ABSTRACT: State governments and special-purpose authorities, together with city governments and private-sector actors, play a crucial role in building contemporary urban development partnerships, or intergovernmental triads. Such triads significantly shape decision-making outcomes, and yet existing theories and case studies of urban development overlook these formal coalitions. Three cases from Chicago are examined in which the intergovernmental triad arrangement was utilized in attempts to reach development goals: the city's attempt to host the 1992 World's Fair, the construction of a new stadium for the Chicago White Sox, and Navy Pier's redevelopment. Using archival and interview data, the article traces events involving local and state governments that lead to the creation of special-purpose authorities to manage development projects. The study concludes that current theories cannot explain such outcomes and must be adapted to account for the critical role of authorities and states.