Decline in Chicago Parking Demands Have Developers Taking Notice

Mary E. Morrison reports on a precipitous drop in the percentage of renters leasing parking spaces in new downtown Chicago residential buildings, causing developers to rethink the way they build and market their buildings.
March 30, 2012, 7am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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The general drop in parking space demand has been observed by developers for the past decade, but has increased markedly over the past three years. According to Morrison, "It's unclear if the drop in demand for parking spots, which can cost $200 to $300 a month at downtown apartment buildings, reflects a lasting change in lifestyle or a temporary response to the economic downturn-or both."

One developer notes a demand for spaces by only 40% of renters, seemingly well below the range of 0.55 to one space per unit required by the city's zoning code.

While not all buildings have seen a decline, and condos seem immune, developers are adding amenities for car-free tenants nonetheless. Such amenities include Zipcar rentals, bike-sharing services, larger and more accessible bike rooms, and higher ratios of bike stalls.

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Published on Monday, March 26, 2012 in Crain's Chicago Business
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