Global industry news
Infrastructure projects worth billions of dollars hang in limbo as Congress debates tax reform bill, writes Mary Scott Nabers.
Senators worked until past midnight in early December to pass their version of a federal tax reform bill.
Since the House had passed its version earlier, both houses of Congress are now negotiating final compromises. There are plans to get a bill on the president’s desk by Christmas.
Local government leaders, however, are not happy about how that final bill may be structured. Both versions of the bill will make local infrastructure investment more expensive and there is no way to know how the compromise bill will be structured.
The House bill eliminates Private Activity Bonds (PABs) and Low-income Tax Credits, which are critical to the construction of housing developments.
Both bills call for eliminating advanced refinancing bonds.
These tax-exempt bonds allow cities to refinance debt. Without advance refinancing bonds, many large projects at the state and local levels of government will be immediately jeopardised.
Additionally, the tax reform bill, unless changed, increases the federal deficit and that will trigger $150 billion in automatic cuts to vital transportation and infrastructure investments.
Just this week, President Trump again said that he will unveil his long-awaited infrastructure plan at least by March 2018. However, numerous timelines he has announced in the past have come and gone.
The president previously touted PABs as one of the ways to pay for new infrastructure investment. One has to wonder if rebuilding America is still a priority of the administration or of Congress.
Numerous projects are obviously in peril. The following are just a few examples of what can be expected throughout the country.
Syracuse University’s planned 2018 improvements will likely be in limbo if there are no more advance refunding bonds to cover...
Hundreds of construction workers this week celebrated the topping out ceremony for the new TWA Hotel at John F Kennedy International Airport.
The complex is being built by MCR, the seventh largest hotel owner-operator in the United States.
Once complete, the TWA Hotel will preserve Eero Saarinen’s iconic TWA Flight Center, adaptively reusing the terminal as a hotel with 505 guestrooms, 50,000 square feet of state of the art meeting and event space, and a variety of high quality food, beverage and retail options.
One of the largest construction projects in New York City, the TWA Hotel will create more than 3,700 permanent and construction union jobs, with approximately 300 union construction workers on-site daily.
The TWA Hotel is slated to open in early 2019.
“Since the TWA Hotel groundbreaking with Governor Cuomo less than one year ago, our team has been hard at work breathing new life into Eero Saarinen’s TWA Flight Center terminal and developing one of the most iconic hotels in the world,” said Tyler Morse, CEO of MCR and Morse Development.
“This topping out brings us one step closer to reviving this treasured landmark and re-opening it to the public for generations to come.
"Thank you to all our partners in government, labor, and construction for their support over this past year – we look forward to welcoming everyone to the TWA Hotel in 2019.”
Featuring an off-grid cogeneration plant, the two low-rise hotel structures are set back on either side of the terminal, designed to defer to the historic landmark.
Saarinen’s TWA Flight Center terminal building will serve as the hotel lobby; at 200,000 square feet the lobby is thought to be the largest hotel lobby in the world.
Hotel guests and passengers from every terminal will...