At Building and Land Technology, we have long supported and have seen firsthand the benefits of public-private partnerships (PPP). If managed properly, the collaboration between public and private sectors provides a means to leverage the strength of each party to result in a more efficient or lower cost/higher value solution.
2020 was one of the most challenging years the world has faced, motivating politicians and business leaders from both public and private entities to work alongside one another to achieve the common goal of finding a solution to end the COVID-19 pandemic. We believe that the pandemic has offered a renewed opportunity for PPP projects to thrive, and we expect a similar level of collaboration to continue in our “new” world.
At the onset of the pandemic, BLT immediately lent support to the Harbor Point community, City and State, through a number of PPPs, including:
- COVID-19 Vaccine Super Site: BLT, the State of Connecticut, the City of Stamford, and Stamford Health partnered to create the largest vaccine distribution site in Connecticut. By leveraging BLT’s corporate headquarters at 1 Elmcroft, the site was created in days, and based on vaccine availability, the site stands ready to vaccinate more than 3,000 people per day, 7 days a week.
- COVID Testing Sites: Partnering with the State and Stamford Health, BLT was able to provide COVID PCR diagnostic testing to their commercial tenants beginning in August, and free public testing for Harbor Point and the surrounding community through CIC Health, Sema4, and Yale New Haven Health; testing continues to this day.
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Acquisition: BLT and Bridgewater Associates partnered with Grace Farms Foundation and various public safety entities to procure and distribute more than $15 million in PPE which made its way to Connecticut’s first responders, frontline medical workers, and nursing homes.
While the health crisis has shined a light on the model, BLT has been successfully working with public entities since 2009. Many may not be aware that the revitalization of Harbor Point was actually completed in partnership with the City of Stamford to use incremental future tax revenues to redevelop over 100 acres of brownfields. Having invested over $145 million into the infrastructure project, Harbor Point now stands as one of the most successful waterfront developments in the nation.
Also, in 2018 when the City of Stamford discovered widespread mold throughout one of its elementary schools, Westover Magnet Elementary School, BLT and the City worked around the clock to construct a 133,000 square foot new school space at 1 Elmcroft Road, which contained gym space, a cafeteria, and a bus loop. The City was able to leverage our workforce and construction expertise, thereby allowing the school to be constructed and the students/staff moved in after missing only four days of school.
As municipal and state budgets become constrained, the need for creative solutions to the many infrastructure problems only increases. At BLT, we will continue to invest in these projects with the main objective of continuing to do good by our City, our State, and our home.