RFQ out for $375m Ohio university parking

The school has set a November 2 deadline for a response. Ohio State University is the first US college to privatise parking.

Stage one of a bidding process for a campus-wide parking concession is afoot at Ohio State University (OSU).

The university has issued a request for qualifications (RFQ) with a November 2 deadline.

In August, Ohio State decided to hire out control of its 35,000-space parking operation. The university is planning to use revenue generated from the deal to shore up its $1.8 billion endowment fund.

The prospective lease has a 50-year parking tearm. OSU is anticipating a pakring lease could net $375 million. The eventual private operator will be allowed to raise the cost of parking by up to 7.5 percent annually during the first decade of the concession.

The university has touted privatisation as a more efficient method of running its parking system, while concern among the student body has focused on the affordability of campus parking under privatisation. OSU has also stressed ownership of its property would remain with the university.

While Chicago, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh have sought to privatise parking, no US school has ever leased its on-campus parking, making OSU and its proposed concession unique.   

As a US state, Ohio is embracing privatisation. Ohio in 2011 has moved forward on a plan to privatise its turnpike.

Wall Street firm Morgan Stanley is advising OSU on the project.