Parking garage still on market

The Springfield Parking Authority is negotiating with a sole bidder interested in buying the Civic Center parking garage in the downtown after the price submitted failed to meet the set minimum. 
Demetrios N. Panteleakis, chairman of the Parking Authority, said Monday that unless an agreement can be reached with the company within approximately 45 days, the authority will seek proposals again for the garage, located at Harrison Avenue, Dwight Street and East Court Street (Falcons Way). The sole proposal was submitted by an August deadline.

The identity of the bidder is not being released because the sole proposal did not meet the minimum price of $6 million, Panteleakis said. The authority is conducting confidential negotiations with the bidder as legally allowed, and within guidelines set by the state Inspector General's office, he said.

Any price negotiated between the company and Panteleakis would have to be approved by the authority's board of directors. The authority owns five garages and five lots in support of economic development efforts in the downtown area.

Panteleakis said he is disappointed that the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, which owns the adjacent MassMutual Center on Main Street, chose not to bid on the six-level, 1,232-space garage. The garage, built in 1971, provides parking for approximately 750 monthly parkers, and for events at the MassMutual Center and other downtown venues.

"I was not only disappointed," Panteleakis said of the no-bid by the state authority. "I believe it would have been in their best interest."

James E. Rooney, executive director of the state's convention center authority, said the agency is "hopeful that a private sector solution is developed that works best for all."

"After a substantial engineering review of the facility and parking market analysis, we believe that this would be a financially difficult project for us to execute at this time," Rooney said in a prepared statement. "It appears to us that the best course of action is to demolish this facility and start over and we are just not in a position to consider that right now."

Panteleakis said the local parking authority believes there is still life left for the parking garage.

Panteleakis said, as part of negotiations, he cannot reveal the original bid price .

A garage, new or revitalized, is needed at that location, Panteleakis said. The garage is the largest and busiest parking garage in the downtown but is under-utilized, he said.

There have been some repairs done to the garage in the past including a $300,000 corrosion control program in 2001. However, a consultant in 2008 estimated renovations totaling $3.8 million are needed, mostly for the roof deck. 
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