DASNY eyes bigger capital footprint in 75th year

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After heading the list of largest municipal bond issuers in 2018, the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York is targeting another milestone year.

DASNY is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2019, and the giant conduit issuer wants to grow from its longtime role as a borrower for New York State nonprofit entities to the front lines of launching capital projects.

Gerrard Bushell, DASNY’s president and CEO since 2015, wants to stay ahead of the curve this year by emphasizing opportunities available for more efficient capital project solutions through the design-build delivery method and green energy buildings.

DASNY topped all municipal issuers last year with $9.5 billion of bonds sold bringing its debt portfolio to roughly $55.2 billion.

“This year will mark 75 years since our inception and we will continue evolving to meet ever-changing needs of our clients,” said Bushell during his keynote address at The Bond Buyer’s annual National Outlook conference in Manhattan Tuesday. “We are intentionally presenting DASNY in a different way advancing the state’s support of innovation, social impact, growth and inclusion.”

Bushell said DASNY will continue to seek opportunities for alternative procurement methods to expedite infrastructure projects following its first design-build contract for a $21 million residence hall at SUNY-Brockport that was completed in just 13 months. DASNY’s aim for more design-build projects complements its stepped up public building focus with a construction pipeline of 1,003 projects valued at more than $6.56 billion as of November 30, 2018.

“We are evaluating every conceivable tool in our arsenal,” said Bushell. “Because we are able to be more proficient and deliver projects faster, more will be asked of us."

Bushell has spearheaded $32 billion in bond transactions since taking over DASNY which he attributes in large part to a late 2015 overhaul of DASNY’s borrowing process to enable quicker market access for issuers with at least a single-A rating. He said that by continuing to evolve with new building opportunities that go beyond traditional borrowing, DASNY is positioned for another active year in 2019 and beyond.

“We are in the business of infrastructure,” said Bushell. “We are in a quest in our 75th year to do more and do it better.”

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Infrastructure New York State Dormitory Authority New York