Warner Norcross + Judd LLP served as legal counsel to the city of Bay City, MI, as it successfully entered into the recently announced acquisition and development agreement with Bay City Bridge Partners for services related to two city drawbridges that span the Saginaw River.
Under terms of the agreement, BCBP will immediately pay Bay City $2 million as part of a $5 million development deal. BCBP also assumes financial responsibility for the bridges, saving the community approximately $1.5 million in annual maintenance costs. Considered an important first step, the project now enters a due diligence period while the partners further explore related engineering, construction and regulatory matters.
Once ownership of the bridges is conveyed to BCBP, the proposed plan calls for construction of an entirely new Independence Bridge and extensive rehabilitation and modernization of the existing Liberty Bridge, two of the four drawbridges that serve the city. Read the press release from Bay City here
The Warner team was led by Partners Kurt M. Brauer and William C. Lentine and further supported by members of the firm's Infrastructure and Public-Private Partnership Industry Group. Warner provided legal counsel on a range of matters across construction, environmental, real estate, governmental affairs, tax, finance and administrative law for the Bay City project.
“We congratulate the City Commission of Bay City for taking on this difficult, but necessary action to ensure the long-term viability of the bridges and the safety of those who use them,” said Brauer. "This Bay City bridge project is a great example of how public-private partnerships can work to the benefit of all involved parties.”
Public-private partnerships, or P3s, are becoming increasingly necessary for implementation of significant infrastructure projects while minimizing impact to taxpayers and stabilizing municipal budgets. As infrastructure throughout the country continues to deteriorate, and as federal, state and local governments lack sufficient resources for costly repairs, partnerships with private companies often become the most sensible and sometimes the only viable funding option.
Warner's P3 group has secured more than $1 billion in federal and state credits and other incentives to push public-private projects forward to completion. The firm serves as the U.S. legal advisor to the Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority on the $4.4 billion Gordie Howe International Bridge project that has been recognized with several national and international P3 awards.
Warner’s P3 team for the Bay City project included Brauer (environmental law and financial incentives), Lentine (corporate), David C.C. Eberhard (real estate) and Sarah A. Harper (corporate and financial incentives).
By providing discerning and proactive legal advice, Warner Norcross + Judd builds a better partnership with its clients. Warner is a corporate law firm with 230 attorneys practicing in eight offices throughout Michigan: Grand Rapids, Southfield, Midland, Macomb County, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, Lansing and Holland. To learn more, visit www.wnj.com
, follow us on Twitter @WNJLLP or connect on LinkedIn.