What will we do with parking garages?
As the popularity of ride-sharing services and personal transportation options (like scooters and bicycles) grows, the need for cars in urban areas may diminish.
The arrival of autonomous vehicles could reduce demand even further.
Pew Research explained, “By 2030, 15 percent of new cars sold will be totally autonomous, according to one estimate. One in 10 will be shared. And, as it becomes easier for people to summon shared or autonomous cars when they need them, fewer people will want to own their own vehicle, meaning fewer cars overall.”
So, what’s going to happen to all of the parking garages?
There are a lot of interesting ideas about how parking garages might be re-purposed. Some companies plan to reserve the spaces for autonomous vehicles. Others are remodeling garages to accommodate businesses and services.
For example, one company is buying properties with the intention of turning them into “commercial kitchens for delivery-only restaurants and other consumer services.” Other possibilities include:
• Recreational areas • Gyms • Movie theaters • E-commerce distribution centers • Flood protection areas • Urban farms • Apartment buildings
The co-CEO of an architecture and design firm told Axios News, “An obvious and functional challenge we face is that these structures were not originally designed for human habitation. These spaces often require us to raise the floor height, level the floors between ramps and incorporate design techniques that bring natural light into the space.”
Redeveloping parking garages may be challenging and costly, but it could create opportunities for investors.