Ohio State Gets $483 Million Bid for Parking Lease

Ann McClure's picture
Wednesday, June 6, 2012

As state universities try to fill in gaps left by shrinking government support, Ohio State University is taking steps to open a new financial frontier with its parking lots. University officials say that a private bidder has offered $483 million in a lump sum for a lease to operate university parking facilities for 50 years.

The deal, still tentative, appears to be the first of its kind at a large university, according to higher education groups, though Indiana University confirmed on Monday that it is in the early stages of exploring a long-term lease of its parking facilities.

The City of Chicago made a similar deal in 2009, granting a 75-year lease of its parking meters to a private company.

The Ohio State deal is one of several that the university is pursuing in a drive to build its financial reserves. The university recently sold 100-year bonds, a first for a public university, raising $500 million; it made a $25 million exclusive deal with a local bank for campus A.T.M.’s and other services and is looking into privatizing its airport.

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