Gary airport ‘extremely encouraged’ by interest in partnership proposals
By Michelle L. Quinn Post-Tribune correspondent August 9, 2013 6:22PM
Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson addresses the groups interested in entering a public-private partnership with the Gary-Chicago International Airport Friday at the airport. Twenty-five companies have thrown their names in ring so far. | Michelle L. Quinn/Post-Tribune Sun-Times Media
The groups represented at Friday’s meeting:
The Williams Capital Group LP
Rice Financial Products Co.
The GCIA Group
East Lake Management and Development Corp.
B. Coleman Aviation LLC
The Metropolitan Planning Council
Financial Relations Inc.
Estrada Hinojosa & Company Inc.
Financial Network Center LLC
Integrated Energy & Environment Group LLC
Loop Capital Markets
MXD Development Strategists Ltd.
Z-Force Transportation Inc.
The Arsh Group Inc.
Siebert Brandford Shank & Co. LLC
ACO Investment Group
Industry Funds Management
Shrewsberry & Associates
Bryan Cave LLP
William Blair & Co.
Updated: September 11, 2013 6:09AM
GARY — Twenty-nine entities so far are interested in joining with Gary/Chicago International Airport in a public-private partnership.
Those entities were on hand Friday morning to tour the airport and surrounding areas as well as discuss the request for proposals the airport has issued for the partnership. The private meeting was open to the media only for Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson’s remarks.
“Here we are on the horizon of the (public-private partnership), and there will not only be development at the airport but its footprint as well,” Freeman-Wilson said. “There are a number of opportunities available, and that has been evident in (the interested companies’) thoughtful presentations.”
Comprised of local, regional, national and international firms, the group represent varied sectors such as aviation, financial, urban planning, retail, real estate management and environmental design. And each one has an equal opportunity to be successful, Freeman-Wilson said.
The airport partnership committee in June issued a “request for expression of interest and qualifications” ahead of the “request for proposals” that was released July 22. All proposals are due by 5 p.m. Aug. 26 for a potential October award date.
Freeman-Wilson, along with partnership adviser John Clark of JClark Aviation, agreed that the deadlines the committee has set are realistic.
“There had been a lot of debate (among committee members), but for people who’re experienced (with the partnership process), they’re more than reasonable,” the mayor said.
And except for residential development, no good proposal will be ignored, Clark said.
“The process will determine the best mix of companies and will guide us,” Clark said. “We’re extremely encouraged by the level of interest in this process.”
Among the entities interested in the partnership is East Lake Management of Chicago. East Lake is already building a fixed-based operation at the airport.
Interested parties may submit partnership proposals to GaryAirportP3@gyymail.com.