- In 2004, the Board of the Lancaster
County Convention Center Authority (LCCCA) was faced
with challenges related to finalization of documents
for the implementation of a public-private venture to
develop a 200,000–square-foot, $145M hotel and
convention center project in downtown Lancaster,
Pennsylvania. The project had been in the planning
stages for more than seven years and a critical
milestone was fast approaching concerning the future
of the project.
- The LCCCA Board and Penn Square
Partners, the private partner in the transaction, had
previously retained Herman Bulls and another
consultant to jointly review the project and to make
recommendations for aligning interests of the various
- Subsequent to the project review,
the LCCCA Board retained Bulls Advisory Group (BAG) to
provide personal coaching, leadership development and
organizational structure review services to its
executive director. For ongoing project assistance,
the LCCCA also retained BAG as executive strategic and
real estate advisor.
- BAG conducted a 60-day assessment
to outline the major development and organizational
issues related to the implementation of the
public-private partnership with Penn Square Partners.
This process included completing extensive interviews
with the LCCCA executive director and board members,
legal counsel, consultants, as well as local and state
- The results of the assessment were
briefed to the board and the executive director.
Recommendations were made concerning a new strategy,
structure, and systems and staffing plan for the
management of the project.
- As the chief advisor to the
executive director, BAG’s specific duties include
managing the team of five project consultants (legal,
public relations, marketing, financial advisor and
construction management) and providing integrated
recommendations to the Executive Director on
financial, construction management, development,
marketing, hospitality and historic preservation
- BAG also reviewed all project
consultants’ roles and realigned responsibilities,
taking on the roles of financial advisor, public
relations and MBE/WBE administrator.
- As the MBE/WBE liaison, we reviewed
inclusion and participation of in-project bids. We
also issued abatement, demolition and stabilization
- LCCCA realized an immediate savings
of over $500,000 by consolidating consultant roles and
better managing project resources.
- Management of the development
process was brought in-house, providing greater
control and accountability, and reducing development
expenditures by $36,000 per month.
- After extensive negotiations with
Penn Square Partners, the public-private partnership
was structured utilizing state grants, bond issuances,
private financing, hotel sale/leaseback and other
available funding programs. A sophisticated “tiered”
system was also created to address any funding gaps.
- BAG prepared numerous board
presentations on strategic matters including financial
alternatives, variance analysis, MBE/WBE plan and
process, risks and implications, press releases, and
talking points for media interviews.
- A five-year financial comparative
and variance analysis was completed and a new
cash-flow forecasting system was implemented.
- An outside special counsel was
retained to handle hotel room revenue county tax
issues, averting conflict from existing counsel and
BAG provides ongoing review of the
development process, organizational structure, finance
and operations. For more information, please contact
Herman Bulls at