Business and Economics

Airport Panel Asks For Ideas On Public-Private Partnership

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(news release from Airport Authority) — An Ad Hoc committee of The Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority on Friday released a Request for Expressions of Interest and Qualifications (REIQ) from private sector interests to gather a broad array of approaches and ideas to invest in the airport and the surrounding area through a potential public-private partnership (P3).

Tasked by the Airport Authority in March to explore a P3 to accelerate job creation and long-term investment in Gary and the Northwest Indiana region, the Ad Hoc committee continues to work at a brisk pace to develop a P3 model which retains public ownership of the airport and benefits from private sector innovation and access to capital.

The committee anticipates following up the REIQ with a formal Request for Proposals (RFP) later this summer. In addition to the P3 exploration, major construction at the airport of a $166 million runway extending the main 7,000-foot runway by 1,900 feet continues.

“The REIQ is an essential step in attracting creative ideas for a P3 model that reflects all the investment potential of the airport, the City of Gary and the Northwest Indiana region to create good-paying jobs for the long-term,” said Karen Freeman-Wilson, mayor of the City of Gary.

A team of a highly-qualified financial experts, project managers and legal advisers were engaged by the Airport Authority in April to assist in the P3 exploration.  The team includes A.C. Advisory Inc., JClark Consulting Group, LLC and Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.

“Every airport P3 model is unique so the ideas we learn from the marketplace will help us shape the best P3 model for Gary and the Northwest Indiana region,” said David Bochnowski, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NorthWest Indiana Bancorp., member of the Gary/Chicago Airport Authority, and chair of the Ad Hoc committee. “The airport and the surrounding area are full of investment opportunities; everything is directly connected to Chicago’s transportation network through freight, interstate and mass-transit and has close proximity to multiple Lake Michigan ports.”

Responses to the REIQ are due by 5 p.m. Central Daylight Time (CDT) Monday June 17, 2013. Supportive due diligence and supplementary materials will be made available to interested respondents on a website established by the City of Gary, www.FaegreBD.com.  Respondents are requested to register with the law firm, Faegre Baker Daniels.  The registration must be in electronic format and indicate the respondent’s intent to participate in this REIQ process.

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