ED101 Episode 4: Public-Private Partnerships

Public-private partnership expert and president of the Saint Paul Port Authority, Lee Krueger, breaks down how public-private partnerships help communities.

How is the Saint Paul Port Authority involved with these partnerships?

What’s relatively new is going beyond public infrastructure projects to economic development projects.  We’re seeing that done a little bit more with our joint ventures where we use the public sector knowledge as well as the private sector risk taking, to come up with a project that really has a phenomenal benefit for the public.  Treasure Island Center is an example of that too, where we brought in our public sector expertise and ability to buy and hold that project with private sector risk taking on the financing which allows for a public good that’s being privately financed.

Why are public-private partnerships key to economic development?

The two groups can fill each other’s gaps so the private sector is gonna be reluctant to spend five million dollars for a project that is worth three.  The public sector can come in take some of the environmental risks, some of the clean up, make sure that project will be financially successful. Then the private sector can carry out the development. It’s a great example of how our being able to take the risk taking has a public entity allows the private sector to finish the project.  But the private sector tends to avoid projects that have a significant amount of environmental risk.