It takes some creative thinking to find parking for office tenants in Los Angeles. Despite the hope that office workers will take transit, most still drive. Los Angeles office workers demand and covet convenient parking. Many tenants today are looking to accommodate worker densities of four to five people per 1000 square feet. However, most buildings have parking of 3 per 1000 square feet or less.
The Over Park: Many buildings with unreserved parking can offer parking at 3.6 per 1000 square feet even if the actual parking lot has only 3 spaces per 1000 square feet. This anomoly results from what is called an “over park.” Even in the most peak parking situation, only 80% of the people with parking spaces will use the parking at the same time. The others are out of the office. This allows the office building owner to sell more spaces that he actually has. The key is to have unreserved versus reserved parking ..We have found it very difficult to shift tenants from reserve to unreserved parking even if you can offer them more parking passes as a result.
Valet: In many cases, a valet can increase the number of parking spaces that can be sold. To break even, a valet must create an additional 35 to 45 spaces per valet. In a recent case, we saw two valets park 40 additional cars on a 60 car lot.
Automated Parking: Several owners are turning to automated parking, although this is still rare and expensive. It will probably require a valet to operate and require very stringent screening regulations.
Hustle and Search for Offsite Parking: The next technique is to hustle to find and lease offsite parking for tenants. Finding offsite parking is becoming harder and harder. However, as parking rates rise, more people will lease out under utilized day time parking spaces. In the case of our 10951 Pico office building, we approached the nearby mall for years to rent parking spaces on their lowest level. We observed that nobody but mall employees parked on the lowest level during the weekday. On entreaties fell on deaf ears for years. Then the mall instituted an automated parking system which allowed them to identify what spaces were being used when and to better control who parked in their parking. Based on this technology, the mall finally offered to lease our tenants offsite spaces. Now we can offer almost unlimited parking to our tenants.
The problem in Los Angeles is that parking is a loss leader. Tenants want not only convenient parking but they want subsidized parking. Monthly parking rates would need to range from $200 to $300 per month to justify building parking garages. In Los Angeles, parking rates range from $75 to $150 per month.
Owners must continue to find new offsite spaces. What about apartment buildings whose tenants are away at work during the day.? Could this parking be used by office tenants during the day, and can residential tenants use office parking spaces at night? Owners need to apply creativity and persistence to identify parking for their tenants.