iMAYOR: Street To Sell Public Spaces To Marketers

It will be one of the Street administration’s last acts: awarding a 20-year contract — likely the largest inno-logo.png Philadelphia history — that will change the look of city streets and pump millions into the city treasury. The subject is “street furniture” and no, it’s not the kitchen chairs Philadelphians put out after a snowstorm to save their parking spot.

City officials are now weighing proposals from three companies to design, install and maintain — for the next two decades — hundreds of new bus shelters, newsstands, trash receptacles, public toilets and benches.

In return, the winning contractor will get the chance to sell advertising in places that so far have been ad-less.

Officials say they want to have a recommendation for City Council in September.

And, given the financial stakes, why not? Consider the proposal awarded last year by New York City to the Spanish company Cemusa Inc.

Cemusa pays New York City $1 billion over the next 20 years — including an immediate down payment of $50 million — for the right to supply New Yorkers with 3,300 bus shelters, 20 new public toilets, replace 33 newsstands and maintain them over the contract’s life.

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