Over a year ago, back in the heart of the recession, when the Pittsburgh parking garages were added to the chopping block, I begged the powers-that-be to hold off instead of risking a fire sale in light of the poor economy. However, it turns out I was wrong. The snail's pace of government has brought us full circle to the tail-end of the recession. Combined with the Pittsburgh's international exposure during the G20, we have managed to wrangle up 7 solvent international companies to bid on lease of the garages. Impressive timing or good luck? I don't know. But full steam ahead to see what the bidders have to offer.
As to whether leasing the garages is a good idea? I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. And with a variety of folks interested, I'd say the odds are pretty good that we can strike a bargain that doesn't immediately screw downtown commuters while giving a much-needed infusion to the pension fund. If Mayor Ravenstahl and Pittsburgh City Council can continue the good cop/bad cop routine for this whole process, we may even come out ahead. How about for a few extra million we let them install those fancy credit-card accepting parking meters like they have in Mt Lebanon? Then no one will have to carry any quarters around unless they're headed to the casino.