If the city could get such a good deal for the parking assets of the Pittsburgh Parking Authority, then maybe it is an opportune time to consider similar deals for some of the other parking assets in the city. The Stadium Authority has a few parking lots over there on the North Shore. There is even this new subway line I gear about that is going to start up and connect them to points Downtown. That can only add to the value of those lots. Why not sell/lease them as well if the market is so hot for parking assets right now.
The price makes you wonder about the choice the county/airport authority made recently to NOT monetize the parking out at the airport. It's not as many spots in total, but I would have thought that per spot the airport spaces would be worth more. Near capacity lots all the time and the low costs of surface lots (compared to the much costlier vertical lots of the PPA) should make for some pretty valuable spots. I wonder if they feel pressured to re-evaluate that decision.
If that is what they could get for leasing the lots, it really makes you wonder what the dollar amount could be had if they had actually done as I suggested (and as some of the top economists in the city have recommended) that they actually sold the garages outright. That would have been an interesting number.
The perverse thing in the end about the bid. The only way it was possible for JP Morgan to consider such a bid was because of the scale and depth of the recession. The combination of low interest rates along with lack of performance for most other investments were both pretty much necessary conditions for JP Mogran to consider putting that much money on the table. So the city is saved by economic conditions created by the hedge fund investors who brought down the economy in the first place.
Harrisburg may feel a lot of pressure to reverse itself and monteize their parking assets as well.
I still think the idea of the SEA buying out the lots is feasible. I see news that the SEA just recently was able to refinance some already low-interest 1999 debt because interest are so low that it made sense to do so. So they clearly can raise big money in the markets at low interest rates. The debt they just refinanced was mostly in revenue bonds backed by the county's hotel tax. Awfully similar to revenue bonds that would be backed by parking revenue.
Finally... what else can we sell? I'm thinking a bridge or two might be fungible.