DELIVERING CIVIC INFRASTRUCTURE IN CLACKAMAS COUNTY demonstrates the versatility of Public Private Partnerships.

Oregon City, OR — Most experts agree that investment in infrastructure is lagging and as a result, the US continues to rack up billions of dollars annually in deferred work to repair and replace roads, bridges, airports and other critical service facilities, that tens of millions of Americans rely on every day. In Clackamas County, OR, a Public Private Partnership (P3) was the solution to design, build, finance, operate and maintain a new county courthouse.

According to the American Society for Civil Engineers, the US is on pace for a $2.6 trillion gap in infrastructure investment this decade alone. As cities and counties continue to grow, local leaders find themselves with aging court houses, town halls, jails and similar civic facilities that are undersized and often well beyond their useful life.

“These leaders should be commended for their efforts to stretch public dollars to maintain and operate these tired facilities,” remarked WT COO – P3/ Real Estate, Matthew Brown. “However, when the time comes to seriously discuss and consider replacement of these buildings, it feels difficult, if not impossible to secure enough support from taxpayers and other sources to raise the capital necessary for new construction.”

With these challenges in mind, opportunities exist for government leaders to explore P3’s as a strategy to develop and deliver new state-of-the-art facilities for their constituents. Recently, WT has assisted a number of county governments in exploring this pathway, alongside more traditional finance and design-build methods to examine and determine the most viable path forward.


The Clackamas County Circuit Courthouse P3 Project represents a momentous achievement in the P3 industry for social infrastructure. The procurement process took only 11 months from RFQ issuance to selection of the winning proposer and an additional three months from selection to commercial and financial close.

“Despite unprecedented escalation rates in the cost of construction materials and commodities and serious turbulence in construction and financial markets, the procurement experienced no major delays and the County was able to stay on its original procurement schedule,” attests WT Vice President, Jose Davila, while also highlighting that the Clackamas Courthouse project represents the first successful availability payment P3 in Oregon state history.

“From the very beginning, the County implemented a logical and well organized effort to determine the optimal method of procuring the New Courthouse and ultimately decided that a P3 structure would provide the County with the best value for money,” says Davila. Despite the challenges associated with significant volatility in the construction and financial markets that sidelined many other transactions, Davila sites that this particular project was able to move forward on schedule.

Also attributed to the perceived success of the Clackamas Courthouse project, was a dedicated and informed project leadership team with support from experienced advisors, continuous and effective communication and a commitment to stick with the timeline, according to Davila.

“Credit must also be given to Fengate and PCL Construction for demonstrating their dedication to the vision of the project and a commitment to collaboration and teamwork,” says Davila. “This project was made possible because of the partnership that was forged and leadership of both the County and their private partners.”


P3 projects are certainly not a new concept and have been frequently used for transportation and student accommodation projects in the U.S. for a number of years. However, the use of this model in civic and government infrastructure projects, such as the new courthouse, represents an innovative application and further demonstrates the versatility of P3’s to deliver new facilities when traditional Design-Build methods come up short.

“Projects like the one in Clackamas County may be exempt from state sales and federal excise taxes and are typically exempt from property taxes, which makes them appealing to developers and investors” says Brown. “In addition, the private sector can generally deliver new construction in a more timely and cost-effective manner, while taking on a significant portion of the delivery and long-term capital renewal risks.

For these reasons, Brown wagers that “city and county government leaders should be open to learning more about P3 structures and delivery methods when assessing the potential replacement of existing facilities.”

A thoughtfully planned, and well-structured P3 procurement process can generate significant interest from the private sector and offer tremendous benefits to local governments and taxpayers. However, given the complexity of structuring a P3 and the limited exposure that most public leaders have with them, it is essential to utilize an advisor who can act as a guide across all phases and all of the possibilities.


WT’s growing portfolio of P3 and alternative project delivery experience, including the New Aloha Stadium Entertainment District P3, Clackamas County Courthouse, UTSA’s National Security Collaboration Center and School of Data Sciences and the recently completed UC Merced 2020 Campus Expansion project, has provided WT with a depth of expertise and valuable lessons learned, which has benefited public sector leaders.

With a growing team across North America and opportunities to join several of WT’s US and Canada based offices, the sky is the limit according to Brown.

“Growth around our business and across a number of market sectors is very real. Our services pose increasing value for our clients and our team’s commitment to supporting infrastructure development across North America is constant.”

About WT:

WT Partnership is one of the fastest growing advisory firms in North America. Founded in Australia back in 1949, WT has been a force in North America since 2010. A trusted advisor to Owners, Developers, Government and Private sector clients, WT currently manages billion of dollars of active mega projects across North America.

Media Contact:

Jake Witt, National Marketing & Business Development Manager


+1 206 930 7399

Jose Davila
Jose DavilaVice President - P3 Advisory
Matt Brown
Matt BrownCOO - P3 & Real Estate Advisory