December 1st, 2010 5:33 pm | by NIGEL JAQUISS News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics, City Hall

City Again Plans to Award Parking Contract to Nashville Company

Lots of Discontent

Portland city officials today announced their intention to award a contract to run six city-owned Smart Park garages to Nashville-based Central Parking System.

The result comes after Mayor Sam Adams scrapped the result of an earlier competitive bidding process amid heavy pressure from two locally-owned parking companies, City Center Parking and Star Park.

City Center, which is by far Portland's largest owner and operator of parking lots, decided against entering the second competition. City Center cited unhappiness with the conditions placed on the process. Star Park, which currently holds the city contract in partnership with an alliance of minority chambers of commerce, entered the competition but again fell short of Central.

Here's more from the city's transportation bureau:
The Portland Bureau of Transportation has completed a selection process for the City of Portland's SmartPark garage system by issuing a Notice of Intent to Negotiate and Award the operations contract to Central Parking System.

This is not the first time PBOT has considered proposals. The first procurement process occurred in the spring and the second one began after the Mayor and City Council expressed concern and asked for the Request For Proposals to be re-released. The second group of proposals was considered by a new evaluation committee, which included downtown retail representation, and overseen by a project manager new to the process. The independent selection process worked toward making sure there were no apparent conflicts of interest. Also, special consideration was given to companies located in Oregon as part of the evaluation criteria.

The independent evaluation committee reviewed three proposals and unanimously recommended awarding the contract to Central Parking System. The next step is for City Council to authorize a contract with the company, which is scheduled for January 2011.

The committee identified multiple reasons for choosing Central Parking System, including its partnerships with local businesses to provide better marketing and services, focus on the needs of small and large downtown businesses and on-site staffing for the garages at all times. Their proposal was refined specifically for Portland.

The six SmartPark parking garages include nearly 4,000 public parking spaces and serve shoppers, business clients and visitors to downtown Portland. The City parking facilities are located at SW First and Jefferson, SW Third and Alder, SW Fourth and Yamhill, SW Tenth and Yamhill, O'Bryant Square and NW Naito and Davis.
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