Portland Business Journal

The Portland Transportation Bureau has recommended that a Nashville, Tenn., firm receive a contract to oversee the city’s six SmartPark garages.

Central Parking System won the recommendation to receive the garage management contract over four other companies, including Star Park, which had won the contract seven years ago over a group overseen by the Portland Business Alliance. City Center Parking, with garages, lots and buildings in Portland, also failed to win the bid.

The Portland City Council must still approve the contract. The city continues to negotiate the contract’s value with the Nashville company. Cheryl Kuck, a transportation spokeswoman, said the company earned the recommendation after scoring highest on a series of factors.

“It’s not over until it’s over,” said Roy Jay, who formed an alliance of two minority chambers of commerce to manage the garages for Star Park. “We had a very strong proposal, and at this point, it’s just a recommendation. We’re not at all discouraged because a final decision hasn’t been made.”

Jay also said his group hasn’t decided whether it will appeal the recommendation if the city council approves it.

Central Parking System operates garages for nearly 60 cities nationwide, including structures in Seattle and New York.

Roy Kaufmann, a spokesman for Mayor Sam Adams, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment on the proposal.

“Smart, efficient, and customer-focused parking is essential to the economic vitality of downtown Portland,” Adams said in a statement. “Central Parking System brings to the City of Portland innovations that will lead to reduced operating costs, enhanced customer service, and improved marketing of the garages to promote visitors to downtown Portland.”

The city’s six garages offer nearly 4,000 parking spaces.

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