L.A. City Council Sells Control Of Lucrative Parking Lots For Quick Budget Fix

The Los Angeles City Council this week followed through with a proposal to give up control of some of the public's most lucrative parking lots when it voted 9-3 to start soliciting bids from companies that want to take over the properties based on 50-year leases.

In exchange the city expects to raise a sorely needed $53 million in cash plus a future cut of of income from the 10 city-owned lots, including ones at Pershing Square downtown, Hollywood and Highland Center and the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood.

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Of course, as it stands, the city essentially gets all of the profits from the lots. But these are desperate times. In spring the city faced more than $500 million in red ink and had to take extraordinary measures to balance the budget.

Unfortunately the $53 million won't go too far. It'll put a one-fiscal-year Band-Aid on an epic, structural problem with L.A.'s budgets, which are increasingly stressed by out-of-control pensions. But losing control of these lots for 50 years -- that's hard time.


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