NCPPP Member Spotlight
Seth D. Kirshenberg, Partner, Kutak Rock.
Describe your company’s work in P3s:
Kutak Rock has a long history of assisting our clients with P3 projects. We are primarily known for representing governmental entities, universities and the lenders on the transactions but we also represent several development teams. We work primarily in the areas of energy, transportation (toll roads and rail), airports, student housing, parking, mixed use governmental projects, water and wastewater and military housing.
Why did you join NCPPP and what benefits do you see in your association with the Council?
I have been a member for almost 10 years. I originally joined to participate in policy discussions on OMB scoring and expansion of federal P3 projects. I continue to participate since NCPPP brings together all specialties of the projects and the government units undertaking the projects. Further, it has very good training and policy development programs.
Do you have any thoughts on the current status of the P3 market and the types of opportunities or trends that are likely to emerge in the near future?
We continue to see growth in the P3 and P4 areas throughout the United States. Our international work also continues to expand with credit support from various governmental entities and international institutions. We continue to run into governmental budgetary scoring issues on some projects and as we address these issues, the market will continue to expand. The university systems are expanding beyond student housing and looking at many different projects, especially in the energy area, and we continue to receive a lot of inquiries. They, along with our government clients, are seeing that with the right partners they can create long-term sustainable projects.
What are the biggest challenges the P3 community faces and how should they be addressed?
We continue to see the conflict in the termination provisions of transactions. The termination requirements are starting to lean more toward the government side and the lenders and developers are pushing back as it increases risk and makes the projects harder to finance. Further, some experienced developers are being more selective on the projects they will bid on since the market is expanding. Some very large projects are coming to the market but this is creating opportunities for new entrants to the market and some larger traditional developers. We also see that developers and investors are seeking investments in Opportunity Zones and we expect, where feasible, more P3 projects being developed in Opportunity Zone areas.