Star America raises $183.2m for debut infra fund

The New York-based firm is more than halfway towards meeting its final target of $300m.

Star America Infrastructure Partners has raised $183.2 million so far for its maiden vehicle, according to a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Monday.

Star America initially considered aiming for a $400 million fund but ended up launching the vehicle in January 2013 with a $300 million target, sources told Infrastructure Investor.

Like the firm’s overall strategy, the vehicle will target greenfield PPP projects in the US and Canada primarily in the transportation, social infrastructure and water sectors, Star America’s chief operating officer Mark Melson told Infrastructure Investor.

Last August, Michigan’s Department of Transportation (MDOT) selected a consortium led by Star America to design, build, finance operate and maintain, over a 15-year term, the freeway lighting system in the Detroit Metro Region. One of the stipulations included in the PPP agreement requires the consortium – which along with Star America includes Aldridge Electric, Parsons Brinkerhoff and Cofely Services – to keep 90 percent of the lights operational after the first year and 98 percent after the second year.

The firm has also reached financial close on three other P3 investments. These comprise an on-campus, mixed-use housing and retail development for the University of Texas at Dallas; the $500 million Portsmouth Bypass in Ohio, the largest infrastructure P3 in the state; and the South Fraser Perimeter Road in British Columbia, Canada.

Star America is also one of 40 respondents expressing an interest in a lighting project being procured by the Chicago Infrastructure Trust and is in the running for Maryland’s Purple Line, a 16.2-mile light rail P3 project estimated to cost $2.2 billion.

Based in Roslyn Heights, New York, Star America was founded by William Marino in 2011. Marino, who also serves as the firm’s chief executive officer, began his career in the surety industry. In 1979, he founded Allied North America, a “construction-only” brokerage, laying the foundation for what developed into the largest private construction surety and insurance brokerage in the US, according to Star America’s website.