Pennsylvania Governor Announces Strategy for Port Of Philadelphia
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has announced a strategic plan for sustained management, maintenance, and development of the Port of Philadelphia.
The governor emphasized his key priorities of investing in infrastructure, creating jobs, and keeping Pennsylvania economically competitive.
“Our port has a strategic location on the East Coast, but its infrastructure is rapidly aging,” Gov. Wolf said. “I am committed to ensuring the commonwealth is a strong partner with the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority so that this vital resource remains competitive on a global scale.”
Wolf said development of the Southport Terminal is one of his main goals for the Port of Philadelphia. The 196-acre riverfront property is owned by the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority (PRPA), located immediately west of the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal. It remains idle and undeveloped, but is currently undergoing the beginnings of a process that could enable the development of Southport Terminal in 2017, creating between 590 and 3,720 new jobs, depending upon the use to which Southport is eventually put.
“Southport is the future of the Port of Philadelphia,” said PRPA Chairman Jerry Sweeney. “To have Governor Wolf personally endorse this critical project that will bring so many jobs and other economic benefits to our region is very exciting.”
In addition to establishing a timeline for the development of the Southport site, Wolf announced further steps his administration is taking to ensure long-term stability and growth at the Port of Philadelphia.
Wolf named seven new board members to the Philadelphia Port Authority, including Chairman Sweeney and has launched a national search for a new executive director with a proven track record of successful port development.
Wolf committed to creating an advisory committee of stakeholders to provide input on the future of the port. It will include stakeholders from industry, labor, local and state government to drive a unified vision for the port.
Wolf has also directed the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation evaluate current port assets and develop a strategic business plan that will maximize asset utilization and employment potential and will include developing capital investment strategies.
With regard to the Southport project, Wolf solicited a request for qualifications, encouraging the participation of past respondents while inviting additional private-sector interests to present their visions for the property. Requests for proposals will be sent to short-listed applicants by the end of December 2015 with an anticipated due date for the proposals by June of 2016.