Wednesday, October 06, 2010

LAZ Parking Using ACS Playbook In Pittsburgh To Sell Parking Meter Lease Deal

The partners offering a $452 million upfront payment to lease Pittsburgh's parking meters and garages is promising to bring jobs, a regional headquarters, improved parking facilities and charitable donations to the city to entice the city council there to approve the deal. LAZ Parking also says it will invest $440 million in capital upgrades to the city's garages and metered parking system over the life of the lease. Sounds a little bit like ACS' promise to bring 200 new jobs to the city if the city council goes along with Mayor Greg Ballard's plan to lease the city's parking meter business to the politically-connected company and invest $8 to $10 million initially on a new metered parking system. The Post-Gazette reports on LAZ Parking's offer to the City of Pittsburgh:

J.P. Morgan Asset Management of New York and Connecticut-based LAZ Parking Ltd. said they would spend $440 million on capital upgrades to the city's garages and metered parking system over the life of the lease, including $90 million in the first seven to 10 years.

They said the overhaul of at least three garages would add 1,800 parking spaces Downtown and bring motorists new conveniences, such as window-washing stations and battery jump-starts.

Motorists would be able to pay by credit card, pre-paid card and cell phone, and the would-be operators said they'd establish a website, hot line and "street team" to help the public adjust to a privately managed parking system.

One of the nation's largest parking operators, LAZ also plans to open a regional headquarters in town, settle a regional vice president here and create about 50 jobs. It would inherit another 80 or so workers from the city parking authority.
The investment LAZ Parking is offering Pittsburg is far larger than what ACS is offering Indianapolis, but their deal includes a number of city-owned parking garages that aren't part of Indianapolis' deal. Pittsburgh also has a lot more metered spaces than Indianapolis, and the concessionaire plans to add another 1,800 downtown parking spaces through improvements to the parking garages. I have to wonder how ACS plans to create 200 jobs in Indianapolis compared to the 50 jobs LAZ says it will add in addition to the 80 or so employees it will inherit from the city's existing parking authority as part of the deal given that the size of Pittsburgh's parking business appears to be nearly double that of Indianapolis. LAZ's initial investment of $90 million during the first ten years also far surpasses what ACS plans to invest in Indianapolis.

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