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Enabling Public-Private Partnerships

Produced on: October 21, 2016

Course Format On Demand Audio

Taught by


Course Description

Time 63 minutes
Difficulty Intermediate

The need for greater investment in the country’s inadequate infrastructure system is increasingly apparent. High profile examples of the inadequacy, such as LaGuardia Airport in New York, as well as systemic weaknesses exposed by long-standing underinvestment in maintenance underscore the urgency. In response, a majority of states have enacted public-private partnership enabling statutes to provide a framework that guides the public and private sectors in working together on capital projects ranging from bridge replacement to public university student housing. States have found that a statute creates significant value because it demonstrates the public sector’s commitment to partnering and because the resulting framework leads to certainty and transparency with respect to the procurement process. Given the growing infrastructure challenges faced throughout the country, greater use of the public-private partnership framework, particularly when leveraged with some form of tax-exempt financing, would better position the public sector to undertake such critical capital projects. 

This course, presented by Patrick O’Sullivan, Partner at Herrick Feinstein LLP, reviews the public-private partnership framework and highlights how the model has been used in states such as New York, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Texas for projects ranging from airport redevelopment to bridge replacement to student housing. 

Learning Objectives:
  1. Identify the different forms public-private partnerships (P3s) can take
  2. Learn why states have adopted P3 enabling statutes
  3. Understand how P3s have been used for different types of capital projects
  4. Assess how P3s can be combined with traditional tax-exempt financing for infrastructure projects   


Patrick O'Sullivan

Herrick Feinstein LLP

Patrick O'Sullivan is a a Partner in the Real Estate Practice of Herrick Feinstein LLP's New York office. 

Mr. O'Sullivan’s practice spans a wide range of real estate matters, with a focus on development issues, including those that arise in connection with public-private transactions.

Mr. O'Sullivan joined the firm in 2017. He received a J.D. degree from Harvard Law School in 2001 and an undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard College in 1996. Prior to joining the firm, he spent several years at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, and before that he served as Executive Vice President and Head of the Real Estate Transactions Group at the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC). Prior to his position at NYCEDC, Mr. O'Sullivan advised on corporate and securities law matters in private practice.

During his time at NYCEDC, Mr. O'Sullivan worked with leading real estate developers and investors in successfully executing complex, large-scale development transactions. Mr. O'Sullivan led New York City's acquisition of Brooklyn Bridge Park and Governors Island from New York State, and subsequently oversaw the negotiations of two Brooklyn Bridge Park sites for development. He also directed the City's efforts to reach agreement with New York University that will lead to the development of a new applied sciences school in Downtown Brooklyn focused on creating technology to address challenges facing cities.

Mr. O'Sullivan is a member of the Bar in New York. He is also a member of the Real Estate Board of New York, Economic Development Committee; the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Housing and Urban Development Committee; and the Urban Land Institute.


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