Tag Archives: Public Private Partnership

RMA Real Estate: Strategies to Create Successful Cities

by Chris Brown, RMA Principal

How cities administer the properties they own will affect the future of the entire community. Municipal leaders who understand the critical nature of these transactions turn to RMA to buy, sell, lease and manage publicly owned real estate assets.

Smart city leaders know that real estate is more than shifting property or even selling to the highest bidder; it is about building a community that will be satisfying for the residents that live there now—and in the years to come. Vision is required – and sometimes it can take years before that vision truly manifests itself. In addition, a comprehensive understanding of how all components of a community are intertwined is essential to understand and implement the vision. That’s one main reason why a traditional real estate broker isn’t able to offer the expertise needed.

Case in point, the City of Margate, Florida reached out to me in the early 2000’s for my expertise on developing a downtown for their city. I conducted studies and recommended that they buy 40 acres of land at the intersection of State Road 7 and Margate Boulevard, which at the time consisted of several shopping centers, an outdoor drive-in movie and a hotel – the first steps of a vision.

Fast forward to 2016 and now the city has completed the purchases and has hired RMA to create, implement and manage the vision that I originally set forth: create a new downtown with a sense of place.

Another example of RMA reaching beyond traditional real estate is West Palm Beach, Florida. The city is in the process of reinventing itself and the municipal leaders requested a new plan for their 18-hole golf course. After conducting thorough studies, we suggested allowing a developer to construct housing on a section of the course, with the stipulation that they must build a new clubhouse and maintain the golf course. The project would be a catalyst for the south end of the city along US 1, helping to positively transform an area that has remained neglected for years. Once again our expertise goes beyond creating the plan, to the actual implementation. We are now in the process of finding the right developer for the job and negotiating the final deal – a public-private partnership (P3). Years of successfully creating P3’s is one of the key reasons city leaders seek out RMA. It’s not only about selling land; it’s ultimately about building a better community as a whole.

Where to establish new public works facilities is another unique type of real estate transaction we specialize in. Recently we closed on the first of four properties in the City of Pompano Beach, Florida that will allow our client city to expand and modernize their facilities under a 50 year strategic plan. Understanding the breadth of this city’s specific requirements, including safety/security and the need to protect themselves from possible terrorist threats, plays a critical part of the negotiations we are conducting.

With RMA, the transactions we manage are not motivated by commissions; our transactions are inspired by the strategies we employ to create successful cities. This is what sets us apart.

Avenue Lofts Public-Private Partnership

Agency

Fort Lauderdale Community Redevelopment Agency

Services Provided

Economic Development
Government Management
Public-Private Partnership
Real Estate

Address

101 NE 3rd Ave.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301

Performance Period

2000-2004

Avenue Lofts Public-Private Partnership

Issue

The Northwest/Progresso CRA was established in 1995. By 1999 the CRA Board had grown frustrated that very little activity had occurred in the CRA district. Ms. Briesemeister was hired as executive director in 1999 to reorganize and re-establish priorities for the CRA. The CRA issued a $20 Million bond and approved a Strategic Finance Plan that focused on public-private partnerships. The Flagler Village area suffered from issues of crime and blight and was in an area that hadn’t seen any new redevelopment in 30 years. The area had long been overlooked by the private sector due to the high risk of development in the area. Although the area was within a CRA, incentives were needed to spur redevelopment.

Strategy

Specific CRA programming was put in place to support developers through public-private partnerships, which resulted in attracting Hooper Construction to build the Avenue Lofts project.

Outcome

The project generated approximately $200,000 new annual tax increment and created comparable sales figures for future development to occur. The project then spurred the next project that generated $325,000 in new tax increments.

Pompano Beach Pier Project

Agency

Pompano Beach Community Redevelopment Agency

Services Provided

Economic Development
Government Management
Public-Private Partnership
Real Estate

Address

100 W. Atlantic Blvd.
4th Floor
Pompano Beach, FL 33060

Performance Period

2011 – Present

Pompano Beach Pier Project & Public-Private Partnership

Issue

The Pompano Beach CRA determined that attracting private sector investment to a redevelopment area known as the “Pier Site” was a top priority. The 6 acre parcel referred to as the Pier Site, located on Pompano Beach Boulevard consisted of a surface parking lot and other civic buildings. The site was situated in a prime location next to the beachfront area that was about to undergo a $10 million major streetscape, beach beautification and dune restoration project. The CRA/City recognized the value in advertising the site to attract a reputable developer that could bring new commercial development to the blighted beach area, now slated for revitalization.

Strategy

The process chosen to secure a private sector development partner was an RFQ, a Request for Qualifications. This process, unlike an RFP (Request for Proposals), is designed to first identify a qualified development team and secondly, allow time to further develop a proposed concept. The qualification of the development team was of utmost importance, therefore the selection committee was seeking to identify a development partner that has owned and operated similar type projects, has designed and developed similar type developments, acted as a developer/owner who has been responsible for sales, leasing and marketing of the development, and demonstrated their ability to finance developments they own and operate.

In 2010, the CRA issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) for the development of the 6-acre parcel referred to as the Pier Site located on Pompano Beach Boulevard. One response was received and the selection committee deemed that proposal incompatible with the pier development objectives. At the time the first RFQ was issued, the real estate market was in a depressed state and financing for redevelopment projects was practically impossible to obtain. Staff reissued the RFQ in September of 2011 and received two proposals for the site. RMA principals then began negotiations on the business terms for the proposed development of the site with the most qualified firm.

Outcome

The selection committee ranked Pompano Pier Associates, L.L.C., (PPA) as the top candidate. PPA is a firm whose members have been responsible for numerous noteworthy redevelopment projects including commercial, residential and mixed-use projects. PPA estimates the new development will bring a potential $40 million in private investment to the City and key tenants have already been secured.