By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Nutter Administration is complaining that legislation to sell the parking garage underneath Love Park is not moving through City Council as fast as the mayor would like.
Mayor Nutter on Thursday transmitted to City Council a bill to sell the underground garage to a Chicago firm called InterPark for nearly $30 million. But the measure was never formally introduced, and Nutter’s spokesman Mark McDonald says that pushed the deal to next year.
“The administration hoped that the legislation would have been introduced on Thursday, thereby enabling — assuming all went well — completion of the legislative process by December 12th (final meeting of) Council for this year,” McDonald says. “That won’t happen now, and that takes this proposal probably into February.”
The bill would have to have been introduced by Council President Darrell Clarke, whose district includes the park. The Council President’s office did not respond to our calls seeking comment.
InterPark’s $29.6 million offer was chosen under a bidding process that began in the summer. Under the mayor’s plan, the buyer will be responsible for renovating the garage with its own money. In addition, the firm will have to oversee the renovation of Love Park itself, using $16.5 million of city money.
McDonald says the pending sale has a 120-day window, meaning it must be complete by April. Under the plan, the city would retain ownership of the park itself, and the iconic Love statute would remain.