One of the greatest challenges among multifamily property owners is accommodating the parking needs of residents and guests. This issue is especially problematic in densely populated urban areas where there may be insufficient parking ratios for the number of units in a property. Despite the trend toward ride-sharing and bicycling, particularly in urban communities, it’s a simple fact that the majority of tenants need a place to park their vehicles.
This challenge has led many landlords to get creative:
Restriping the Parking Area
Restriping allows a property owner to make better use of the available space, thereby increasing the number of parking slots. While fairly affordable, restriping comes with many drawbacks. A feasibility report is necessary to determine if restriping could in fact have its intended consequence. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) lawsuits can also arise from restriping, since it could reduce the number of legally accessible spaces.
One solution restriping can offer is creative angled parking. Straight parking spaces take up more square footage and require cars to swing out wider upon approach than is the case with angled spaces.
No On-Site Parking
A growing trend in high-density urban communities like Portland is the creation of communities with no on-site parking at all. While this strategy certainly offers a clear benefit for developers who maximize real estate, it can also backfire and create municipal parking problems that anger tenants and neighbors. Eliminating on-site parking has become concerning enough in some communities that cities are attempting to ban the practice. Portland, for example, passed a proposal to require one parking spot for every four apartment units.
Multifamily Smart Parking
Multifamily smart parking is a unique solution that allows landlords and property managers to better manage available parking spaces. Residents can book a guest parking space in advance and even open the gate to the complex with a smartphone. There’s also the option to charge for each parking space booking to add additional revenue. Residents may, in addition, make their spaces available when they aren’t in use.
Options for Commuters
Some urban landlords and property managers have taken to offering shuttle service to and from the nearest public transit stations, to those residents who use such services. Commuters can as a result enjoy easier access to affordable transportation without worrying about the weather or parking security. An alternative is simply subsidizing transit passes for residents to mitigate the need and cost of parking spaces.
Add Incentives for Ride-Sharing
Because of the increasing popularity of ride-sharing, many new multifamily communities incorporate designated pick-up areas. Another option is adding reserved parking spaces for car-sharing vehicles or even installing a bicycle-sharing station to give residents another option.
Amenities to Monetize Parking
It’s not uncommon for multifamily properties to charge a monthly parking fee, but an alternative is adding amenities, like an auto detailing center, to parking areas. This allows landlords to generate additional revenue.