City seeking proposals to privatize parking operations

Indianapolis leaders are officially seeking proposals from companies interested in running the city’s parking operations—and
possibly additional spaces managed by other government entities.

As IBJ reported Jan. 15, Mayor Greg Ballard’s
Office of Enterprise Development has been considering ways to revamp management of the city’s 15,000-plus
spaces to generate additional revenue for street and sidewalk repairs. Officials have been weighing
the possibility of privatizing at least some parking operations since summer.

The final deal is expected
to generate tens of millions of dollars in revenue for the city. Multi-space meters
that accept credit-card payments and a variable rate structure likely will be
part of the deal.

The city’s formal request for qualifications, issued Wednesday, asks
for proposals for overseeing all 3,500 metered parking spaces, two city parking
garages, two state-owned parking garages and one surface lot, three downtown garages
now managed by  Simon Property Group, planned surface and garage parking at the new Wishard Memorial
Hospital, and three surface lots and one garage now operated by Marion County’s Capital Improvement Board.

“Teaming with the city and other government entities makes good sense,” CIB Chairwoman Ann Lathrop said in a
prepared statement. “Instead of having multiple government entitles with multiple contracts, the city and state, along
with the CIB can operate all parking under one contract, resulting in greater efficiencies, increased revenues and a more
responsible use of taxpayer money.”

Parking meters already add more than $3 million per year to city coffers.
One potential bidder told the city this summer that it could double or triple that—or generate a lump sum payment of
at least $100 million through a long-term lease.

Responses to the city’s request are due March 15.

Companies
have until March 26 to respond to a separate request for information, also issued Wednesday, seeking ideas from companies
interested in managing parking operations at Indianapolis International Airport. Currently, the Indianapolis Airport Authority
handles parking management itself.
 

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