Sunday, October 27, 2013

A "Hole" Lot of Money

We have noted in previous posts that progress on the UCLA Grand Hotel seemed leisurely whenever yours truly dropped by with his trusty cell phone camera.  However, there is now a big hole at the work site for the Grand Hotel where once Parking Structure #6 stood as you can see from the photos taken last Thursday.  Many parking spaces were removed by the demolition.  A small number will be built under the Grand Hotel for use only by the Grand Hotel’s guests, not by general campus parkers.  (The Hotel will have fewer spaces relative to the number of rooms being built than similar commercial hotels on the rationale that guests will arrive in taxis, buses, bicycles, rickshaws, or whatever, but not by ordinary cars.)  Faithful blog readers will recall that an analysis by the campus Faculty Welfare committee back in 2012 indicated that the per-space reimbursement to the parking authority for the space losses due to the Grand Hotel was well below either replacement cost or what had been charged to earlier projects.  You can find that report at [pdf format] 

UC parking rules of 2002 make it clear that parking authorities on campuses are in effect stand-alone entities supported by fee revenue.  The campus parking services are not supposed to subsidize other activities beyond basic parking and transportation.  In part these rules were adopted formally because UCLA – alone among the campuses - began charging its parking service ground rent for the land its structures occupied and diverting the revenue.  That practice is now forbidden.  You can find these rules at [pdf format]  Note that every dollar that the Grand Hotel project didn’t pay to the parking service is a dollar that eventually will be reflected in campus parking rates.  Keep that in mind if you go by the work site for the Grand Hotel and look into the hole.

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