The Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority’s (GCIAA) $29 million bond sale to finance a major runway renovation has been named a Deal of the Year in the Midwest category of The Bond Buyer’s Deal of the Year awards. FaegreBD served as lead counsel for the airport authority, with Partner Rich Hill leading a team of attorneys including Randy Rompola, Tenley Drescher-Rhoades and Anne Fischesser.
The Deal of the Year Awards recognize innovation in municipal finance, selecting winners from five regions of the U.S. A national winner will be announced at The Bond Buyer’s Awards Gala in New York City Dec. 5.
The award focuses on the project financing, in which a team of GCIAA management and advisors worked under a tight deadline to raise $28 million to complete the $174 million Runway Expansion Project within the Federal Aviation Administration’s timeframe. FaegreBD and a group of underwriters and financial advisors teamed with Gary, Ind. Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson and the GCIAA to finance the runway project through capital markets. The bonds were issued in November 2014 with ratings exceeding the requirements for “investment grade” creditworthiness, benefitting buyers and the airport with lower interest rates and cost savings.
Without funding to complete a pivotal runway project by June 2015, the airport may have had to shut down. The new runway is projected to provide more than 2,000 new jobs in Northwest Indiana, generate $169 million in annual disposable income, and have a yearly economic impact of more than $500 million to the region.