How Is the New Flexible Workplace Revolutionizing Parking Needs?

I have noticed occupancy density reaching anywhere from 7 people per 1000 square feet of leased space to 12 people per 1000 square feet of leased space!

With the steady influx of millennials in the workforce, companies must adapt in order to appeal to the evolving employee culture by creating flexible workspaces that increase collaboration and socialization. For commercial real estate advisors, this workplace evolution has created a new challenge: a lack of parking accommodation to the flexible workplace.

In the past, most office buildings were built to maximize the amount of leasable space. The quantity of parking spaces were only built to the minimum city requirement to suitably accommodate the end user. Every city is different, and urban versus suburban areas also vary in their requirements. Typically, a fair average parking ratio is approximately 4 parking spaces for every 1,000 square feet (4:1,000).

However, in my experience with the evolving workplace, I have noticed occupancy density reaching anywhere from 7 people per 1000 square feet of leased space to 12 people per 1000 square feet of leased space! This expansive range results in a significant variance between the numbers of individuals sitting in seats versus the availability for the automobiles of these individuals.

In a recent transaction for our client, parking was a critical component to their decision for their new location. The client was contemplating a market which offered several buildings with the average parking ratio of 4:1,000, which was insufficient for the client’s needs. We presented creative offers to landlords of a building that fit all of the key criteria (other than parking), and included additional acreage attached to the property. We requested that the additional acreage of vacant land be used as overflow parking for the exclusive benefit of our client. In this market, we were lucky to be successful in this approach. In many other markets across the country, vacant land is nearly non-existent and therefore other innovative solutions are required to address the parking constraint challenge.

Navigating parking constraints amidst increasing efficiencies, technology and generational shifts is just one of the new challenges companies face today. It is important that while we work to increase efficiency of operations, we also consider additional factors that may impact our clients. It is our duty, as commercial real estate advisors, to find creative solutions, adapt to new challenges, and ensure all client expectations are exceeded.

Jamie Keller complements McKinney as an Executive Vice President, Corporate Services, with over 14 years of commercial real estate experience. Jamie is responsible for client relationship cultivation and works closely with corporate clients for their portfolio management needs. Contact Jamie today for a free consultation by calling 714.448.9164 or emailing jkeller@mckinneycapital.com.

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