York City has offer for ads on parking garages, says company should try again


For more than a year now, York City has been looking for companies to advertise on the surfaces of its parking facilities, which include three garages. A company might finally be stepping up to the plate.

"We're looking for revenue sources," said Pam Zerba, chairwoman of the General Authority, which handles the city's parking facilities, on Thursday. "If someone came forward with an idea, we'd be willing to listen."

The city contracted with the York Revolution to drum up interest. At the Authority's meeting on Thursday morning, Revolution president Eric Menzer finally came forward with an informal offer from an interested company.

Though he wouldn't release the company's name, Menzer said it's a local, moderately sized company with a downtown office. Menzer, who has been working through ad agencies to spread the word of the advertising opportunity, said the company is interested in advertising on the outside, and potentially the inside, of the Philadelphia Street Garage, 25 W. Philadelphia St.

The money: The company is offering to pay the General Authority $20,000 a year, with a commitment of five years.

Menzer said the company was originally interested in having the garage renamed but is willing to go without that aspect.

Members of the Authority made it clear that they wouldn't allow the garage's name to be changed: they want to preserve the identity of the garages so they continue to be known by the streets on which they're located.

The General Authority doesn't have a specific vision of how advertising on its parking facilities will look, Zerba said.

However, the Authority's members do have some idea of what they don't want.

"At what point does it become more of a huge billboard and less of a parking garage?" Secretary/Treasurer Sonia Huntzinger asked, noting that the Authority should proceed with caution because the initial agreement will set a precedent for future ones.

The proposal Menzer put forward included a simple design on the existing exterior walls of the garage.

Huntzinger asked if Gavin Advertising, the company's ad agency, intended to paint the walls.

Menzer, who described the design as "tasteful," said the walls would not be painted. Rather, sign panels would be affixed to the surface of the garage.

The Authority told Menzer to try again. "Their current offer, as expressed, is not something we're interested in," Zerba said.

Menzer said he'll return with a letter-of-intent to the Authority's next meeting, on Oct. 15.

— Reach Julia Scheib at jschib@yorkdispatch.com.