Public-Private Partnerships

SB Friedman advises municipalities, universities, health care institutions and other land owners with regard to the best means to maximize the value and stewardship of real estate. Our services are based on the concept that successful projects result from the synthesis of economic potential, physical capacity and client/community goals.

We work closely with property owners to achieve these potentials through a number of services, including: market analysis to identify potential uses, directing teams of physical planners to evaluate site capacity, working with stakeholders to establish community or client goals, economic feasibility analysis, developer solicitation, and deal structuring. Because we are among the leading experts in public development finance and public-private partnerships, we are able to maximize use of both public and private financing. Over the years, we have consulted on major town centers, transit-oriented developments and university-anchored projects.

As an active member of the Urban Land Institute’s Public-Private Partnership Council, firm president Stephen Friedman recently served as primary editor of Successful Public-Private Partnerships: From Principles to Practice, a new publication from the Urban Land Institute, and authored sections along with other Council members. The report explores the challenges and opportunities associated with creating effective public-private partnerships, and offers a toolkit of best practices. The ULI press release is linked below under “Related Download(s).” 


Securing Incentives

We support our clients’ efforts to obtain incentives and development entitlements from governmental entities. Our services include: identification of potential funding sources, preparation of applications to governmental entities; negotiation of assistance; tax, fiscal and economic impact estimates and cost-benefit studies; and market and financial feasibility studies. We have extensive experience with such tools as Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and New Markets Tax Credits. In the past ten years, we havebeen involved as analyst/advisor in $900 million of public incentives in $3.5 billion of development transactions.

Development Programming

Market studies identify product, absorption potential and price points for real estate projects. These insights must then be applied to specific development projects. We work closely with developers and physical planners to define the mix of uses, size, configuration and price points, and estimate absorption of the specific project concept. We are expert in targeting locational requirements of land uses and determining how to satisfy them within the physical plan, taking into account visibility, access, placement, relationships among uses, and the human and psychological factors reflected in market behavior within the built environment.

Developer Solicitation

The firm has extensive experience in soliciting developers on behalf of public and not-for-profit land owners. Our approach includes adding value to the property by creation of a “believable fiction” as to its potential development, sometimes seeking new entitlements prior to marketing, and then marketing the site. Resolution of community conflict and goals is often part of this initial activity. We then tailor marketing to market conditions and level of developer interest, including a two-step RFQ/P process. We evaluate qualifications and solicit proposals from a shortlist to get both the best deal and, usually most important to our clients, the best project. We then assist in the detailed negotiations of the business transaction and development/redevelopment term sheet and agreement.

Deal Structuring and Negotiation Support

Public-private development transactions require careful analysis and structuring in order to give all parties the best chance for success. We are experienced in analyzing the risks and benefits in these arrangements, and assisting our clients in striking a fair balance in how they are allocated.

A well-crafted Term Sheet helps all parties avoid surprises during the closing process, and addresses the key issues where misunderstandings might otherwise arise. SB Friedman has assisted numerous public and private sector clients in crafting Term Sheets for a range of development scenarios including land writedowns, financial assistance packages, tax credits and others. We provide analytical support to help our clients articulate their case in negotiations, as well as rigorous Term Sheet drafting to ensure that the business terms are clear, concise and complete.

Facilitating Public Decision-Making

Public-private development projects are often conducted “under a microscope” with oversight from the general public, elected officials and the media. We are very familiar with these dynamics, and help our clients navigate them productively.

Up-front setting of expectations is often critical. We help public sector or institutional clients reach internal/public consensus about a desired development outcome before heavily engaging potential developers. Using market and financial analysis synthesized with site capacity and public goals, we help our public clients present a reasonable development program to the private sector. In turn, this helps avoid surprises in the subsequent development process, improving the outcomes for all parties involved.