Re-Purpose and Develop City Garages if Fewer People Drive?

September 26, 2020

Parking garages are taking up valuable urban land, and as this pandemic evolves we seem to be driving less and using driving services more. There is, no doubt, a concern that this could permanently change the demand of parking garages.

Developers are already repurposing garages into more applicable businesses. A developer in Boston is building a 1.6 million square foot condominium and hotel tower in the place of an existing parking garage.

David Schechtman, a senior managing director at Meridian Capital Group said, “By 2018, 2019, 2020, I would say every time I would take a garage to market, 50 percent of the queries start with, ‘Hey do you have the zoning analysis, what else can I do here?… Any time a garage comes to market there’s tremendous interest in it.”

There were 14,200 parking garages in 2000, and 19,000 in 2020. However, as more people work from home this use of land is becoming less lucrative.

Schechtman stated, “People started saying, ‘Maybe it should be storage, or an education facility, or rehab or medical… People started looking at landlocked garages and saying ‘OK, I can’t build a condominium here, there may even be a condominium upstairs, but what else can I do?”

Some garage owners have already repurposed the use of their garage for storage for e-commerce companies like Amazon.

Be on the lookout for some other ways parking garages will be repurposed as this pandemic continues.

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