Roy Jay's Alliance of Minority Chambers, which operated a number of downtown parking garages in a venture with Star Park, has entered into a joint venture with Central Parking. The move comes after the Nashville, Tenn.-based company won the contract from the city of Portland.
"It was ours to lose," Jay told The Skanner News. "We, the current operators, competed on an open basis and didn't fair well. We weren't in the top two. The way the scoring came out, we weren't even in the top three."
Despite increasing revenues, improving customer service, Jay said the city could have just been looking to go in a "different direction." After going through the appeals process, Jay had exhausted the chamber's options.
From a distance, though, Central Parking had been watching Jay and his associates. On late Friday, they approached him for the deal.
Jay said he has put "skin in the game" with a financial investment, although he wouldn't say how much.
He said he was encouraged by the direction of the company – which is one of the largest operators of parking garages in the United States.
As part of the deal, Jay said he had demanded that the parking garages remain inclusive of everyone, that they maintained employment levels, deposited money in Oregon banks and do as much as they can to maintain current relationships with minority chambers of commerce.
"You bet on the future," Jay said, now an equity partner with Central Parking.
Jerry Skillet, Central Parking's regional manager, said the company routinely creates partnerships with local businesses.
"We were not in a position to approach Mr. Jay at the competitive time since he was connected to the Star Park joint venture," Skillet said in a statement. "But we had conversations with current garage employees and businesses which all agreed that Jay's unique style under the banner of the Alliance of Minority Chambers was something that fit our desire to embrace the opportunity to work with the City of Portland."