October 1, 2014
Officials of the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PRPA) today released a Request for Expressions of Interest (R.E.I.) for the development of its Southport Terminal Complex, located on the Delaware River in South Philadelphia.
The R.E.I. invites respondents to submit development concepts for the following sites in the Southport Complex: the Southport Marine Terminal (119 acres); the Southport West Terminal (75 acres); and Pier 124 North Berth, a 1,132-foot long finger pier adjacent to the 119-acre site.
As stated in the Introduction of the R.E.I., “By way of this Request for Expressions of Interest (“R.E.I.”), the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (the “PRPA” or “Authority”), an independent agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is seeking interested parties to explore entering into one or more Public-Private Partnerships (“PPP”) for the design, build, finance, operation and maintenance of the three available sites located at the Southport Marine Terminal Complex located in the City of Philadelphia, along the Delaware River, south of the Walt Whitman Bridge.
The three sites described above comprise the Southport sites, and respondents may submit expressions of interest for one, two, or all of the sites. Permitting, pre-construction, and site configuration work has already been undertaken by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania at each of the sites, but PRPA encourages respondents to not feel constrained by previously-envisioned uses for the Southport sites. All development concepts consistent with PRPA’s mission to enhance trade and commerce will be considered. The R.E.I. contains detailed information and guidelines on these parameters.
The R.E.I. describes in detail all aspects of the three sites comprising Southport, as well as the geographical area surrounding the complex. That area includes substantial highway, rail, and water access, including rail yards serviced by two Class-One railroads (Norfolk Southern and CSX) and a federal navigation channel currently being deepened to 45 feet. Further, a newly-built four lane road connects the Southport sites to Interstate highways I-76 and I‑95.
“Southport’s time has finally come, and we look forward to establishing a productive public-private partnership with one or more interested parties to develop and operate these top-notch sites,” said PRPA Chairman Charles G. Kopp, Esq. “With industrial-zoned waterfront land at an absolute premium along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, I know that this substantial acreage, with its many inherent qualities and fine location, will prove a great asset to the right company or companies.”
As described in full in the R.E.I., the Southport sites are centrally located to efficiently serve one of the most densely populated consumer markets in the United States. The Port of Philadelphia and its neighboring ports from New Jersey to Maryland transported a combined 6 million TEU’s of import and export merchandise in 2013, according to the American Association of Port Authorities. The Mid-Atlantic region’s significant population, consumption, and production growth has attracted considerable investment in industrial-use warehousing and distribution centers, with a large share dedicated to the handling of international goods destined for local retail stores. The Lehigh Valley corridor and South Jersey are consistently ranked as one of the fastest growing industrial/distribution locations in North America.
The Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PRPA) is an independent agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania charged with the management, maintenance, marketing, and promotion of publicly-owned port facilities along the Delaware River in Philadelphia, as well as strategic planning throughout the port district. PRPA works with its terminal operators to modernize, expand, and improve it facilities, and to market those facilities to prospective port users. Port cargoes and the activities they generate are responsible for thousands of direct and indirect jobs in the Philadelphia area and throughout Pennsylvania.