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Husch Blackwell Releases Fifth Annual Public-Private Partnership Trends Report

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Husch Blackwell is pleased to announce the publication of its fifth annual Public-Private Partnership Trends Report. The report contains an analysis of recent public-private partnership (P3) agreements for projects that reached a financial close from January 1, 2021, to December 31, 2021. Additionally, the report provides perspectives on emerging areas of P3 activity and a brief overview of the current pipeline of P3 projects.

The prior year’s robust pipeline of projects led to a 13 percent year-over-year increase in projects reaching financial close in 2021. Of those, nearly half were related to higher education, including projects relating to student housing, mixed-use developments and campus energy projects.  

Infrastructure also took center stage during 2021 as the Biden Administration pushed through a historic piece of legislation—the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA)—that will commit approximately $550 billion of new spending on a variety of infrastructure projects.

“P3 continues to gain in popularity, and the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act will be seen as an inflection point for infrastructure projects in the U.S.,” said Husch Blackwell partner Charles Renner, head of the firm’s P3 practice team. “We anticipate that P3 will play a vital role in stretching above-baseline spending on infrastructure as construction material costs continue to rise due to supply chain imbalances and higher than expected core inflation.”

The IIJA will help improve the country’s surface transportation infrastructure, but it will also provide meaningful improvements to water infrastructure and the electric power grid, as well as help close the digital divide. Of the 77 live P3 projects at the end of 2021, 16 were related to telecoms; another three projects were in the pre-launch phase, suggesting strong interest in broadband P3s.

In sum, during the trailing 12-month period ending December 31, 2021, the firm tracked 25 projects to a financial close, the highest total in a single year since it began publishing its Trends Report in 2018.

The launch of this year’s report once again coincides with the Public-Private Partnership Conference & Expo (P3C), held annually in Dallas, Texas.