Lisa Renshaw of Penn Parking was born an entrepreneur. She was inspired by her hardworking father who owned a construction business. As an entrepreneurial teen, she tried house painting and making candlesticks among other crafts.
In 1983, Renshaw spotted what she thought was a diamond in the rough. She was only 21 and filled with youthful optimism and naivety. The diamond was a run-down parking garage in a risky part of town. No surprise, it had a high operator turn over — four in five years. The restaurant across the street, which had been the garage’s lifeline, closed. The 160-space garage had a lot of empty spaces that she thought she could fill with commuters from the nearby Amtrak station in Baltimore, even though garages were available closer to the station.