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Apartment Building Boom In Portland - Without Auto Parking

OPB investigates the flood of new apartment buildings going up in downtown Portland and finds that two-thirds lack any motor vehicle parking - which is great for renters without cars seeking affordable housing, but can anger the neighbors.
August 19, 2012, 11am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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Reporter/producer Rob Manning finds the new, parking-less buildings are going up because of new demand, not a change in city parking policy. What's creating the demand? Affordability, and a new wave of renters not needing auto parking.

"The cost of parking would make building this type of project on this location unaffordable," says Dave Mullens with the Urban Development Group, speaking of the 50-unit Irvington Garden in a close-in Northeast Portland with no parking places.

"Parking a site is the difference between a $750 apartment and a $1,200 apartment. Or, the difference between apartments and condos," he says.

"He says the Irvington Garden filled within weeks of opening, and has remained that way. He says the majority of renters don't have cars – though some do, and park on the street."

Portland parking policy is explained by city planner Tim Heron who "says the new push to build without parking fits within current zoning – and is consistent with the city's planning goals."

"Portland wants to grow up in terms of its density – and parking cars, meaning making the space and creating the space for them to park on a site can eat up a lot of space. So we've seen an increase in developers wanting to exercise a no-parking option, and use that space for units or for retail."

However, that may not sit well with some neighborhoods who "worry that without parking provided, tenants would jam the side streets with parked cars."

"Planners and developers say successful, no-parking projects have two things in common: frequent transit service, and a nice, walkable neighborhood."

Thanks to Len Conly

Full Story:
Published on Wednesday, August 15, 2012 in Oregon Public Broadcasting
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