Public-Private Partnerships

Pacifica enjoys a “go-to” reputation for its work in conceptualizing, documenting, and financing the development and operation of complex projects involving parties from both the public and private sectors. With deep experience representing both public and private partners in such projects throughout Washington State, Pacifica brings that expertise to bear to enhance the prospects for project success. The importance of understanding the unique perspectives of both public and private clients cannot be underestimated in helping to forge viable partnerships. When supporting clients in negotiating and documenting cross-sector relationships, that experience and our problem – solving philosophy help our clients realize mutually acceptable outcomes that yield successful projects.

Our practice group mix is purposefully shaped to offer comprehensive support to major public-private partnership projects, including real estate, public and nonprofit finance, construction, and, if necessary, litigation. Working collaboratively on so many projects means that we can offer and cost-effectively deploy the comprehensive expertise that partnership projects so often require.

Representative Matters

Our public-private practice has facilitated many iconic projects, including the following examples:

  • Professional Sports Facilities: Pacifica lawyers represent both the Washington State Major League Baseball Stadium Public Facilities District (T-Mobile Park, home of the Seattle Mariners) and the Washington Public Stadium Authority (Lumen Field and Exhibition Center, home of the Seattle Seahawks and Sounders). The development of T-Mobile Park created the model and established the legal precedents for numerous other projects that followed, including Lumen Field.
  • Regionally Significant Mixed-Use Developments: Our lawyers supported the private developers central to the rejuvenation of the Seattle retail core in the late 1990s through the retention of Nordstrom’s flagship downtown store in a landmark legacy department store and the construction of the companion luxury retail vertical mall, Pacific Place. Pacifica has represented the public development authority responsible for the multi-site redevelopment of the Foss Waterway, the waterfront of Tacoma’s central business district, from its inception.  Tacoma now enjoys cultural institutions, mixed-used residential and commercial projects, parks, bustling marinas and a public waterfront esplanade.
  • Cultural Institutions: Pacifica has earned the confidence of many of the region’s premier cultural institutions that frequently turn to us for counsel in support of their building projects.  Pacifica represented the Seattle Art Museum and its closely affiliated public development authority in the development of its downtown museum and its more recent expansion; the creation of the Olympic Sculpture Park; and the recent renovation of the Seattle Asian Art Museum.  Pacifica served as counsel to the Museum of History and Industry for all aspects of the development of its new home in Lake Union Park.  We also have counseled the Seattle Opera, the Museum of Flight, and the Museum of Pop Culture, among others, in the development of their facilities.
  • Specific Areas of Expertise: Our lawyers have developed specialized skills that are particularly useful in the public-private partnership sphere. These include our nationally-recognized Public Finance Practice with its deep experience in project financing; substantial experience accessing federal affordable housing, historic rehabilitation and new markets tax credits; a highly regarded full-service Real Estate Practice; widely recognized experience representing special purpose public entities; and, when necessary, a Litigation Practice well-known for its precedent-setting work enabling these projects.

Practice Attorneys

Erik Jennings

Erik Jennings

PARTNER
Gerry Johnson

Gerry Johnson

PARTNER
Faith Pettis

Faith Pettis

PARTNER
Denise Stiffarm

Denise Stiffarm

PARTNER
Zak Tomlinson

Zak Tomlinson

PARTNER
Sarah S. Washburn

Sarah S. Washburn

OF COUNSEL
Greg Wong

Greg Wong

PARTNER
Andrew R. Zellers

Andrew R. Zellers

ASSOCIATE
See all of our attorneys