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Public-Private Partnerships Are The ‘Way Of The Future’ To Create Communities

Gaedeke Group's Glenn Lickstein, Julie Lennon and Sabine Gaedeke Stener

Public-private partnerships are becoming more popular in North Texas. The developers at Bisnow’s 121 Corridor Development Update event said they are increasingly looking to P3s to get deals done.

“The way of the future is public-private partnerships,” Gaedeke Group CEO Sabine Gaedeke Stener said. “It’s where the communities try to embrace and collaborate with the developer.”

Stener said courting and incentivizing businesses with tax benefits are a great way to show companies your city is open for business. She credits that attitude in Plano, where Gaedeke recently opened One Legacy West, for much of the area’s growth.

Bright Realty's Eric Stanley, Kaizen Development Partners' Derrick Evers, Gaedeke Group's Sabine Gaedeke Stener, Altera Development's Mike Kennedy, McKinney EDC's Darrell Auterson

“Having great city partners and EDCs is critical to help guide quality of development and mixed-use,” Altera Development principal Mike Kennedy said. 

Altera is under construction at the full-service Delta by Marriot Hotel with an attached convention center in Allen.

Many developers could not make their projects pencil without incentives and other forms of public partnerships.

“Because we’ve owned our land [in Castle Hills] for a long time, we get no credit for it in the capital stack,” Bright Realty President and Chief Operating Officer Eric Stanley said. “That’s where the necessity of P3s comes into play.”

Partnerships with cities and economic development corporations can also create more community support for developments. 

“If you have a partnership with [a] government entity that will stand next to you and help you sell the vision, community will get more behind you, though you’ll still have some against you,” Kaizen Development Partners CEO Derrick Evers said.

Metropolitan Capital Advisors' Duke Dennis, Kaizen Development Partners' Derrick Evers

Evers, who is developing One Bethany at Watters Creek and a build-to-suit for Netscout in Allen, said he looks for difference-makers — such as different ways to finance or present developments to city councils — when speaking to economic development departments.

“When we approached Carrollton [to purchase additional land for Castle Hills], they didn’t have anything on their books quite like what we wanted to do,” Stanley said. “We were able to get some P3 initiatives done and that made some land that might not otherwise be a jewel become part of Castle Hills.”

“I cannot stress enough the ongoing need for P3 to get us on [the] same page,” Stanley said.