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ATLANTA-In a local industry coup, Imperial Parking Corp. of Vancouver, B.C., Canada’s largest parking operator, has signed long-term, multimillion-dollar contracts with individual off-street parking facility owners to lease and operate a total 2,000 Downtown spaces.

Terms and value of the contracts were not disclosed. Impark purportedly took the contracts away from another major parking lot operator whose identity was not disclosed in the company’s prepared statement.

However, Downtown retailers tell GlobeSt.com on condition of anonymity Ampko System Parking of San Francisco may be the current operator. Officials at Impark and Ampko, a division of publicly traded AMB Industries Inc., couldn’t be reached at GlobeSt.com’s publication deadline to confirm that information.

Impark also plans to lease a Downtown office shortly to service the new contracts which kick in Aug. 1. The company expects to rent about 8,000 sf, parking industry sources familiar with Impark’s previous new-office opening locations, tell GlobeSt.com.

The Downtown lots serve as commuter parking for employees of private businesses and government offices, and also as special event parking for activities at nearby Phillips Arena, the Georgia Dome and CNN Center.

“Atlanta has been an important target city for Impark’s U.S. expansion,” Charles Huntzinger, Impark’s president/CEO, says in a prepared statement. He says Impark has “a strong lease agreement in hand and expect it will give us the critical mass and the presence we need to swiftly ramp up our operation in Atlanta.”

Huntzinger calls Atlanta “an excellent parking market for Impark” because the city has “a good ratio of surface lot and garage parking, a varied customer mix and a small number of competitors.”

More importantly, the Canadian executive points out in the statement, Atlanta parking lots “have been slow to implement automated revenue controls so we feel Impark has an immediate strategic advantage.”

Imperial parking Corp is the fourth largest parking operator in North America based on number of locations, the company states. As of March 31, 2001, Impark owned, leased or managed 1,480 sites and 270,000 stalls in Canada and the United States.

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