Thomas Bradley / Campus editor
Ohio State officials announced the highest bid for leasing the university’s parking assets to an outside firm was $483 million.
The school began looking to privatize parking assets about a year ago, and are planning to make a decision whether to go forward with the plan in the next week or so.
Shelly Hoffman, university spokeswoman, said later next week they would announce more details about the bid including who the bidder is and what kind of recommendation would go to the Board of Trustees.
Hoffman confirmed this $483 million bid was at least 10 percent higher than the next highest bid, and there will not be a “last-and-final-offer” round of bidding.
The bid included a cap on parking price increases at 5.5 percent for the next 10 years.
If recommended and to the Board, and passed, the private company, which has yet to be named, will take over operations of all permit sales, parking lots and parking garages for a 50-year period.
Joseph Alutto, executive vice president and provost of OSU, released an email to all students, faculty and staff and emphasized no decision has been made. In the email, he did say that of all the bids, this one was the best.
“This bid would generate the most money for the University to allocate to core academic purposes while also giving faculty, staff, and students parking rates that would be capped at rates in line with or below historic average increases,” Alutto said in the statement. “Because of the economic climate in which we operate, as well as the feedback we have received on this point over the past several months, we know this is an important criterion for our consideration.”
The $483 million is $108 million more than the benchmark the university set almost a year ago, and President E. Gordon Gee said he hoped the bids would reach near $500 million.