Six teams shortlisted in Port of Philadelphia RFP

Three parcels of port property – two terminals and a berth – are up for procurement.

Six teams are being invited by the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PRPA) to participate in a request for proposals (RFPs) to develop three sites at the Port of Philadelphia. 

The RFP follows a request for qualifications (RFQ) process that began in September 2015 and which drew seven responses. The only RFQ submission to be rejected was that of a group calling itself “World Trade Center”. Backed by the New York investment firm Carl A. Marks, the consortium proposed building an office complex on a portion of the property.

The contracts being tendered call for a private sector partner to design, build, finance, operate and maintain commercial and industrial facilities at three sites on the 106-acre Southport terminal complex as part of a public-private partnership (PPP; P3).

Site 1 is the 119-acre Southport Marine Terminal site; Site 2 is the 75-acre West Terminal; and Site 3 is the Pier 124 North Berth, a 1,132-foot “finger pier”, according to a related PRPA statement. 

Shortlisters include CenterPoint Properties, Philadelphia Energy Solutions, and Southport Development Partners, three groups that are seeking to develop all three parcels.

CenterPoint Property Trust – with the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) as an equity member – submitted a proposal to build wharves for “roll-on/roll-off” vehicles, wharves to handle containers and general cargoes, transition of an existing seaplane hangar into a vehicle processing and storage facility, and development of a warehouse as well as a grain silo system on Pier 124

Philadelphia Energy Solutions proposed developing a refined and crude oil export-import facility in a three-pronged approach, using most of the property for energy storage and the remainder for non-energy cargoes. The proposal involves the installation of four 250,000 barrel crude tanks, four more gasoline and diesel tanks, and later another two for storing crude set for export. A buoyed dock would be constructed for loading with large pumps providing interconnections with the company's own refineries.

Other shortlisted hopefuls include Liberty Consortium, Liberty Property Trust and USD Group.

Liberty Consortium is backed by Liberty Energy Trust equity and seeks only to develop Site 1 in three phases. Liberty Property Trust and USD Group on the other hand are seeking only to develop Site 2 and possibly Pier 124. The former would build an 800,000-square-foot warehouse on Site 2 and while no plans were laid out in RFQ documents, plans to develop the pier were mentioned. 

USD Group would divide the property into a 30-acre bulk product processing facility and a 45-acre auto storage yard. The group's plans for the pier included bulk liquids handling. 

RFP documents are set to be released to participating firms in the coming weeks with a submission deadline falling in the summer time frame and construction expected to kick off in 2017.