If the future of personal transportation lies with scooters and self-driving cars which are more often than not on the move, this will leave many empty parking spaces open for new uses, such as redevelopment, food delivery centers or shopping centers. vehicle recharging.
Why is this important: The disruption of urban transport creates opportunities for innovative entrepreneurs who see the value of reallocating modest parking space in the digital age.
A number of companies are already reinventing the way parking space could be used …
1. ParkJockey: The Florida-based company’s ambition is to sell access to space to businesses such as ridesharing, car rentals, and food delivery.
- To do this, it wants to sell an “operating system” (hardware and software) to garage owners who will turn their real estate into a service that customers can access by paying.
- At the end of last year, ParkJockey acquired 2 large parking operators as part of a financing round led by SoftBank.
2. City storage systems: Better known as the new venture of former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, the company is also dealing with parking lot reallocation.
- It is bought properties, including parking garages, that it will turn into commercial kitchens for delivery-only restaurants and other consumer services.
3. SpotHero: The company is focusing on a parking space reservation app (for human drivers), but it’s already thinking about the arrival of robot drivers.
- He’s worked with many partners to upgrade some of their technologies to handle autonomous vehicles, which CEO Mark Lawrence says can have immediate benefits for human drivers as well..
- “Every location we do [AV]“Ready today is a better experience for our consumers now,” says Lawrence. “We’ve done studies that show people are willing to pay more for one automated experience than another. “
During this time, some real estate developers are also considering a future without as much parking space.
- AvalonBay Communities, which is working on a future residential complex in Los Angeles, has designed a large parking lot that they plan to convert for recreational use as a gym and theater, and even retail and dining spaces.
- The owner of The Grove and other high-end malls is working with Google to potentially convert to more restaurants and stores, according to the LA Times.
Yes, but: Developers already have some tough decisions to make when it comes to their investments, which typically have a 30-year horizon as they juggle short and long term uses.
- Construction costs for surface parking structures can cost $ 21,000 per space, and an additional $ 500 per year to maintain each space. During this time, Parking Fee an average of $ 2 an hour in the US, but can reach $ 33 for 2 hours of parking in New York.
- And converting garages is expensive: in Pittsburgh, it costs $ 17 million to convert a 3-storey garage into more than 60 apartment units.
The bottom line: These companies may have to make big investments years before they know if they made the right bet.