Shopping Center Business

MAY 2016

Shopping Center Business is the leading monthly business magazine for the retail real estate industry.

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PARKING 186 • SHOPPING CENTER BUSINESS • May 2016 T he United States devotes a lot of land to parking, with nearly 500 million parking spaces nation- wide. That equates to around 4 million acres or 6,000 square miles of surface parking — an amount of space roughly equal to the land area of Hawaii. With about 250 million cars on the roads today, that's more than 700 square feet or two surface parking spaces for every single car. It probably doesn't seem like it when you are circling the block for the tenth time looking for that perfect space, but trust me — we have plenty of parking in this country. Remember, that's just surface parking — nothing above or below those spaces. It doesn't account for parking structures, mixed-use projects or garages attached to suburban single-family homes across the U.S. If those are added, the total spac- es skyrockets into the billions by some estimates. It is no mystery how we got here. The growth patterns of the United States are well documented. The sprawling develop- ment of most American cities has solidi- fied the dependence on the automobile, with cars and roads claiming more and more real estate. This, in turn, continues to spread development out further, which fosters the need for more auto infrastruc- ture. The cycle goes on and on. The origin of this problem is twofold, and not easily separated. The American love for the automobile is undeniable. We have a long history of loving to hit the open road, unencumbered by train or bus schedules — masters of our own domain. On the list of must-haves for homebuyers, a private garage perennially ranks at the top. Interestingly, walkability is important to homeowners as well. Therein lies the rub: If you devote surface space to the car, you make the community un-walkable. City regulations are also part of the equation. Spurred by the public's desire to have easy and accessible parking and to avoid conflict and calls to city hall, city planners continue to require parking at ratios that ensure that parking is a huge factor in the allocation of land, as well as one of the most visible and unappealing contributors to our built environment. Not only do people not walk in the sub- urbs because things are far away — they also don't walk because the walk is un- The Problem Of Parking As the retail landscape continues to shift toward pedestrian mixed-use environments, surface level parking has declined in appeal and viability. David Senden Residents of AMLI Uptown Orange will have the beneft of living in a vibrant city-center environment, with major employers, shops and restaurants close to them in the neighborhood, while living in a new apartment community with a pool, ftness center, business center and outdoor gardens. Rendering courtesy of KTGY Architecture + Planning.

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