PHILADELPHIA - The Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PRPA) is pleased to report significant progress at the Southport Marine Terminal Complex, the first major expansion of the Port of Philadelphia in over 50 years. A Request for Qualifications (RFQ), the next step in selecting one or more private-sector partners to develop the three parcels that comprise Southport, will be issued in September. The Southport Marine Terminal Complex is a 194-acre site at the eastern tip of the former Philadelphia Navy Yard in South Philadelphia. It is perfectly situated for maritime development with easy access to rail and major roadways.
“Our board is very excited to be moving forward with Southport’s next phase and very much appreciates the leadership of the administration of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and the support we have received from the port community,” said Gerard H. Sweeney, PRPA chairman. “The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania understands that investment in its transportation infrastructure, especially its port assets, is a critical component to grow global trade and create family-sustaining trades in our region. The Southport Marine Terminal Complex will be a substantial contributor to the regional economy.” The RFQ process will be overseen by the PRPA Board of Directors and a team of experienced market advisors. Team members include Ernst & Young (financial issues); Hatch Mott MacDonald (technical issues); Martin Associates (port and economic impacts); Mayer Brown (legal issues); and Elliott Greenleaf (legal issues). PRPA, its board of directors and the market advisors will work together to launch the next phase: a transparent procurement process to identify the development plan or plans best suited for Southport. Three waterfront sites collectively comprise the Southport complex: the Southport Marine Terminal site (119 acres); Southport West (75 acres); and Pier 124 North Berth, a 1,132-foot finger pier. With the Commonwealth’s support, PRPA has already completed substantial pre-development work at the sites, especially in the area of improving access, in anticipation of private development. A Request for Expressions of Interest (REI) was issued late last year and garnered a high level of response from maritime industry, manufacturing, and energy companies. This next phase, a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) is slated for September, and will widen the process, encouraging the continued participation of past respondents while inviting additional private sector interests to present their visions for the Southport property. Submissions of qualifications are targeted for November 2015. Requests for proposals will be sent to short-listed proposals by the end of December 2015 with an anticipated due date for the proposals by June of 2016. PRPA hopes to have Southport project under development by 2017. While committed to comprehensive due-diligence, the PRPA Board is nevertheless planning for a quick evaluation and selection process following September’s RFQ announcement.