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"As local authorities across the world try to curb car numbers in city centers, parking lots are becoming less important in certain areas, while sitting on valuable — and scarce — land. As a result, they have been selling quickly, especially in urban areas," according to an article published by The Investor.
The article cites the expertise of Brandon Roth, senior director of JLL (Jones Lang La Salle) in San Francisco, who sees parking lots converting to multi-family residential as one way for cities to mitigate ongoing housing shortages. In some case, according to Roth, developers don't have many options for redevelopment in urban centers other than parking lots.
The data support Roth's thesis: "Sales of parking lots have risen significantly in the U.S. over the past five years, surpassing 200 transactions in 2016. That’s more than double the amount in 2006 through 2014, when fewer than 100 surface lots a year were sold." Examples of developments rising from former parking lots can be found in Brookly, Boston, and the U.K. Policies in London, Madrid, and New York City are cited as examples of cities trying to move away from auto-dependency, potentially making more room for parking lot redevelopment in the future.