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October 21, 2016
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Over to you

The time has come for the market to put the new-found public sector appetite for US P3s to the test

It has been another very encouraging week for US P3s. Just a few weeks back I referred to the growing buzz around the North American market, with the US in particular showing an encouraging number of new deals. Combined with the growing acknowledgement of the model at various government levels, it is starting to look like real growth is an achievable goal at last.

In particular, the work being done at federal level is an example of the rising potential of US P3s. With the Build America Bureau now up and running, the country finally has something resembling a central procurement agency to facilitate this growth.

Further progress was also revealed this week after it was announced that the DC Office of Public-Private Partnerships (OP3) has had its procurement rules approved by the DC Council.

This means that the OP3 will now be able to launch projects through a solicited process and will be open to accept unsolicited proposals after a 30-day period.

With that in mind, the time has come for the authorities to show its true support of P3s by delivering actual projects off the back of all this legislative backing. The market also has a role to play of course. With the bureau up and running, there is nothing stopping people coming forward with new additions to the emerging pipeline.

Only once this occurs and new projects hit the market can the extent of this undoubted progress at federal level really be gauged.

Either way, there is no doubt that there is a feel-good factor around the US market that there has not been for some time. It is quite an impressive turnaround from the latter part of last year when it seemed as if the fabric of the market was coming apart at the seams.

And this has been further reinforced this week. Once again, more federal movement has occurred with the US Department of Defense planning to take its experience of P3s in the military housing sector into new areas.

The emerging student housing market that is being touted as playing a significant role in this wider market growth also received a boost yesterday with the news that Texas University was seeking advisors for P3 projects.

It is a broad demonstration of the message hitting home at all levels in the US and certainly exciting times for the market, which all bodes well for the start of a rapidly approaching new year.

A detailed look at the federal government’s P3 plans and the rising municipal sector are featured in the latest edition of P3 Bulletin, out now

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