When cities take on economic development projects, they often do so in partnership with the private sector. This has the potential to benefit both parties. However, public/private partnerships are complex things and require plenty of planning to minimize risks and maximize the rewards. Even after you’ve found a private investor for your city to work with, there are still a number of things to sort out before formalizing the partnership.
All the key players in public/private partnerships have to agree on the rules and structure for their partnership early on in the process. You’ll want to formalize how decisions will be made, establish effective policies, and come up with a plan for implementing your partnership goals together.
Define The Plan and Goals
You have to agree on the process you’re going to use to make, implement, and reassess decisions. That’s something to talk about early in the process before something comes up and the different partners have different ideas on how to handle decision making.
It’s important to come up with a formal plan of action that’s agreeable to both the public and private partners. This will include a timeline for implementing the project. You’ll also need milestones that each side can use to assess how well their partner is doing at moving toward the shared goals. Agreeing on your goals and the plan for attaining those goals will give you a framework for making decisions regarding the project.
Assign Roles and Responsibilities
As part of the plan for reaching your partnership goals, you’ll need to define the roles and responsibilities of each partner. Both the private partner and public partner have to agree on their individual roles and responsibilities before moving forward with the project.
You should incorporate a summary document outlining performance standards, clear metrics, and a plan for dispute resolution into the contract you sign as part of a public/private partnership. Documenting which party is responsible for what is a key step in making sure that decisions will be made effectively in your partnership.
Include Checks and Balances
There should be a certain amount of flexibility in a public/private partnership. Things aren’t always going to perfectly smoothly during the development project. You’ll need a system in place that lets you reassess decisions if they’re not working out. Both partners should have the opportunity to check on each other’s progress and propose modifications to the process if things aren’t working out as planned.
Laying the groundwork for a successful public/private partnership is a tricky thing. When you’re working out how to establish a decision-making process that’s going to serve both partners, it’s a good idea to get some professional help. Here at Retail Attractions, we specialize in helping both sides in a retail development deal define their goals, understand their responsibilities, and establish a successful partnership. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.