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Shortlist out for Harrisburg parking deal

Morgan Stanley Infrastructure and EQT Infrastructure Partners are some of the big names involved in a potentially precedent setting bid for an on-garage and on-street parking concession in Harrisburg.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, beleaguered and in receivership, is closer to reaching a possible lease or sale of its parking assets, picking eight consortia to bid on what is perhaps its most highly sought infrastructure asset.

Bidding opened up in March, when a federal court agreed with a state-appointed receiver who said fast tracking privatisation would help Harrisburg stave off bankruptcy.

State capital Harrisburg, $300 million in debt, began in 2008 entertaining a parking concession, along with a sale or lease of its cash draining waste incinerator.

Recently-exited receiver David Unkovic revisited potential privatisation, issuing a report calling for a request for qualification (RFQ) campaign to lease or sell both the incinerator and parking.

As a parking asset, Harrisburg is a 10-garage, 1,250 metered space prize, capable of generating $10 million in annual revenue – and its value has attracted marque-name attention, such as Morgan Stanley Infrastructure (MSI) and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co (KKR), the $60 billion leveraged buyout stalwart. The full shortlist includes:

-Financial services firm Boenning and Scattergood;

– MSI and Nashville, Tennessee Central Parking Corporation, considered the largest parking service provider worldwide;

– Harrisburg First, a consortium led by Guggenheim Partners;

– Harrisburg Forward, headed by commercial real estate titan The CBRE Group;

– Harrisburg Parking Partners, led by EQT Infrastructure Partners;

– Ontario Teachers’ Pension Fund (OTPP) and Imperial Parking;

– Financial advisory Northwest Financial Group;

– National Development Group (NDC), a nonprofit community development organisation.

Of note regarding the shortlisted consortia, that MSI has won the coveted Chicago metered parking concession, while EQT Infrastructure Partners, the leader of the Harrisburg Parking consortium, was involved with a prior attempt at privatisation in Harrisburg, having previously teamed with LambdaStar Capital in a failed parking lease.

LambdaStar was also refuted in its effort to lease the state capital's cash-guzzling incinerator.