California transit district enters into Facebook, Plenary development agreement
- The San Mateo County (California) Transit District (SamTrans) Board of Directors earlier this month entered into a development partnership with Facebook and Plenary Group, an agreement that could see major improvements to the Dumbarton Transportation Corridor connecting the social media giant's and other Silicon Valley-area workers to the east side of San Francisco Bay.
- The partnership will explore recommendations resulting from a Facebook-sponsored study, and those include: rebuilding and then reopening the Dumbarton Rail Bridge, which would connect to several existing commuter and rail services; expanding and improving bus and shared-ride services on the Dumbarton Highway Bridge and further evaluation of bicycle and pedestrian options. SamTrans said the goals of any improvement program along the corridor are to ease congestion, improve mobility, realize a return on investment, minimize environmental impact and deliver a net benefit to local communities.
- Since SamTrans adopted the Facebook study back in 2017, the agency has been considering a public-private partnership to help plan and invest in corridor improvements. Any future Dumbarton Corridor enhancement project will benefit from an expected $130 million in revenue, a result of the recently passed Regional Measure 3 bridge toll increase.
Public-private partnerships, or P3s, are becoming a more popular way for municipalities or other public entities to finance and develop major infrastructure or taxpayer-owned assets, and Canada-based Plenary Group has a hand in a few high-profile P3s here in the U.S.
The company is a private partner in the $1.3 billion UC Merced 2020 initiative, which will see construction in three phases. The first phase, which is scheduled to be complete next month, includes new housing with a total of 700 beds, a 600-seat dining hall and 940 new parking spaces. The second phase includes construction of almost 151,000 square feet of laboratory research and administrative space, as well as an outdoor soccer field, and will be complete in 2019. The last phase of the project includes more lab facilities, housing, parking, a conference center and other educational and recreational buildings and facilities, all of which should be delivered in 2020.
Plenary is also part of the redevelopment team that will oversee the $1 billion transformation of the historic Cook County Hospital into a dual-branded Hyatt House/Hyatt Place hotel. In addition to the 210 new hotel rooms, the building will also feature 70,000 square feet of medical space and a 4,000-square-foot museum. As of early June, the group had $135 million in financing lined up for the project, which will use no taxpayer money.
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