Want something done quickly? Get a private contractor to the job. Or so goes the logic behind the city holding an RFP for the TVA parking garage at Summer Place and Locust Street. The word is they will open the deck “sometime in 2015.” A release:
The City of Knoxville, with the full support of the Tennessee Valley Authority, has determined that a proposed joint parking garage planned for the corner of Summer Place and Locust Street would benefit from a request for proposal (RFP) process for a private developer to build and operate the garage. Originally TVA was to serve as the garage owner/operator.
Construction and ownership of the proposed garage by a private developer would satisfy the parking needs of TVA employees and potential TVA East Tower tenants. The garage would still provide citizens with free parking on nights, weekends and holidays, which was specified in the Memorandum of Understanding approved by City Council.
The advantages of the City undergoing the RFP process are numerous. A public-private partnership would be less costly to TVA’s ratepayers and eventually would put the garage property back on the City’s tax rolls. In addition, an experienced private developer would be able to complete the project more quickly to the benefit of all parties. The garage would also be subject to Downtown Design Guidelines.
Both the City of Knoxville and TVA are looking forward to a successful proposer for the garage, which is scheduled to open sometime in 2015.