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What Makes a Successful P3 Project?

Following unanimous approval from the Santa Clara City Council last week, the Bay Area’s first combined agricultural and residential development is on track to break ground next year. The Santa Clara Agrihood—a 361-home community and 1.7-acre farm—is an innovative partnership between the City of Santa Clara and The Core Companies that will create a sustainable, mixed-income, and intergenerational community designed to connect the city’s proud agricultural heritage to a modern urban living environment.

Earlier this month, the California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees gave their final approval for the Sacramento State University, South Campus Housing, which will introduce 1,110 beds and amenities designed to enhance student life. The $164-million project is a Public-Private Partnership between the university’s nonprofit affiliate, University Enterprises, Inc., and Greystar, a global leader in the investment, development and management of high-quality rental housing properties.

These transformative projects are just two examples of how Steinberg Hart has leveraged its public and private design experience to help deliver successful Public-Private Partnerships—or P3s. Although P3s are not new, there is renewed interest in the model, mobilizing the resources of the public and private sectors to create new assets that are greater than the sum of their parts.

P3 projects are introducing a new wave of public spaces taking shape through private money.

The process of developing P3s harnesses the ingenuity of the private sector for the good of the public sector, requiring trust between all team members to maximize positive results. More than any other kind of project delivery method, the P3 process requires all stakeholders and partners to come together at the project outset and define what a successful outcome will look like.

“Successful P3s require the building of trust between the public and private sectors and a change in mind-sets: for the public sector, from development regulator to facilitator of economically feasible projects, and for the private sector, from a role as an applicant for development permits to a collaborative, open, and transparent role in negotiating profitable projects with public benefits.”

– Joseph E. Coomes and David Scheuer, Urban Land Institute

Steinberg Hart’s extensive collaborations with public agencies, institutions, industry-leading private developers, and top builders allows our team to leverage the advantages and skills of each partner to achieve the highest quality built product, creating the largest benefit for our cities and communities. Previous and current project examples include:

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San Diego County Operations Center
San Diego, CA | Partners: County of San Diego, Lowe Enterprises

This flexible and collaborative state-of-the-art workplace environment connects people and enhances the staff’s commitment to public service. When completed, the Operations Center, the County’s largest capital facilities project, was the recipient of numerous sustainable design awards, and widely regarded as the best governmental campus in the region.

Los Angeles, CA | Partners: County of Los Angeles, Trammel Crow Company

Located in Los Angeles’ central Koreatown neighborhood, Steinberg Hart’s 12-story mixed-use residential project will completely reimagine an existing 1960s Department of Mental Health (DMH) office building. V6 is part of the larger Vermont Corridor project transforming County of Los Angeles assets into new office space, market-rate residential units, and affordable senior housing through the P3 process.

Sage Park Apartments
Los Angeles, CA | Partners: Los Angeles Unified School District, BRIDGE Housing Corporation

Sage Park and the P3 solution opened up the opportunity to create housing with a preferential selection process for school employees in need of affordable options – bringing teachers and staff, and their families into the community they serve. By bringing parents and their children into the same school district while eliminating lengthy commutes, this model also fosters community building and richer family bonding opportunities. This project applied the P3 model to workforce housing in a novel way that can be replicated across the country.

The Vi Senior Housing
Stanford, CA |Partners: Stanford University, Classic Residence by Hyatt

Three critical factors — an innovative partnership between a developer/operator of high-end senior living, the design team, and one of the world’s leading universities, an ideal site at the intersection of the campus, shopping and medical facilities, and a deeply rooted understanding of the community — all converged to create a first-in-class retirement community that raised the bar for continuing care facilities world over.


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