Decline of car-centric cities prompts the rise of parking garages that can be repurposed

When it’s completed in about four years, a large new residential garage in Los Angeles, California will be one of the first designed to eventually be repurposed for other uses.

AvalonBay Communities Inc., an equity REIT, has planned the garage for a time when ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft, and when self-driving taxis whittle down car ownership to the point where many parking spots become expendable.

Part of that repurposeable design is flat–rather than the usual inclined–surfaces, which allow them to become a shops, a gym, a theater or whatever.

Our world is going to change radically and we are going to be alive to see it. It’s not a generation away, it’s 10 years away,” said Los Angeles architect Andy Cohen, who is not involved with the project, but has created a presentation he gives to clients about the architectural implications of the transportation revolution.

One of the great changes in the next 20 years is going to be redevelopment of parking garages,” said Christopher Leinberger, chairman of the Center for Real estate & Urban Analysis at George Washington University.

There is a lot to work with: About 500 million parking spaces serve this nation of nearly 326 million people, according to Gensler. Parking infrastructure covers an estimated 3,590 square miles, an area larger than Delaware and Rhode Island combined.

Image credits: Gensler.

See full LA Times article by Roger Vincent.

See Avalon Bay Communities website.

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