WHICH MARKETS ARE UTILIZING STRUCTURED PARKING SOLUTIONS?
As real estate values continue to escalate, smart business owners will take a more careful look at how they deploy their precious real estate assets. The days of asphalt seas may well be over. Structured parking may be just the solution you are looking for to help you optimize your existing land and to create a more inviting work environment.
Structured parking offers a safer and more controlled parking solution; it provides shelter for both employees and clients from the harshness of weather. Our smart designs are affordable, durable and add value to your property. Most profound is our ability to raise the density of your parking needs while freeing up former paved areas for new buildings or amenities. Structured parking is an urban solution re-applied to your changing needs.
Healthcare - The number of visitors and trips generated by today’s healthcare environment is many times, of what it would have been less than ten years ago. Many of today’s healthcare campuses were design and planned in a period prior to the advent of day surgery and the more frequent use of the hospital facilities. Today the former surface parking solutions are just not adequate to meet the current needs. Structured parking is just what the doctor ordered. It allows the campuses to re-capture the former surface parking areas for higher and better uses such as medical office buildings, clinics and expansions. It creates a solution to accommodate the higher traffic counts of employees and clients while lessening the demand for land. It is also a very strong amenity for recruitment because it offers a highly illuminated and secure parking environment for the off-hour shift changes.
Retail - The retail market has experienced unprecedented growth in recent years. Land values have risen dramatically as have rents. Customers are lured by convenience and security. Surface based parking has been the norm for years. It was not uncommon to have walks of hundreds if not a thousand feet from the car to the entrance. Competition is fierce in retail and “the experience” drives many buyers past former shopping centers to new and more inviting shopping environments. Today’s retail patron is looking for security and convenience when choosing their shopping preference. Structured parking will bring the clients closer to the doors of the retailer, provide a more manageable, and secure parking experience. Structured parking also lessens the amount of expensive retail land required to build such a shopping center. One often over looked consideration is the hundreds if not thousands of employees that are required to operate the center. It is not uncommon at all to expect at least one employee per thousand square feet of retail. If your retail center is 500,000 square feet then you will need to be able to park five hundred employees in addition to your shoppers. In conventional surface parking, just the employees would require four acres of expensive retail land. That is four acres you would be able to put to a higher and better use if a structured parking program was in place.
Office - Higher densities have become the norm in office development planning. Not unlike retail, land for office has become scarce and expensive. The tenants now expect structured parking as a part of their amenity package. The ability to provide an exceptional tenant experience with a new office development starts in the parking lot not in the lobby. The ability to have reserved in addition to sheltered parking can be a powerful inducement to the office owner competing in the market place. Structured parking offers a smart urban solution to the problem and lessens the need to pave property line to property line. Structured parking is truly a “green” idea.
Residential - The residential world is looking more and more at in-fill and redevelopment opportunities. The changing demographics of America make higher density urban living more and more attractive to buyers. The secure and sheltered parking solution is just another part of the amenity package your buyers may be looking for.
Structured parking will become more and more prevalent in solving traffic and parking issues for education, sporting venues and cultural environments. In most every case, structured parking brings added value, convenience and security to the experience of the user.
WHAT MAKES FOR A GOOD STRUCTURED PARKING SOLUTION?
Four things drive the cost of a structured parking solution. Those four things are height, width, car count and level of service. Of these four issues, level of service may be the most misunderstood.
Level of Service - LOS is about the experience taken away by the client who parks in the structure. If the spaces are too small or tight then that client may choose somewhere else to shop or visit. If the cycle time from entry to exiting is too long, this will also lessen the desirability of the experience. If the light levels and the ceiling heights are, low a sense of closeness this will be a negative. If the ramps are too steep or travel distance to stairs or elevators daunting many will not return. These are but a few of the issues we take into account when we design your solution. Some of these items are very scientific and other are just good common sense. A high level of service provides a more inviting experience and satisfaction. Level of service (LOS) cannot be understated.
Height– Where ever possible height should be keep as low as practical. Structured parking users never like to wind their way up multiple levels, furthermore height is a significant driver of project cost.
Width – The magic number is sixty feet in parking. Long and narrow parking solutions are expensive and not user friendly. Parking affordability begins when two or more bays of parking are utilized. Structured parking becomes the most attractive when three or more bays of parking can be accomplished. The length of the building is more of a driver when determining the ramp length and floor-to-floor heights. Height, width and length are linked together in design.
Car Count – It only stands to reason that small parking structures will be more expensive than decks that serve a larger number of cars. Higher car counts allow certain fixed cost issues such as stairwells, elevators and ramps to be spread more economically over the total number of spaces. With very few exceptions, larger decks that are more efficient will always be more affordable.
Structured parking can take on many different faces. Decks can be constructed from steel, pre-cast concrete components or cast in place concrete. Each system brings its own special application. There is no one size fits all solution that is why as a Design/Builder; R.R. Simmons brings it special expertise in evaluation, design and construction to each opportunity. R.R. Simmons will weigh each system for their merits in meeting the client’s specific needs. Total project integration of design and construction is why so many top-notch clients have called upon R.R. Simmons for a solution not just construction.
As your Design/Builder and solution provider you will be able to trust that we have carefully analyzed your specific needs and will provide you with the most cost effective and sustainable solution to meet your parking needs both now and for your future.