Indiana parking deal ‘off the table’

The school will not emulate Ohio State, which earned $483m with its campus parking P3.

The question of whether or not Indiana University (IU) will be the next US college to privatise its on-campus parking has been answered with an assured ‘not now’.

“Privatisation is off the table,” University spokesman Mark Land told Infrastructure Investor.

Land confirmed a year-long analysis cast doubt on the financial benefits of a would-be deal.

The public university last year began probing a possible public-private partnership (PPP; P3) similar to the 2012 Ohio State University (OSU) lease.

OSU in a pathfinder PPP leased its 36,000 spaces to Australia's Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) and vendor LAZ for 50 years in exchange for $483 million last July.

The agreement energised P3 deal flow in America, bringing attention to the previously untapped market in campus parking.

The Ohio State transaction also prompted predictions that Indiana University – like OSU a US Midwest state school – was likely to examine a lease of its own. Speculation heightened as IU hired Goldman Sachs, Greenhill & Company and consultant Walker for guidance.

From the outset, the prospect of a public-private deal was controversial at the University.

Trustee William Strong, a Morgan Stanley executive, urged IU to consider a deal, but faculty and students expressed concern about giving up control of its parking system.

Land said a best-case presentation given to the IU board of trustees last week showed the school would earn $275 million for leasing the system for 50 years.

Privatisation would give IU just $20 million more in revenue, the presentation detailed.

The University is located in Bloomington, Indiana, with a second, smaller site in Indianapolis.

Forty-thousand students are enrolled at the main Bloomington campus, with about 25,000 attending the school in Indianapolis.