And the Win Goes to….

In this expanding world of jurisdiction warfare, it’s not as easy to recognize winners and losers as one might think.

499229_jerry.neuman_chrWhether it started with sports enterprises conducting bids for host cities or expansion opportunities or corporations looking to relocate, one thing is clear: Cities are competing for the benefits of an enterprise at a scale never before seen. In this expanding world of jurisdiction warfare, it’s not as easy to recognize winners and losers as one might think. The real question, whether you’re participating in a bid or merely observing the process, is how can you win, no matter who is selected?

Having been on all sides of bid wars—from representing a jurisdiction in negotiations for sports franchises or managing a bid competition on behalf of a design college to representing land owners whose cities are being looked at for corporate relocations—I have come to understand that some of the greatest value can be realized in just evaluating the benefits being offered. In every competition, jurisdictions put their best foot forward to set forth a set of benefits that the enterprise can obtain if only they are selected. For the smart real estate company or corporate user, these lists of benefits can provide a substantive outline of potential new revenue sources, expedited development service opportunities and/or project benefits to be tapped in a value add play.

The game plan usually looks something like this:

Identify cities that are currently hosting bid opportunities for corporate relocations or sports/entertainment enterprises; identify areas that jurisdiction allocates or prioritizes for these growth opportunities; obtain the bid offering that lists or identifies the various public benefits being offered; assess the nature of your real estate holding or project and how it fits within the various benefits being offered; see if there is alignment or scaling that can be accomplished to potentially qualify your holdings or project for those benefits irrespective of the bid outcome; find the right consultant; make the ask.

In the end, all jurisdictions are looking to increase job opportunities, increase wages and promote enterprise to put more money in public coffers in a way that has the least negative impact on their communities. In this regard, losing cities are often left hungry to find those elements that they saw so clearly in creating their bid package. Therefore, those same cities are often perfectly positioned for local or new enterprises to meet those unfulfilled desires. Finding that right balance in such jurisdictions that are already of the mindset—i.e, one that promotes public investment into private enterprise to obtain public goals—is half the battle when it comes to obtaining public revenue opportunities. The other half is in the strategy and execution of aligning your opportunity with the public sector’s expectation.

Given recent work being done on the many corporate relocations and expansions across the country, the roadmap to success in various communities is already being printed. The job of the wise investor is to understand those communities, read those roadmaps and assemble the best and most appropriate team to get to the desired destination: a better project, increased revenue source and/or expedited development services.

Jerry Neuman, partner at DLA Piper LLP (US), represents individuals and companies looking to obtain local government licenses, permits, rights or contracts. Respected for obtaining governmental approvals and public participation, when needed, for many of the largest development projects in the State of California as well as securing government rights and contracts for large and small companies, Neuman has extensive experience in complex regulatory and legislative issues.