It has been pretty low key, lots of information was put up on a web page but the leases were not widely publicised and those in the know had to register to get in. This is a property deal, so normal public tendering rules do not apply. Westminster are looking for someone to take over 14 car parks, 13 structures and one surface lot. Just over 4,000 spaces in total. The car parks are offered on a 25 year full repairing lease although two on crown property are for a shorter term and the surface lot has a get out clause for early redevelopment. The car parks take about £15m pa in income but this is declining and Westminster has not invested in maintaining the sites for some time. This coupled with poorservice from their operator who have a management contract up to 3/2011 has put the car parks in almost terminal decline. Whoever wins will have to invest millions to deal with the existing problems and put the car parks into good order.
Unlike Chicago Westminster has very much made sure that they get a slice of the action in the longer term. The basis of the offer has to be a fixed offer and a percentage share of the gross income, whichever is the greatest. this means that they have a bottom line guaranteed and share any improvements but without the possibility of the tenant using creative accounting to reduce the City's share. Further, any investment or initiative aimed at increasing revenue is entirely at the tenants risk and cost.
First round bids were submitted on 23/8. I understand that there were about 10 first round bids. Four companies were put through to the second round with final bids submitted on 20/9 and presentations on 22/9 to Westminster members and officers. The four that got this far were NCP, QPark, Empark and another who is a venture capital group.
The preferred bidder will be announced "no later" than 15/10.