure within their agencies to better anticipate and handle P3 opportunities. The failure of the Florida Legislature to pass P3 legislation during this past session disappoints, but Jane doesn’t believe it will stifle interest in Florida. Her perception is that the political and private will in support of P3 projects, already reflected in the substantial increase in the number of P3 jobs, will overcome the deficiency created by the lack of legislation.
My last inquiry of Jane (we’ll be scheduling a follow-up interview shortly) involved her expectations about the use of P3’s in Florida in the near future. Jane pointed out that Florida was always among the national leaders in P3 on transportation projects (where a P3 statute has been in place for some time now). But she also pointed to the promise of P3 jobs in higher education. We’ve already seen significant higher education P3 jobs, from the University of Florida’s Innovation Village, to the dorms at the University of Central Florida, and the dorms and football stadium at Florida Atlantic University. I know of others currently being considered, but not yet ready for announcement. Jane knows of these too and feels this is the start of a new wave of P3’s in Florida that will take us far beyond the realm of transportation. It appears she’s right, so we’ll continue this series of interviews with P3 leaders in the future.