Cash Rich CIB To Purchase 500 Parking Spaces For Rolls-Royce

The CIB may have been on the brink of bankruptcy just two years ago, but now it's sitting on a pile of cash that's just burning a hole in its pockets waiting to be spent. First, it gave $33.5 million to the billionaire Simons for their Indiana Pacers. Then it announced it is giving more than $8 million to the City to cover the costs of the Super Bowl. Now we learn it's planning to find 500 new parking spaces for the giant, foreign-owned defense contractor, Rolls-Royce, to accommodate the company's workers in its new digs at the Faris Building earlier abandoned by Eli Lilly. The IBJ's Francesca Jarosz explains:

The Capital Improvement Board will be charged with helping Rolls-Royce Corp. find up to 500 additional parking spaces to accommodate the company’s move to a downtown office campus formerly occupied by Eli Lilly and Co.

At its meeting Monday, the board gave its leaders clearance to move forward in drafting a parking agreement with Rolls-Royce and the city.

It would include giving the CIB, which operates the city’s stadiums and the Indiana Convention Center, authority to operate the Faris Campus garage and two nearby parking lots – 2,000 spaces in total – during evenings and weekends when events are taking place. The CIB would keep the net parking revenue, and that money would be escrowed into a fund that would be used to cover the cost of finding more spaces for Rolls-Royce, said Barney Levengood, the CIB’s executive director . . .

The CIB will get to keep its cash from parking operations that is not used toward securing spots for Rolls-Royce. Levengood said he could not estimate how much revenue the garage could bring in for the CIB.

If it’s not enough to cover the cost of finding parking, Levengood said, the CIB has the right to negotiate a new financial structure for the deal, but it’s not yet clear whether that would involve the city or Rolls-Royce chipping in to cover the cost of financing the garage.

“If the revenues are not sufficient to pay the outstanding liability, we have the ability to go back to the city,” Levengood said.

Levengood also declined to identify potential parking areas for fear that owners could drive a harder bargain in negotiating with the CIB for the sale of the spots. Kintner said Lucas Oil Stadium, which the CIB operates, could be one option.
The CIB has operating reserves of nearly $11 million and total reserves of about $50 million currently according to CIB's CFO Dan Huge. The City earlier this year announced it was awarding Rolls-Royce a 10-year tax abatement deal on the Faris Building, along with other state and local incentives, to relocate 2,500 employees from other locations in the city to the downtown location. Hey, the city gave free parking to Simon Property Group's employees after giving it $25 million to build its new headquarters downtown. Why shouldn't taxpayers provide free parking for Rolls-Royce's employees as well? In the words of Ann Lathrop, it's our obligation as a "good corporate citizen."