- What is a Parking Ratio in Commercial Real Estate?
- Higher Parking Ratios Can Be More Desirable, But Also More Expensive
- Office Parking Ratios May Be Increasing
- Parking Must Be In Compliance With The Americans With Disabilities Act
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What is a Parking Ratio in Commercial Real Estate?
A parking ratio is a statistic that takes the number of available parking spaces, typically for an office property, and divides it by the property's entire gross leasable area (GLA). This ratio is most commonly expressed per every 1,000 square feet of property, i.e., a 20,000-square-foot office building with 100 parking spaces would have a parking ratio of five spaces per 1,000 square feet. Cities often have commercial zoning ordinances that set minimum parking ratios, which may vary based on property type; for example, retail projects may require a higher parking ratio than industrial developments.
Higher Parking Ratios Can Be More Desirable, But Also More Expensive
In most cases, the higher a building's parking ratio, the more desirable it will be for potential tenants. For example, class A office buildings may often have a higher parking ratio than class B buildings, though this can vary greatly between individual projects. Despite their benefits to tenants, higher parking ratios also typically lead to higher common area maintenance fees (CAM), since office building tenants usually pay rent on their portion of a building's common areas, which often include parking spaces.
Office Parking Ratios May Be Increasing
Research suggests that office building tenants are asking for more parking — and many developers are responding by adding more parking spaces to their current developments, increasing their parking ratios. While the most common office building parking ratio is currently around 4 spots per 1,000 square feet, many tenants have been asking for ratios of 5 or 6. Though adding parking spots can be expensive — $2,000 to $6,000 per space for surface lots, $12,000 to $25,000 for garages — developers are often seeing this as an investment that may be able to improve the long-term occupancy of their projects.
Parking Must Be In Compliance With The Americans With Disabilities Act
In addition to making sure that their parking ratio is sufficient for local regulations (and is enough to keep tenants happy) developers interested in building new properties must take into account the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when designing or planning a parking lot. For the first 100 parking spots, there must be 1 handicapped spot per 25 spots. Beyond that, handicapped parking requirements include:
101-150 Spots: 5 spots for people with disabilities
151-200 Spots: 6 spots for people with disabilities
201-300 Spots: 7 spots for people with disabilities
301-400 Spots: 8 spots for people with disabilities
401-500 Spots: 9 spots for people with disabilities