Parking Perplexities Facing Developers

Posted on August 21, 2019

By Mark L. Elliott, David C. Kirk and Jenna E. Lee

Shared parking paired with technology offers solutions for changes in building usage.

Providing parking for commercial properties has always been a challenge for developers, but it’s even more so today. Why?

First, no one really knows where parking needs and requirements are heading, especially for commercial office space. On one hand, there is the densification of work space, which has seen the square footage per employee decrease. According to research from Cushman & Wakefield, the national average in 2018 was 194 square feet per employee, which is down 8.3 percent from 2009. That suggests more parking is needed for office users and their buildings, which now have more people working in the same amount of space.

Less Need for Spaces

However, trends indicate that parking requirements and needs will be reduced.

Alternate travel modes such as mass transit, bikes and scooters, and ridesharing services such as Uber, Lyft and Zipcar are making not owning a car a viable choice, especially for younger entrants into the workforce. There may be more people coming to the office, but fewer of them arrive in their personal cars and need a place to park.

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