Six Companies Show Interest In Hartford Parking Leases
By STEVEN GOODE
April 13, 2010
The city has received six responses from companies interested in a long-term lease of its public parking system.
The proposed lease arrangement would encompass about 6,400 on-street and parking garage spaces and provide the city with a large lump-sum payment and reduce its risk. But it also would reduce the city's control over future parking rates and ultimately bring in less money.
The idea of leasing parking spaces was among several floated at a city council workshop in January on finding new sources of revenue without raising taxes. The arrangement has been adopted in other cities, including Chicago and Harrisburg, Va.
Mayor Eddie A. Perez said in a statement that he was encouraged by the strong response and believed that it would enhance competitive bidding.
"It is important for the city to examine this potential transaction over the next several months and look closely at all of its options to find the best one that balances today's budgetary issues with future viability," Perez said.
Councilman Matt Ritter said Monday that he has reservations about the speed at which the proposal is being considered and its effects on downtown businesses and residents.
"My main concern is losing the ability to monitor the cost of downtown parking. The on-street stuff is a real concern," Ritter said, "and a vote by June 30 seems questionable."
David Panagore, the city's chief operating officer, said Monday that he and other city staff are trying to develop a proposal that improves upon plans implemented in other cities and makes sense for Hartford.
"We want to make it as good as we can and then decide if we can do it," Panagore said, adding that projected revenues are not being considered in budget computations.
Panagore said the next steps were to continue to work with the Hartford Parking Authority on business terms and to explain the proposal to residents and business owners. A meeting is being planned for mid-May with potential concessionaires.
Interested companies include: Bainbridge/ZKS/Ace Parking; Cintra Infraestrucuras SAU; Duncan Solutions/UBS Global Asset Management; Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co./Central Parking System/Duncan Solutions; P4 Partners LLC/Aurora Capital Group/ LAZ Parking; and Propark/ACS/Kamylon Capital.
Gates Group/Standard Parking voluntarily withdrew from the process, city officials said.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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