As part of a 10-year, $89.4 capital spending plan more than 900 city owned properties totaling 184 million square feet will be targeted, with most the funds being spent in outer boroughs rather than in Manhattan. According to the Commercial Observer, De Blasio said he wanted to focus on the city's infrastructure given the "uncertainty" surrounding President Donald Trump's and Congress' infrastructure plans. 

Dive Insight:

Kim Slowery of Constructiondive.com reported on 1.26.17: The New York Building Congress reported in November that both public and private institutional construction starts in the city totaled $4.6 billion in 2015, the largest figure since 2009. Schools represented $13.7 billion (53%) of that total. In June, another NYBC report found that there were $3 billion worth of school construction starts and renovations in 2015, an 83% increase from the previous year. De Blasio's plan is in line with the NYBC assertion that the city's preference is to modernize existing buildings rather than build new ones.   

Trump's current infrastructure strategy focuses on revenue-generating projects that are already significantly engineered and nearing "shovel-ready" status. These projects include airports, bridges and port facilities and lend themselves to private investment through some system of toll or user-fee collection.

The idea of private sector financing and operation of traditional public owned assets has angered Democrats, who favor direct federal spending.  A major argument against public-private partnerships (P3s) has been the concern that investors favor only profitable projects, ignoring those public assets that don't generate revenue. However, this contradicts Republicans' desire to avoid adding to the debt by spending taxpayer dollars on infrastructure projects.  

Recommended Reading:

Follow Kim Slowey on Twitter | Image credit: Flickr user nebulux76

 

Volume 26/Spring 2017 

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